We get it. If you’ve managed to survive a heart attack no one can blame you for wanting to kick back and celebrate. After all, you’ve stared death in the face and lived to tell the tale.
But here’s the thing, while there’s no denying you won a major battle, the war has just begun. Because, while the majority of the 735,000 heart attacks in the United States each year are first heart attacks, 210,00—or over 28 percent—are repeat attacks.1
And unfortunately doctors are vastly underestimating these risks,2,3 which means when they print out your discharge papers—and pack you up to send you home from the ICU—odds are they didn’t explain that the fight of your life has really just started. And chances are you haven’t been given any tools to help maximize your recovery or ward off future heart problems.
But here’s the good news. Today we’re going to share with you the key bit of lifesaving advice you should have been given, a secret weapon you can use to help shield your heart against further damage.
Omega-3s slash scarring after heart attack
Start taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement as soon as you can after leaving the hospital (with your doctors permission, of course). Because the latest research. Published in the journal Circulation this month, finds that this natural approach can significantly reduce the scarring that occurs on your heart after an attack.
This is HUGE news because just like a scar you might get on an elbow or knee, scars on your heart—called fibrosis—cause stiffness too. And that stiffness could end up costing you your life because it’s linked to future heart failure, heart attack risk and other heart issues.
Heart-attack survivors who started taking 4 g of omega-3s a day within a month of their attack had significantly less heart damage and stronger hearts after six months, compared to the unlucky folks who got a placebo.
According to researchers the group that received fish oil supplements had 5.6 percent less heart muscle scarring. But the omega-3 benefits didn’t end there, they also led to a healthy 5.8 percent drop in the amount of blood left in the left ventricle after a contraction.4,5
Heal your heart & reduce heart attack risk with fish oil
Doctors use this measurement, called end-systolic volume, to evaluate how well you’re recovering after a heart incident. And these results suggest that omega-3s are allowing the heart to contract better.
Of course this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the value of omega-3s for heart and blood vessel health. They help keep your heart healthy, protect against stroke and can even improve heart health in folks already suffering with heart disease.7
They’ve been shown to…
- Help reduce blood pressure
- Reduce risk of heart arrhythmias
- Fight plaque buildup in arteries
Another study, published just last month, highlighted the value of taking omega-3s before a heart attack. According to the study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, your risk of dying from a heart attack drops 10 percent with higher omega-3 levels.6
Omega-3s slash inflammation and more
Heart health isn’t the only benefit that omega-3s provide either, they help build brain cells, slash inflammation, and may help fight cancer, depression and ADHD.
Our bodies don’t produce omega-3s so we need to get them through diet or supplements. You can raise your levels by eating more wild caught fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, but to reach the levels in the study you’ll need to take a quality fish oil supplement with omega-3s.
Since fish oil is a natural blood thinner, and many heart patients are already on blood thinning drugs, it’s important to check with your doctor before starting on a supplement.