10 Benefits of Cod Liver Oil - The Anti-Inflammatory Disease Fighter

by Jenna Crawford January 01, 2018

10 Benefits of Cod Liver Oil - The Anti-Inflammatory Disease Fighter

Cod liver oil is derived from the liver of codfish (gadidae) and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It is a nutritional supplement with high levels of vitamin A and D. All of these nutrients help the human body in various ways and stimulate the healthy functioning of organs.

Cod liver oil is a pale yellow, translucent, oily liquid that has a strong odor similar to seafood and a bland taste. Nowadays, traders often add fruit flavors and peppermint to make cod liver oil more appetizing and appealing to consumers. However, the oil quality is a significant factor in deciding its smell. A good quality oil has a slightly sardine-type of flavor. You can buy cod liver oil, which is usually found in a liquid form, from pharmacies and drug stores.

Here are 10 benefits of cod liver oil - the anti-inflammatory disease fighter:

1. Cures Arthritis

Cod liver oil has been used extensively as a supplement to maintain healthy bones and joints for ages. It has been considered a remarkably successful supplement whether it is used in curing bone ailments or keeping the skeletal system strong. Research studies indicate that cod liver oil can also be recommended for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Intake of cod liver oil also helps in reducing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) requirement in rheumatoid arthritis. These NSAIDs may have cardiovascular and gastrointestinal side effects on the body.

2. Supports Bone Health

The vitamin D content in cod liver oil is more concentrated than any single other food source and can help improve bone density. In post-menopausal women, cod liver oil protects against bone mineral loss and reduces the risk of bone fractures. This is one of the significant benefits of cod liver oil.

Nutritional intake of vitamin D is also vital for athletes looking to recover from strength training and intense exercise. Dietary supplementation of cod liver oil to athletes may help maintain bone density, especially when exerting themselves during intense physical training.

3. May Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural process that helps the body fight infections and heals 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 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. Cod liver oil also contains vitamins A and D, which are potent antioxidants. They can reduce inflammation by binding and neutralize harmful free radicals.

4. Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Several studies have suggested that omega 3s support eye health and prevent macular degeneration. These findings have not been consistent in all studies, however. Other nutrients that have been found to be helpful in avoiding AMD are carotenoids, which can minimize the damage and reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Cod liver oil is also high in carotenoids. 

5. Prevents Osteoporosis

For decades, cod liver oil has been used as a natural remedy for osteoporosis. This oil is an ideal supplement for post-menopausal women to avoid the problems of osteoporosis. No tolerable upper limit for the consumption of vitamin D has yet been established; however, adults over 50 years can consume 400 units per day (for men) and 600 units (for women). Vitamin D is essential for the body to process calcium, and thus, it prevents osteoporosis and efficiently maintains bone health.

6. Boosts Immunity

Cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for the human body and a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to autoimmune diseases and can increase the susceptibility to infection. Regular intake of cod liver oil will provide the required amount of vitamin D, ensure a healthy immune system, and decrease the chances of infection.

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. Many 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 of individuals found that people who took cod liver oil regularly had fewer symptoms of depression alone or combined with anxiety. Nevertheless, while omega-3 fatty acids help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, their overall effect seems small.

8. Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnant women who are deficient in vitamin D seem to be at greater risk of developing preeclampsia and needing a cesarean section. Inadequate vitamin D status is also associated with gestational diabetes mellitus and bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women. It's also important to note that vitamin D levels that were too high during pregnancy were associated with an increase in food allergy of the child during the first two years of life.

9. Cancer Prevention

Vitamin D is essential for regulating cell growth and for cell-to-cell communication. Some studies have suggested that calcitriol (the hormonally active form of vitamin D) can reduce cancer progression by slowing the growth and development of new blood vessels in cancerous tissue, increasing cancer cell death and by reducing cell proliferation and metastases. Vitamin D from cod liver oil influences more than 200 human genes, which can be impaired when D status is suboptimal.

10. Boosts Brain Health

Omega-3 fats inhibit the inflammatory responses that can cause metabolic alterations that are known triggers of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression and abnormal hormone signaling in the hypothalamus region of the brain.

Increasing fatty acids can boost brain health by controlling insulin sensitivity in the brain to ward off obesity, type-2 diabetes and prevent cognitive decline. Research suggests that the two fatty acids found in cod liver oil (EPA and DHA) are likely to provide the highest benefit at avoiding and providing therapeutic treatment to those with bipolar depressive disorders.

Conclusion

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. In this post, I shared with you 10 benefits of cod liver oil - the anti-inflammatory disease fighter.




Jenna Crawford

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