Did you know that cod liver oil is good for many different conditions such as inflammation, depression, brain function, heart health and lots more?
The essential omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil have been recognized by health professionals for decades. Because your body is unable to produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own, you must obtain them from supplementation or dietary sources such as fatty fish, nuts and seeds. Most people don`t manage to get enough of this fatty acid from food alone. That’s why cod liver oil as a dietary supplement is a good idea for most.
So, what is the benefit of cod liver oil, and why you should get your daily dose?
According to the official omega-3 fatty acids definition, omega-3s are a class of essential fatty acid that have been associated with a long list of potential health benefits. There are three different types of omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA are the two active forms of omega-3 fatty acids and are the most readily absorbed and utilized by the body.
ALA, on the other hand, is converted to EPA-and DHA in small amounts in the body and is found primarily in plant-based sources. Most supplements contain a combination of EPA, DHA and/or ALA in varying amounts. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in nearly every aspect of health, from decreased inflammation to improved brain health, lower triglyceride levels, better sleep and more.
According to one large review of 68 trials (1), supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids can help significantly decrease levels of C-reactive protein (CPR), interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor α, all of which are markers of inflammation in the body.
In addition to aiding in the treatment of inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, some research also suggests (2) that decreasing inflammation could protect against chronic conditions such as heart disease & diabetes (3).
Several studies have found that foods high in omega 3 fatty acids can bring big benefits when it comes to your mood and mental health. In fact, studies (4) shows that those who have a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids, from food and supplement, are less likely to be depressed than those with a lower intake.
Cod liver oil supplement is often recommended for older adults thanks to its beneficial effects on aging and inflammation. One study (5) conducted by the Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, for example, reported that omega-3 fatty acid consumption may help slow cognitive decline in elderly patients without dementia.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. A huge problem that affects millions around the globe. Fortunately, studies show that cod liver oil can help reduce several risk factors for heart disease to help optimize heart health. Daily intake of cod liver oil (6) may decrease triglycerides and increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood. Another study (7) says; Consuming omega-3-rich fatty fish three times per week can also decrease diastolic blood pressure, another major risk factor for heart disease. When it comes to getting enough omega-3s into your diet, we recommend eating plenty of omega-3 rich foods. Make sure you’re getting at least 1,000 milligrams a day of EPA/DHA and about 4,000 milligrams of total omega-3s (ALA/EPA/DHA combined).
The Norwegian National Council for Nutrition recommends that everyone have a daily intake of 5 ml cod liver oil* (*except children less than 1 years old)
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.