The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 made us reevaluate our food, medicine, vitamin and supplement intake. We elected not to take the vaccinations and are very happy we didn’t. The dietary changes and additions have been quite beneficial to our health. We began growing some of our own food and enjoy the exercise of gardening and walking around a small oval track Jack made in our backyard.
When we first considered taking cod fish oil, at first Jack was a bit hesitant. It reminded him of great-grandmothers and old-time remedies of his childhood. After he learned and experienced the benefits of these supplements, we have never looked back. Our health has improved, and we are both in better shape than we were in 2019, pre-pandemic.
We learned how wrong it is to equate synthetic, stand-alone vitamin D with cod liver oil produced using traditional, time-honored methods that preserve the powerhouse food’s full array of nutrients.
The universally respected “Dr. Weston A. Price and other researchers of his generation understood the difference, conducting experiments showing that administering vitamin D in isolation produced harmful effects not seen with the administration of cod liver oil. Then and now, those familiar with high-quality cod liver oil know through direct experience that vitamin D is most effective when it is allowed to work synergistically with vitamin A and all of cod liver oil’s other valuable constituents.”
Cod liver oil is part of our daily supplement regimen to protect against so many dangers. It is our number one type of fish oil supplement because of its numerous health benefits. It is rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Like regular fish oil, cod liver oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to many health benefits, including reduced inflammation and lower cholesterol. It also contains vitamins A and D, both of which provide many other health benefits.
Here are 9 scientifically supported benefits of cod liver oil.
1. High in vitamins A and D
We choose cod liver oil that is extracted from the liver of Atlantic cod.
We don’t want synthetics because we know Cod liver oil has been used for centuries to relieve joint pain and treat rickets, a disease that causes fragile bones in children.
Although cod liver oil is a fish oil supplement, it’s quite different than regular fish oil. Regular fish oil is extracted from the tissue of oily fish like tuna, herring, anchovies and mackerel, while cod liver oil is extracted from the livers of cod.
The liver is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D, which give it an impressive nutrient profile.
One teaspoon (5 ml) of cod liver oil provides the following:
- Calories: 41
- Fat: 4.5 grams
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 890 mg
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.1 grams
- Saturated fat: 1 gram
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1 gram
- Vitamin A: 195% of the RDI
- Vitamin D: 75% of the RDI
Cod liver oil is incredibly nutritious, with a single teaspoon providing 195% of your daily requirements for vitamin A and 75% of your daily requirements for vitamin D.
Vitamin A has many roles in the body, including maintaining healthy eyes, brain function and skin.
With the high levels of vitamin A in cod liver oil, keep in mind that the upper tolerable levels of vitamin A for adult males and females over 19 are 3000 mcg RAE. A teaspoon of cod liver oil contains 1350 mcg RAE.
Cod liver oil is also one of the best food sources of vitamin D, which has an important role in maintaining healthy bones by regulating calcium absorption.
Cod liver oil is very nutritious and provides nearly all of your daily requirements for vitamins A and D.
2. May reduce inflammation
Inflammation is a natural process that helps the body fight infections and heal injuries. Unfortunately, in some cases, inflammation can continue at a low level for long periods of time.
This is known as chronic inflammation, which is harmful and may increase the risk of high blood pressure and several diseases, such as heart disease.
The omega 3-fatty acids in cod liver oil may reduce chronic inflammation by suppressing the proteins that promote it. These include TNF-α, IL-1 and IL-6.
Cod liver oil also contains vitamins A and D, which are powerful antioxidants. They can reduce inflammation by binding and neutralizing harmful free radicals.
Interestingly, studies also show that people who are deficient in vitamins A and D are at a greater risk of chronic inflammation.
The omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil may help suppress proteins that promote chronic inflammation. Cod liver oil is also a great source of vitamins A and D, both of which have antioxidant properties.
3. May improve bone health
It’s incredibly important to maintain healthy bones as you age.
This is because you start losing bone mass after age 30. This can lead to fractures later in life, especially in women after menopause.
Cod liver oil is a great dietary source of vitamin D and may reduce age-related bone loss. That’s because it helps your body absorb calcium, which is a necessary mineral for strong bones, from the gut. In fact, studies show that when accompanied by a diet high in calcium, taking a vitamin D supplement like cod liver oil can reduce bone loss among adults.
Getting enough vitamin D from foods and supplements like cod liver oil is especially important for people who live far from the equator, their skin doesn’t get enough sunlight to synthesize vitamin D for up to six months of the year.
Cod liver oil is rich in vitamin D, which helps with maintaining strong and healthy bones. It is especially important for people who live far from the equator.
4. May reduce joint pain and improve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that’s characterized by damage to the joints.
There is currently no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but older studies suggest that cod liver oil may reduce joint pain and improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis like joint stiffness and swelling.
In one older study, 43 people took a 1-gram capsule of cod liver oil daily for three months. They found it reduced symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, such as morning stiffness, pain and swelling.
In another earlier study in 58 individuals, researchers investigated if taking cod liver oil would reduce pain from rheumatoid arthritis enough to help patients reduce their use of anti-inflammatory medications.
By the end of the study, 39% of people who took cod liver oil comfortably reduced their use of anti-inflammatory medication by over 30%.
It is believed that the omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil may help reduce inflammation in the joints and protect against damage.
Thanks to cod liver oil’s ability to reduce inflammation, it may help reduce joint pain in those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
5. May support eye health
Vision loss is a huge health problem, affecting over 2.2 billion people worldwide.
There are many reasons why people lose their vision, but two of the leading causes are glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Both of these diseases can result from chronic inflammation.
Studies in animals have found that omega-3 fatty acids reduce risk factors for glaucoma, such as eye pressure and nerve damage. Diets high in vitamin A may reduce the risk of glaucoma and AMD, compared to diets lower in vitamin A.
Although vitamin A is great for eye health, it’s not recommended to take high doses of it, as it may cause vitamin A toxicity.
Cod liver oil is a great source of omega-3 and vitamin A, both of which may protect against vision loss from inflammatory eye diseases like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
6. May reduce heart disease risk
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, affecting over 17.9 million people annually.
Studies have shown people who regularly eat fish have a much lower risk of heart disease. This effect can be attributed to its omega-3 fatty acid content.
Omega-3s have been shown to have many benefits for your heart, including:
- Reducing triglycerides: Omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil may reduce blood triglycerides by 15–30% .
- Increasing HDL cholesterol: Omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil can raise good HDL cholesterol, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Cod liver oil may help reduce risk factors for heart disease. Studies specifically on cod liver oil and heart disease risk factors are needed, as most studies group cod liver oil with regular fish oils.
7. May improve symptoms of anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are common illnesses that together affect over 615 million people worldwide.
Interestingly, studies suggest there may be a link between chronic inflammation and anxiety and depression studies have found that the omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil can lower inflammation and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
A large study including 21,835 individuals found that people who took cod liver oil regularly had fewer symptoms of depression alone or combined with anxiety.
How it reduces symptoms of depression is still unclear, but some studies suggest that vitamin D can bind to receptors in the brain and stimulate the release of mood-improving hormones like serotonin.
The omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D in cod liver oil may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
8. May help heal stomach and gut ulcers
Ulcers are small breaks in the lining of the stomach or gut. They may cause symptoms of nausea, upper abdominal pain and discomfort. They are often caused by bacterial infections, smoking, excess use of anti-inflammatory medications or too much acid in the stomach.
Animal studies indicate that cod liver oil may help treat ulcers, particularly in the stomach and gut. In one such study, researchers found that low and high doses of cod liver oil helped heal ulcers in both the stomach and gut.
Cod liver oil may help treat ulcers in the stomach and gut, but more human studies are needed before making strong recommendations.
9. Easy to add to your diet
Cod liver oil is incredibly easy to add to your diet. It comes in many forms, but liquid and capsule forms are the most common. There are no set guidelines for cod liver oil intake, so most recommendations are based on safe intake levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and D.
A common dose is often 1–2 teaspoons, but taking up to one tablespoon per day is usually safe. Higher doses are not recommended, as they would result in excess vitamin A intake.
Although cod liver oil is extremely healthy, some people need to be cautious about their intake since cod liver oil can act as a blood thinner. So check with your doctor before taking cod liver oil if you take blood pressure or blood thinning medications.
Also, pregnant women should check with their doctor before taking it, as high levels of vitamin A may cause harm to the baby.
Cod liver oil is easy to add to your diet. Stick with recommended amounts, as excess cod liver oil may be harmful.
The bottom line
Cod liver oil is an incredibly nutritious type of fish oil supplement. It’s very convenient and contains a great combination of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin D. Cod liver oil may provide you with health benefits like stronger bones, reduced inflammation and less joint pain for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
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In spite of chuckling at your ad, I’ve been taking it for 22 years, and all of it is true. The first thing it did, in my case, was get rid of psoriasis on my scalp. It’s never come back!
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That’s awesome! It seems to help us with joint pain and stiffness.
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Are we really that old?! I’ve also been taking Barefoot Coral Calcium for as long as Cod Liver Oil (the FDA hates that stuff) and I notice a real difference in my joints, etc. if I don’t have any. But just learn about about what makes your body tick, as a whole, not just symptoms and isolated parts, and throw good things into it; stay away from, mainly, processed, and we do much better. I do not want to spend my latter years with the doctor’s office my main social contact. Your backyard photos are lovely!
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Love “throw good things at it.”
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Awesome. We definitely believe in their products
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