Cod liver oil is a fish oil supplement that became popular as a dietary supplement in the 1800s. It was given to treat children who were suffering with rickets, a disease caused due to vitamin D deficiency . Today cod liver oil is popularly used as a dietary supplement for a number of health conditions. In this article we will talk about cod liver oil and its health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil
1. Improves eye health
Cod liver oil is considered good for your eyes because it contains vitamin A, which has been shown to help protect against eye diseases . Omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil are good for supporting eye health too. According to a study published in the International Journal of Ophthalmology, a combination of omega 3 fats and vitamin A present in cod liver oil can help in the treatment of glaucoma .
2. May lower heart disease risk
As cod liver oil is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, studies have shown that these healthy fats can help reduce triglycerides, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and prevent the formation of plaques in the arteries (atherosclerosis) .
3. Supports bone health
Cod liver possesses high amounts of vitamin D, an essential vitamin that helps in building strong bones and prevents the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteomalacia.
4. May reduce diabetes risk
Some studies have shown the association between cod liver oil and diabetes. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that consuming cod liver oil during the first year of life may decrease the risk of childhood onset of type 1 diabetes . Another study found that taking cod liver oil during pregnancy may lower the risk of type 1 diabetes in babies .
5. Prevents upper respiratory tract infections
Numerous studies have shown the association between cod liver oil and upper respiratory tract infections. A 2004 study showed that cod liver oil can help prevent upper respiratory tract infections among children .
6. May reduce arthritis symptoms
Cod liver oil can help improve the symptoms of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis. A study showed that 43 patients with rheumatoid arthritis who took 1 g of cod liver oil everyday for three months had a reduction in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms such as morning stiffness and painful and swollen joints.
7. Decreases inflammation
Chronic inflammation has been shown to increase the risk of several diseases. The presence of omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil can help decrease chronic inflammation. In addition, the vitamin A and D in cod liver oil can also help reduce inflammation.
8. May reduce anxiety and depression Anxiety and depression are common illnesses that affects majority of the people worldwide. Studies have shown that omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression .
9. May boost immunity Cod liver oil contains significant amounts of vitamin A. This vitamin plays an important role in enhancing immune function. Vitamin A helps support a healthy immune system, which in turn can prevent the risk of infectious diseases.
10. Promotes proper foetal brain function Omega 3 fatty acids found in cod liver oil have been associated with promoting healthy foetal brain growth. Studies show omega 3 fatty acids if had in adequate amounts during pregnancy can help support foetal brain growth.
11. May treat stomach ulcers Animal studies show that cod liver oil may help treat stomach and gut ulcers. One animal study found that high and low doses of cod liver oil helped heal stomach and gut ulcers.