3. Omega-3 improves heart damage, function after heart attack
Researchers found that people who took a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids every day for 6 months after a heart attack showed reduced heart muscle scarring and better heart function, compared with heart attack patients who took a placebo.
Senior author Dr. Raymond Y. Kwong, director of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, and colleagues publish their findings in the journal Circulation. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a section of the heart muscle becomes blocked, which starves the heart of oxygen and causes damage. According to the American Heart Association, the amount of heart muscle damage that occurs following a heart attack is dependent on the size of the area that is deprived of oxygen and how long for. The heart’s healing process begins soon after a heart attack, taking an average of 8 weeks. However, this normally involves the formation of scar tissue – or fibrosis – which can alter the heart’s structure and function. Such impairments can increase the risk of other heart-related conditions, including irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and heart failure.