London:UK heart attack survivors are to receive free fish oil supplements from the Governments National Health Serice (NHS).
The patients will be prescribed the supplements which contain omega-fatty acids by their doctors in an attempt to prevent further illness.
The decision will bring the UK into line with other foreign countries such as Italy where heart attack patients are routinely given fish oil supplements on leaving hospital.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the body which approves drugs for use within the state system, currently advises that patients who have suffered a heart attack should eat a Mediterranean- style diet and increase their consumption of oily fish to between two and four portions a week.
The benefits of eating oily fish are undisputed. Omega-3s are classed as a ‘super food’ because they are critical to maintaining a wide range of body functions.
They are found in oily fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines and trout, as well as soya bean, rape seed oil, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
They help reduce heart attack risk by cutting blood fats, reducing the chances of a blood clot and blocking dangerous heart rhythms that might otherwise prove fatal.
Research shows regular fish eaters are 30-40 per cent more likely to survive a heart attack.