As far back as the time of the Vikings men, women and children were made stronger and healthier because of the oil extracted from the liver of a fish. Used as both food and medicine by Norse and other dweller of the world’s northern climates cod liver oil benefits have been talked about and documented.
We’re going to take a look at the top 10 cod liver oil benefits and why you should take it in a moment. But let us familiarize you with this powerful little oil first.
What Is Cod Liver Oil?
Cod is a type of fish which tends to be located north of forty degrees north latitude. Thus, people know it as one of several cold water fish, which are prized for their abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. Cod liver oil is an oil which comes from from the livers of these fish for more than 1200 years.
The Möller Process was the standard means of processing cod liver oil after about 1850. In this process, the livers were mixed with water, ground into slurry, and simmered until the oil rose to the top. The oil was skimmed off, purified and bottled for use. Modern methods make use of Cold Flotation, Pressure Extraction, and Pressure Cooking. Once the oil is extracted, it is typically put into capsules. However, you can occasionally purchase it as a light or brown oil in northern regions of the world.
Cod liver oil presents a pretty powerful nutritional profile. For each teaspoon (4 grams) it contains:
• Vitamin A 4500 IU or 90% DV;
• Vitamin D 4500 IU or 113% DV;
• Omega-3 fatty acids 888 mg;
• Omega-6 fatty acids 42.1 mg.
The nutritional benefits of cod liver oil are certainly impressive, as we’ll see in a moment. But they are not all inclusive cures. It is still better to consult a health care professional for advice and treatment for specific health issues.
Top 10 Cod Liver Oil Benefits and Why You Should Take It
Consumption of 1.5g of cod liver oil benefits your health in the reduced risk of coronary artery disease and arteriosclerosis by a significant factor according to a study conducted in Germany.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief
Another of the positive cod liver oil benefits comes in the reduction of rheumatoid arthritis stiffness by 52%, painful joints by 42%, swollen joints 40%, and overall pain intensity 67% cites another study in Germany.
Blood Sugar Balance
Balanced blood sugar and the prevention of diabetes are also among the benefits of this oil. These were marked as additional cod liver oil benefits in a Norwegian National Institute of Public Health inquiry.
The consumption of cod liver oil benefits your bone health as well. The high concentration of vitamin D is shown to prevent bone loss, osteoporosis and associate bone disorders in research conducted by Italian scientists.
Researchers in Bangalore, India cite the healing of ulcers as another of the many cod liver oil benefits. Cod liver oil was also effective in preventing the development of cysteamine induced duodenal ulcers.
Improved Cognitive Function
Pharmacology research in Poland points to another of the most memorable of all cod liver oil benefits; pointing to its abundance of omega-3 fatty acids as contributing significantly to improved cognitive function.
Enhanced fertility might not be desirable for everyone. But it is one of the many cod liver oil benefits, according to a St. Louis University study. Omega fatty acids and vitamin D help in hormone production.
German researchers list the high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil. This is once again a major contributor in helping to reduce inflammation, which is just one more of the most attractive cod liver oil benefits.
Lowers Cancer Risks
Cod liver oil can have an antiproliferative and proapoptotic effect on cancerous cells in the breasts, lowering the risk of tumor development.
This is what researchers at University of Tromsø, Norway say. So we are adding just one more item to the list of cod liver oil benefits.
Better Eye Health
High in both carotenoids and vitamin A, cod liver oil benefits better eye health. This works especially for the issues related to age related macular degeneration (ARMD), according to studies at Schepens Eye Research Institute.
A Note of Caution
There are a few cautions concerning the use of cod liver oil. This applies to where it relates to individuals with certain health conditions and in its interaction with medications that you might be taking. Those cautions include:
- Hemophilia. Cod liver oil can act as an anti-coagulant.
- Nausea and diarrhea. High levels of vitamin A and D can cause these conditions in some individuals.
- Cod liver oil does not react well with medications for the treatment of hypertension. It might make your blood pressure go too low.
- Works against anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs.
An additional caution to keep in mind is related to the environmental toxins found in fish such as mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, and other contaminants. These toxins are typically removed in the purification process. But poor quality brands might allow traces of these toxins to slip through their process.
There are also suggestions that too much vitamin A can lead to bone pain, skin changes and liver damage. So it is important to stay within the recommended dosage guidelines for cod liver oil supplements.
This potent oil has produced health benefits for more than 1200 years. It became popular again since scientists discovered that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have such a great impact on overall health. Check out the research behind our top 10 cod liver oil benefits and why you should take it listed above. But if you do, please be sure to follow proper guidelines so that you will get the most out of this age-old cure.
Do some more exploration into the specific ways that you can also benefit from this powerful little oil. Then, be sure to add your discoveries in the comments section below.
Images from depositphotos.com.