Why Doesn't Your Doctor Recommend Fish Oil?
October 19, 2006
In Europe, patients who survive heart attacks are typically given a prescription for purified fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fats. Prescription fish oil has been shown to significantly improve the survival rate of heart patients.
One study of 11,000 patients showed a 20 percent reduction in deaths and a 40 percent reduction in sudden deaths for those who took fish oil.
However, in the United States, heart attack victims are not usually given omega-3 fatty acids, although they are routinely given more expensive and invasive treatments. Prescription fish oil is not even approved for use by heart patients by the FDA.
Experts have pointed out that this difference underscores the role that drug companies play in the U.S. health care system. In the United States, it is not even legal to advertise fish oil as a heart disease preventative.
A recent study showed that only 17 percent of U.S. family doctors were likely to prescribe fish oil to patients who had suffered a heart attack.