To Prevent a Second Heart Attack, Take Fish Oil

Published: October 13, 2012

Cholesterol-lowering statins have been shown to be ineffective for the main reason they're prescribed — to prevent a first heart attack (primary prevention) in those with high cholesterol. To put that surprising fact in perspective: taking a statin to lower cholesterol in people without known heart disease lowers the risk of heart attack by a measly 1% — and dark chocolate is 25 times more powerful than that! Still, for anyone who has had a heart attack or has known heart disease, statins can be a very helpful way to prevent a second attack (secondary prevention).

But what if you've had a heart attack and want to further lower heart attack risk? The answer: Take fish oil instead!

Dutch researchers studied more than 4,153 people who had suffered a first heart attack — 3,740 who regularly took a statin, and 413 who didn't. The non-statin users who took fish oil had a 50% lower risk of a second heart attack compared to the non-statin users who didn’t take fish oil.


"Effects of n-3 fatty acids on major cardiovascular events in statin users and non-users with a history of myocardial infarction." Eussen SR, Geleijnse JM, Giltay EJ, et al, Eur Heart J. 2012 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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