Fish oil isn't just the best natural way to fight the ravages of heart disease -- it's also the best way to avoid problems with your ticker in the first place.

We've known all along that people who eat the most fatty fish have a lower risk of heart disease. And now, researchers say the omega-3 fatty acids found in those fish can also slash the odds of another serious heart problem: atrial fibrillation.

That's a frightening -- and all-too-common -- condition where your heart loses its rhythm and starts galloping off like a spooked horse. People who have it say it can feel like your heart is getting ready to bounce right out of your chest.

But now, researchers say their study of more than 3,300 seniors who were tracked for 14 years found that those with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids -- especially DHA -- were 30 percent less likely to come down with the condition.

This isn't the first study of its kind -- others have also found that omega-3 fatty acids can slash the risk of A-fib, including an 18-year study out of Finland that found high levels cut that risk by 35 percent.

When you consider how many patients are fighting this disease, that's a big deal.

Close to 10 percent of seniors eventually develop atrial fibrillation -- and because the condition comes with a higher risk of stroke and heart failure, it's often treated with the same risky blood-thinning meds given to heart patients.

There's even one new blood thinner supposedly aimed just at A-fib patients -- and that one could be even more dangerous than those other bad meds.

If fish oil can help you avoid the disease in the first place, I say load up now. After all, A-fib isn't the only condition omega-3s can fight or prevent.

Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help the heart, brain, eyes and even gums. One recent study even links fish oil to a lower risk of colon polyps in women.

This stuff is so good that even Big Pharma wants in -- so you're starting to see expensive prescription omega-3 blends on the market.

Save your money -- a quality omega-3 supplement from a trusted vitamin maker is all you and your heart really need.