Consumption of fish oil has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack by 19% in older people with elevated cholesterol, according to a new study published in the Lancet. The patients were already taking statins and continued to do so throughout the trial.

This latest research involved over 18,000 patients and serves as further weight to The International Cod Liver Omega-3 Foundation’s (ICLO3F) campaign for fish oil supplements, such as Cod Liver Oil to be offered as a frontline treatment for those with heart problems.

Hidden benefits

Dr Sarah Jarvis, chairman of the International Cod Liver Omega-3 Foundation (ICLOF), said: “This important study provides clear and conclusive scientific proof that Fish Oils significantly reduces the risk of heart attack. This research is particularly significant as it was on such a large scale and serves as added proof of the benefits of giving fish oil supplements, such as Cod Liver Oil, to those at risk from heart attacks. It is much healthier and more cost effective for the NHS to recommend fish oil supplements to patients than some alternative drugs”

"The medical profession prescribes fish oil supplements for the treatment of people at high risk of a heart attack either due to raised triglyceride levels or as a result of a previous heart attack."

The research follows a raft of international evidence which dates back nearly 30 years and demonstrates the value of the marinesourced Omega-3 nutrients for heart health protection. A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that Omega-3 lowers the risk of death from heart disease by over a third. The Researchers based at Harvard School of Public Health also suggest eating fish oils, such as Cod Liver Oil, reduces total mortality by 17 percent.

Simple solutions

Research into the benefits of fish oils such as Cod Liver Oil is so compelling that the UK Government and the FDA in the USA recommend an regular intake either of oily fish or fish oil supplements – both amongst the population at large and amongst people at risk of heart problems. The medical profession is also convinced and prescribes fish oil supplements for the treatment of people at high risk of a heart attack either due to raised triglyceride levels or as a result of a previous heart attack.

Heart attack victims in Britain do not generally get Omega-3 fatty acids from their doctors, despite being routinely offered more expensive and invasive treatments, such as pills to lower cholesterol or implantable defibrillators. Heart specialists in the UK have also expressed their concern over the failure to prescribe fish oil to heart patients, and in response to this NICE are currently developing a clinical practice guideline on MI: secondary prevention for use in the NHS in England and Wales.