Hello! I am somewhat of a novice at English grammar and am trying to identify some parts of the following sentence: My friend says fish oil pills may assist people in preventing a heart attack. A few specific questions: I know that "preventing" is a gerund, but is "preventing a heart attack" a gerund phrase? Also, is this gerund/gerund phrase serving as part of the direct object? With all these new grammatical terms, I have worked myself into a very confused state! I would appreciate any clarification. Thanks for your help!