If your only experience with Cod Liver oil is seeing it portrayed as a "nasty medicine" in movies and cartoons, you'll be surprised to learn that this specific type of fish oil can improve your health from your brain to your toes. Cod liver oil is popular in many northern European countries as a natural remedy for many diseases and as a panacea for the symptoms of others.
Cod liver oil is a fish oil supplement, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It's calorie-dense and an excellent source of dietary fat and nutrients. Historically it was added to your diet through eating the livers of a codfish. Now more readily available in a capsule or consumable oil form.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to many functions of the human body. The body does not produce these fats, and thus must be obtained through diet. Omega-3 fatty acids contain DHA, an essential building block for brain health and cognitive function. Choosing healthy dietary fats, instead of processed, saturated fats can help reduce heart disease risk and ease the symptoms and progression of diabetes.
Omega-3s and vitamin D are known for lowering inflammation, preventing blood clotting, preserving brain health, and preventing depression. They’re even capable of causing noticeably reduced levels of pain and swelling due to inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to low moods, feelings of depression, and lethargy. Plenty of exposure to natural sunlight can help your body receive Vitamin D. Cod liver oil can also contribute to the levels of this essential nutrient in your diet. In fact, a single teaspoon contains your entire daily recommended allowance of Vitamin D. Vitamin D functions almost like a regulatory hormone in your body, controlling anti-inflammatory responses and neural communication. Although many factors contribute to your body's ability to regenerate cells and maintain healthy organs, deficiency of vitamin D can inhibit healthy cell rejuvenation. This expresses itself through poor health, dull skin, and feelings of tiredness.
One teaspoon serving of cod liver oil may also deliver nearly your entire daily recommended allowance of Vitamin A. This nutrient is a powerful antioxidant, which reduces inflammation by binding and neutralizing harmful free radical molecules. Free radicals are damaging molecules in the body that attack healthy cells, preventing regeneration, and may lead to cancerous growths.
This oxidative stress also produces an inflammatory response in the body, affects your joint health and your heart's ability to pump blood through the body. Proper amounts of Vitamin A are especially helpful in preventing many eye disorders, such as cataracts.
Incorporating plenty of Omega-3 dietary fats into your healthy eating regimen can help lower the LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) levels in your blood. This leads to less blockage in your arteries, allowing your heart to pump blood more freely. With supple, blockage-free artery walls, your risk of heart attack and stroke is diminished. Omega-3 fatty acids found in cod liver oil also help lower high triglycerides, a type of dangerous fat in the blood that raises the risk for heart disease. They also help raise the levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol) in the blood, which promotes a healthier heart.
Cod liver oil is an excellent source of Vitamin D. High levels of Vitamin D, obtained from both sun exposure and supplementing with cod liver oil, have been associated with lower risks of cancer. In fact, your total recommended allowance of Vitamin D is found in one serving of cod liver oil. This may be especially beneficial for people unable to expose themselves to the sun without protective clothing or sunscreen.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cod liver oil also reduce the number of free radicals in your body. A high amount of free radicals in your body will inhibit healthy regrowth of new cells, as well as damage healthy cells, leading to cancerous growths and tumors.
Adding healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated dietary fats to your diet, instead of consuming saturated and processed fats, can help lower the risk of diabetes for those with metabolic syndrome. Also, cod liver oil can help control insulin resistance, inflammation and manage glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. Supplementing your diet with Omega-3s can also help alleviate the effects of diabetes on your body, with anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce swelling and lymphedema, and Vitamin A to help with eye disorders.
The anti-inflammatory nature of Omega-3 helps with all areas of the body. Those with degenerative or rheumatoid arthritis have reported finding relief of swelling and joint pain after they began a regimen of cod liver oil supplements. Although it cannot cure arthritis, plenty of Omega-3s and Vitamin D may help with the pain and swelling in your joints.
The properties of cod liver oil mimic those found in prescription arthritis medication, including the analgesic relief and the decrease in swelling and stiffness. For those who prefer natural remedies for their arthritis treatment, cod liver oil provides a solution.
Increasing the amount of healthy fat you consume may be a boon to those trying to conceive a pregnancy. Omega-3 dietary fat helps increases production of sex hormones including estrogen and progesterone. Cod liver oil has shown a correlation with healthier ovarian and testicular function since it provides critical nutrients (omega-3s and vitamin D) that help keep the endocrine system running smoothly.
For both men and women, adding cod liver oil to their diets increases the chance of a healthy impregnation. For pregnant women, the DHA found in Omega-3 fatty acids is essential to the brain growth of the fetus in the womb.
Supplementing your diet with fish oil may help ease symptoms and severity of depression, as well as promote better blood flow to the brain. Adding essential fatty acids to your diet also helps boost brain health - as an organ that's 60 percent fat, nutritious fats are vital to sharp cognitive function, neural transmission from the brain, and clear thinking. Those who have plenty of Omega-3 in their diet may see a reduced risk of degenerative cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The essential fatty acids vital for brain function are found in fish oil and help prevent brain disorders in older adults.
You may choose to increase your Omega-3 consumption by eating more oily fish, such as bluefish, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and of course cod. If you don't wish to eat fish, you may also take Omega-3 rich cod liver oil supplements. These may come in either a gel capsule or drinkable oil form.
There are many types of fish oil on the market - for the best results chose one that contains antioxidants like astaxanthin to keep the oil from oxidizing. With fish oil, more isn't always better. Unless you're under specific physician's orders, do not consume more than 1000 milligrams of fish oil daily.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.