What is cod liver oil?
Fish oils are well-known for its health benefits, most especially because of omega-3 fatty acids it contains.
Cod liver oil is a supplement made from fish oils. And like your regular fish oil, this supplement is associated with lowering blood pressure and inflammation. Both properties are produced by omega-3 fatty acids, which only confirms that it contains the same nutrients a regular fish oil has.
But additionally, cod liver oil is packed with vitamin D and vitamin A, which is also connected to other several health benefits. In this article, we will focus on the benefits of cod liver oil.
Cod Liver Oil Benefits
Contains Vitamin D and Vitamin A
Earlier, we’ve already mentioned the supplement’s nutritional property. But now, you will learn the expanded version of it.
Atlantic cod liver is where the cod liver oil comes from. The fish was extracted so that it can produce the necessary oil for the supplement.
For centuries, cod liver oil has been used as traditional remedy for joint pains as well as rickets—a disease affecting the bones of children, making it fragile. As you may have noticed, cod liver oil response to any condition that is related to bones.
You may ask what the difference of cod liver oil supplement to other fish oil? They all seem came from fish. And all that is needed are oil.
Unlike regular fish oil, which is extracted from oily fish (e.g. mackerel, anchovies, tuna, and herring) tissues, cod liver oil is extracted from cod livers.
Cod livers are popular for its nutrient profile, caused by the rich vitamin it possesses: vitamins D and A.
Interestingly, a teaspoon of cod liver oil is equal to the following nutrition contents:
- Vitamin D: 113% RDI
- Vitamin A: 90% RDI
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1 g
- Saturated fat: 1 g
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.1 g
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 890 mg
- Fat: 4.5 g
- Calories: 40
Imagine the supply of nutrition a single teaspoon can provide!
Vitamin D is important for the bones. It regulates the absorption of calcium. While vitamin A is vital in having healthy eyesight, skin, and brain function.
It Can Decreases Inflammation
Inflammation is not negative. In fact, it is the body’s natural response to combat infections and treats injuries.
But there are cases wherein inflammation is no longer healthy. It is called chronic inflammation. During this type of inflammation, it reaches an abnormally long period where the level of swelling is at a low level. It is considered harmful as it can result in several diseases such as high blood pressure and heart attack.
When chronic inflammation attacks, it produce an abnormal number of proteins in the body. Thus, the cod liver oil’s omega-3 fatty acids reduce it by overpowering the proteins. Not only that. The vitamin D and A properties are necessary antioxidants that can help fight chronic inflammation. Both nutrients neutralize and bind harmful radicals.
It Can Promote Stronger Bones
As we age, our bones become fragile and vulnerable. And so it bone health is much important whether we notice it or not.
Scientifically, bone deterioration starts as we reach the age 31. The mass of the bones begins to lose and this can result in bone fractures over time. Women are more prone to this deterioration as they past menopausal period.
Vitamin D makes the absorption of calcium easier. And you know how important calcium to bones as well as to stomach. Fortunately, cod liver oil is a great source of vitamin D, which makes a promoter of bone strength.
A study even shows how much vitamin D is important when taking a diet with calcium. In the study, the researchers found that supplying adults with vitamin D supplements can decrease bone loss. Fragile bone in children, likewise strengthen.
Improve Symptoms of Joint Pain and Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you are familiar with rheumatoid arthritis, perhaps you are fully aware of how painful it can be. The pain comes from the damage joints in the bones. And if you know how painful toothache is, perhaps you have an idea of how much more painful damage joint is.
As the omega-3 fatty acid in cod liver oils is pretty much rich in bone-strengthen nutrients, it is a good idea to supply a suffering patient from rheumatoid arthritis to be given with the supplement.
For instance, cod liver oil supplements are not medicines. Thus, it cannot heal arthritis. Moreover, rheumatoid arthritis, according to some experts has currently no cure. However, several studies have seen the symptoms of improvements among arthritis patients as well as patients with joint pain after they have been provided with cod liver oil.
In fact, 43 participants in one study, were supplied with a gram of cod liver oil supplement per day. Significantly, symptoms such as swelling, pain, and morning stiffness reduced after continually being supplied for three months.
Another study has taken 58 participants to examine the effectivity of cod liver oil against painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers also want to find out if it is enough medication compare with anti-inflammatory medications.
Thirty-nine percent of the participants have reported a positive result by the end of the study. They said that by 30%, they replace their anti-inflammatory medication with cod liver oil.
It Can Promote Healthy Eyesight
The loss of vision is rooted in many causes. But two of the leading cause of it are the diseases macular degeneration and glaucoma. The former is age-related. Moreover, these conditions can lead to chronic inflammation.
Luckily, cod liver oil is equipped with vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids which are great warriors to combat any eye threat such as inflammation and eye diseases.
Many studies show that risk factors for glaucoma (this include nerve damage and eye pressure) can be reduced because of the omega-3 fatty acids.
In another study, 666 participants join the research. At the end of it, researchers discovered that 17% among the participants have a lower risk of early age-related macular degeneration. These participants are those who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids.