Cod liver oil. A natural Vitamin D for preserving health
-Vitamin D deficiency is pandemic in industrialized countries due to life-style changes. Recent studies suggest that besides bone-metabolism, vitamin D plays a central role in basic cell function like multiplication, differentiation and metabolism.
This may explain that low vitamin D levels represent a risk factor for several apparently different diseases such as infective, autoimmune, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, as well as diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer. Accumulating evidences suggest that an adequate intake of vitamin D may significantly decrease prevalence and clinical outcome of these diseases. Estimated reduction of the economic burden might reach about 10 percent through normalizing vitamin D levels for these diseases. However, high doses of vitamin D monotherapy needs precaution for potential adverse effects and it should be substituted with the recommended doses of vitamin D in combination with synergistic vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acids, such as cod liver oil (1). Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21324803/
To obtain enough vitamin D is essential for the human body, and the best way is through natural food sourses like cod liver oil supplement, and also fatty fish in perfect combination with vitamin A, selenium, vitamin B12, iodine, antioksidants and proteins. However the most well-known source of vitamin D is via synthesis in the skin induced by sun exposure (2).
Dietary sources and supplements of vitamin D. Vitamin D is available in 2 distinct forms, ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Sunshine exposure provides vitamin D in the form of D3 only, while dietary sources are able to provide both forms, which are officially regarded by many as equivalent and interchangeable.
Historically, we’ve seen that populations that consume the most omega-3 foods, live longer and healthier lives than people who eat a standard vestern diet low in omega-3s. A diet consistent of plenty of fish, sea vegetables and other fresh produce is actually believed to have about eight times the amount of omega-3s that you’d find in the standard Western diet, which is likely one reason why this way of eating is considered one of the healthiest.
Populations that consume plenty of omega-3 foods include those living in Okinawa, Japan, the Mediterranean region, including Spanish, Italian, Greek, Turkish and French populations. People in these areas suffer much lower incidences of heart disease, perhaps due to the heart-healthy omega-3 rich foods that make regular appearances in their meals.
Processed omega-3 foods
The benefits of omega-3 has become known to food manufacturers, and sadly we will probably see more and more processed omega-3 foods in the years to come (3). Omega-3s are now artificially added to multiple kinds of prossesed foods like peanut butter, baby formula, cereal and some protein powders. In big supermakets you will find pasteurized dairy products, fruit juices, margarine, soy milk, yogurt, bread, flours, weight-loss drinks and many types of baby foods that now now contain prossesed omega-3s.
Let it be said! It is still best to get your omega-3s from whole, real food sources, and supplements like cod liver oli.
Written by: Anna Ingwardo, Bachelor of Nutritional Physiology from Atlantis Medical College in Oslo. Since 2008, she has worked as a nutritionist at Dr. Fedon Lindberg’s clinic in Oslo. Anna is particularly interested in functional medical principles and has immersed herself in the treatment of digestive-related imbalances and ailments, food hypersensitivity and leaky gut. She has also expertise in the treatment of other lifestyle-related conditions such as obesity / overweight, insulin resistance / diabetes and other hormone-related imbalances in the body. Anna is the co-author of 3 books dealing with obesity.