The use of cod liver oil for its health benefits is not something new for humankind. These oils play a key role in countering the impacts of deficiency in vitamin D, commonly known as rickets. People living in medieval England had long used cod liver oil as a supplement for vitamin D. This was highly prevalent during the winter months when access to sunlight was limited in the northern part of the world.
Besides that, cod liver oil is also an excellent source of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. All these nutrients play a crucial role in the human body, making cod liver oil one of the most important nutrients for all. But besides all of that, there are also many other health benefits of cod liver oil. So continue reading to learn more about these cod liver oil benefits.
How Do We Get Cod Liver Oil?
The Atlantic cod is a very common fish species used for centuries for human consumption. Codfish is very useful in many ways but primarily because one can extract cod liver oil from the Atlantic cod. After extraction, the oil has to be filtered thoroughly to eliminate all the impurities that might have an adverse impact on human health.
Fortunately, you no longer need to fish Atlantic cod to extract oil from them. Instead, you can simply go to any supplement or supermarket across Iceland and Norway. The use of cod liver oil is growing by the day because of the numerous health benefits that come with it. Most commonly, people suffering from cardiovascular diseases and arthritic joint pain can hugely benefit from consuming cod liver oil capsules.
Why Should You Consume Cod Liver Oil Supplements?
There are numerous health benefits of consuming cod liver oil supplements. This is primarily because of the essential nutrients found in cod liver oil. Some of the most well-known health benefits you can expect through the consumption of cod liver oil supplements include:
- Countering Inflammation: Cod liver oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, ideally suited to counter inflammation. A specific inflammatory compound is found in our blood known as the TNF-alpha. Cod liver oil plays a key role in reducing the levels of this compound in the body. As a result, this helps your body counter all the inflammatory reactions. Besides that, another important nutrient derived from cod liver oil, vitamin D, also helps counter inflammation.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness among people. As you know by now, cod liver oil has vitamin A which plays a key role in preventing cellular damage from oxidation. This further plays an important role in reducing the risk of developing glaucoma. Vitamin A also helps prevent the deterioration of the overall eye structure. But what’s even better is the omega-3 found in cod liver oil, which offers much more significant benefits. There are different fatty acids in omega 3, such as EPA and DHA, that help increase blood circulation in the eye and lower overall blood pressure. Thus, when you consume cod liver oil, it automatically aids in determining the progression of glaucoma.
- Countering Cancer: Cod liver oil is an excellent source of both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A. Having these nutrients in your arsenal can be very effective in fighting cancer cells. Besides the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins, they also help prevent the growth of cancer cells. This makes them an ideal candidate for countering and treating cancer.
- Enhanced Immune Function: The innate immune system of your body is the first line of defense against all infections. This is where vitamin D comes into play, as it helps the body produce all microbe-fighting compounds that help strengthen your immune system. Cod liver oil has both vitamin D and A, so combining both these nutrients can be very effective in countering the growth of prostate cancer cells. This fuels the growth of a specific protein which further causes the death of these cells and fuels the growth of other proteins that control the growth of these cells.
- Preventing Depression: The other significant health benefit of consuming cod liver oil includes minimal risks of suffering from depression. Studies have been conducted on more than 23000 people, and the results showed a significant reduction in those suffering from depression. However, it is worth noting that these results and evidence are primarily based on cohort studies. While these studies show promising results in countering depression with cod liver oil, more studies and research on the subject can be very helpful.
As you can see, even the best cod liver oil has numerous health benefits making it one of the healthiest oils one can consume. However, it is still recommended you consult a trusted dietician or physician before consuming cod liver oil. This is important to ensure you do not succumb to any cod liver oil side effects.