Cod Liver Oil Benefits
Cod liver oil is rich in four of the essential vitamins and fatty acids that people are often found deficient in. These are: two fatty acids, EPA and DHA, and two vitamins, A and D. EPA and DHA are a type of essential fatty acids known as omega-3 fatty acids. Scientists are only now starting to completely understand how they help our bodies function properly, which is the reason why a majority of people have not heard about these essential nutrients. Vitamins A and D are two of the most essential vitamins required for the healthy functioning of the human body, but all too often it is seen that even healthy individuals are deficient in these vitamins.
The more widely known cod liver oil benefits are a result of the omega-3 present in it. These benefits include its effectiveness against arthritis, coronary heart disease and depression. Presence of vitamins A and D in cod liver oil makes it effective in treating and preventing osteoporosis, rickets and depression, apart from other health advantages that result from supplementing your diet with these essential vitamins. Let’s review these and other benefits in more detail.
Coronary Heart Disease
New research into the coronary health benefits of cod liver oil within the last 10 years led FDA to acknowledge in September 2004 that regular consumption of omega-3 helps reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Research is still continuing, but some primary cod liver oil benefits for cardiovascular health are now clear. Inflammation of the arteries is one of the most pernicious problems faced by sufferers of coronary heart disease. The EPA and DHA fatty acids present in the oil are very potent anti-inflammation agents. When consumed regularly, these essential fatty acids reduce the inflammation of the arteries, and reduce the blood pressure. Regular consumption of omega-3 also reduces the blood cholesterol level.
Studies that have shown the benefits of omega-3 in heart related ailments are too numerous to list here, but we can definitely say that cod liver oil is helpful in reducing the coronary heart disease. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or are at a higher risk of heart-related ailments, regular consumption of cod liver oil can be one of the best things you can do to improve your coronary health.
Arthritis and Pain Management
Cod liver oil is widely used as a home remedy for arthritic and joint pain. However, unlike for many other home remedies, there is a lot of scientific evidence, which shows that the omega-3 fatty acids present in cod liver oil act as natural anti-inflammation agents and reduce joint and muscle pain. This makes cod liver oil not just a home remedy, but also a scientifically tested solution for arthritic pain. Indeed, studies show that this nutritional supplement not only reduces pain, but also stops the progression of arthritis. If you are suffering from arthritis or joint pain, you should definitely be taking cod liver oil regularly.
The cardiovascular and anti-arthritic benefits of cod liver oil are beyond dispute, and if you take only one thing from the information presented here, it should be that this oil is perhaps the most beneficial health supplement for people suffering from arthritis and coronary artery disease. However, the following cod liver oil benefits should not be ignored either.
Depression and Anxiety
A study involving more than 21,000 people and conducted by Norwegian scientists has revealed that some long-held beliefs about cod liver oil and depression are indeed true. The study showed that subjects who took the oil regularly were less susceptible to depression than those who did not take the oil at all. In a similar vein, cod liver oil has been found very effective in combating stress. The exact mechanism of action of cod liver oil is still under investigation, but it is understood that the omega-3 in the oil may directly aid brain chemistry to make us more relaxed in our daily lives. The cardiovascular benefits of the oil may also indirectly help the mental health of people taking it regularly. Since vitamin D deficiency is also associated with depression, cod liver oil, as one of its richest natural sources, is suspected to help with depression by also fortifying its consumers with this vitamin.
Cod liver oil helps prevent cancer due to the presence of high levels of vitamin A and vitamin D in it. Both these vitamins are known to lower the risk of different types of cancer. The National Institute of Health (NIH) acknowledges that diets rich in vitamin A are known to reduce the risk of many types of cancer. Studies have also shown that vitamin D too reduces the risk of different types of cancer, including breast cancer.
Cod liver oil is not just another supplement rich in vitamins A and D – it is the richest naturally occurring source of these vitamins. Just a spoonful of this oil contains more than the daily recommended intake of both these vitamins.
Rickets, Osteoporosis and Weak Bones
Deficiency of vitamin D results in bone related conditions such as osteoporosis and rickets. According to NIH, more than 4 million adults in the United States are at the risk of developing osteoporosis. Rickets is a children’s disease and is relatively rare in the western world. Even when one is not at the risk of suffering from osteoporosis or rickets, vitamin D deficiency can still result in weakened bones and higher susceptibility to fractures. As one of the richest sources of vitamin D, cod liver oil not only prevents osteoporosis and rickets, it also makes bones stronger. Since bones start weakening with age, and are noticeably weaker after the age of 60, with higher susceptibility to fractures, older individuals are often advised by doctors to supplement their diet with cod liver oil to strengthen their bones. Whether you are old or young, cod liver oil can help strengthen your bones.
Other Cod Liver Oil Benefits
Cod liver oil is helpful with a number of other conditions and ailments, including acne, constipation, glaucoma and irregular heartbeat. This oil works against acne with help from all the four essential nutrients present in it: vitamins A and D are essential for healthy skin, and the anti-inflammatory properties of the two omega-3 fatty acids work against acne too. Taking these essential nutrients as part of your diet results in a skin that is free from acne, and is healthier and more beautiful too.
Cod liver oil treats glaucoma by allowing aqueous humor to drain properly in the eye, thereby reducing eye pressure. If you suffer from glaucoma, you should talk to your doctor about using this natural supplement. However, you do not have to ask your doctor about using this oil if you are suffering from constipation. Cod liver oil is one of the time-tested home remedies against constipation, and works naturally by lubricating the internal lining of the intestine, which hydrates the stool and makes it easier to pass.
Cod Liver Oil for Everyone
Seeing the long list of benefits that come from this oil, a list which is not exhaustive by any means, it is hard to imagine an individual who would not derive health benefits from its regular consumption. Whether you are a teenager suffering from acne, an adult who is at risk of coronary diseases, or a senior citizen suffering from arthritis and weakened bones, this natural supplement will help you with each of these conditions, and more. It is a potent anti-depressant, as well as a natural anxiolytic. It is known to reduce the risk of many types of cancer, including skin and breast cancer. Omega-3 and the vitamins A and D contained in this oil not only help with the conditions and ailments mentioned above, but they are in fact essential for a healthy body and mind. As the richest source of these essential nutrients, cod liver oil is arguably the best natural nutritional supplement. By taking it regularly, you not only enrich your body and mind, you also reduce the risk of deadly illnesses such as cancer and coronary diseases.