Millions of people take fish oil supplements in the U.S., but a new report from the American Heart Association shows not everyone may benefit.
Forty-four year old Anurag Mehta checks in with his cardiologist every few months since suffering a heart attack at a young age. "I had high cholesterol and I was 33, so I kind of more or less ignored it. I'd gotten quite sedentary in terms of lifestyle," Mehta said.
Doctor Ravi Dave, Director of UCLA Santa Monica Cardiology and Imaging, put him on daily omega 3 fish oil supplements. Now the American Heart Association says the supplements may have life-saving benefits for heart attack patients like Mehta, as well as heart failure patients. "And they found evidence in patients with congestive heart failure, a weakened heart muscle, it helps reduce their risk of death and reduce their risk of repeat hospitalization," Dr. Dave said.
But when it comes to the average person, the Heart Association says it cannot recommend fish oil to prevent heart disease because there is not enough research to support the idea. Fish oil supplements are very popular in the U.S. With 19-million adults taking them.
Doctor Dave recommends fish oil for all his heart patients, especially if they don't eat fish. "Fish oil is an easy way to supplement your diet that may be lacking in those necessary ingredients," he said.
"I've never stopped. For 11 years, I've been taking it every day," Mehta said.
Mehta credits fish oil and lifestyle changes for keeping him healthy since his heart attack.
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