Northern Europeans have been harnessing the health benefits of cod liver oil as a natural remedy for centuries.
In the early 1900s, cod liver oil was a common at-home remedy for mothers to give to their children. 20th-century physicians used cod liver oil to treat rheumatism (a joint disorder) and rickets (a vitamin D deficiency disorder).
This supplement contains a variety of nutrients that your body needs. What's more, it can help prevent some of the first signs of aging and make you feel younger. That's why we're bringing you this guide to cod liver oil: what it is and the amazing benefits it can provide.
Ready to learn why so many women are turning to cod liver oil supplements? Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Cod Liver Oil? What Is It and Why Should You Care?
Cod liver oil is extracted from the liver of a fish, usually the liver of Atlantic cod.
Many people use cod liver as a dietary supplement since cod liver oil contains omega-3 fatty acids as well as high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D. While other fish oil supplements contain more omega-3s, cod liver oil provides much larger concentrations of vitamins D and A.
Why You Need Vitamin D
Without the proper daily serving of vitamin D, children and adults are at risk of disorders like rickets and osteomalacia. The body only produces vitamin D in the presence of the sun. That means you must get this nutrient from your diet or supplement with it if you don't spend much time outdoors or if you live in a northern climate like Canada.
Why You Need Vitamin A
Cod liver oil contains high amounts of preformed vitamin A, which is vital for healthy vision, immunity, and reproductive function. Vitamin A deficiencies are much rarer in developed countries than in other locations.
Yet, some groups are at a higher risk than others, including premature babies and people with cystic fibrosis.
Why You Need Omega-3s
ALA is an omega-3 fatty acid that the human body doesn't synthesize on its own. Instead, we must obtain ALA from food or dietary supplements like cod liver oil. Without getting the recommended intake of omega-3s, you risk developing dermatitis (a skin condition) or worse.
9 Health Benefits of Cod Liver Oil
Now that you understand cod liver oil and the nutrients that make it great, let's explore some of the incredible health benefits this supplement offers.
1. Joint Health
We've already mentioned that vitamin D has positive effects on rheumatism and osteomalacia. But did you know cod liver oil's high omega-3 content also provides an excellent defense against joint pain, stiffness, and swelling?
In fact, one study found that 39% of arthritic participants reduced their need for anti-inflammatory medication by up to 30% while taking cod liver oil supplements.
2. Eye Conditions
Vitamin A is vital for healthy eyes, especially as you age. For that reason, many people take cod liver oil for conditions like age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Indeed, a 2012 study found a reduced risk of glaucoma correlated with increasing amounts of dietary vitamin A.
3. Heart Disease
For years, scientists have known that diets rich in fish and fish products reduce the risk of heart disease. This is because fish and fish oils contain high amounts of omega-3s. Fatty acid-containing supplements may also benefit:
- Blood pressure
- Bad cholesterol
- Arterial plaques
4. Cognitive Function
Vitamin D isn't just good for joint health, it also shows positive effects on brain function as you age. For example, a 2014 study in aging rats found improvements in memory after supplementing with vitamin D3 for 6 months.
5. Wound Healing
In studies of mice with stomach ulcers, Vitamin A supplements like cod liver oil help promote the healing process. Other researchers have found that topical application of 25% cod liver oil sped up the healing process of ear wounds in mice.
6. Appetite Control
Did you know omega-3 fatty acids can aid in weight loss? It's true because consuming healthy fats in your diet keeps you fuller and more satisfied for longer. In fact, consuming fats releases the "fullness" hormone, leptin, and slows the breakdown of carbs in the body.
Since cod liver oil contains omega-3s, you can potentially see weight-loss benefits from using these supplements.
7. Bone Health
Growing up, did your mother ever tell you to drink your milk for strong and healthy bones? She may not have known it, but she was actually telling you to consume more vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to keeping your bones strong, especially after 30 when you start to lose bone mass.
Further, people who live in cloudier or colder northern climates such as those in North America need to supplement vitamin D. This is because the lack of sunlight leads to a vitamin D deficiency for at least 6 months out of the year.
If you've heard of cannabidiol (CBD), you probably know that hemp-derived cannabinoids are involved in inflammation. What you likely don't know, though, is that these cannabinoids also come from omega-3s. That's why omega-3 fatty acid-containing cod liver oil is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
9. Anxiety and Depression
Here's another surprising fact: researchers think there's a link between inflammation, anxiety, and depression.
We already know that cod liver oil's omega-3s are effective against inflammation. So, it should be no surprise that people who take cod liver oil supplements may experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Where to Pick Up High-Quality Cod Liver Oil
Looking for high-quality supplements so you can harness the health benefits of cod liver oil? Check out Pure Feast's cod liver oil supplements today! Our favorite cod liver oil is made by Rosita Real Foods. What makes this brand so superior to the rest? Rosita Real Foods is a trusted source of wild caught, raw fish liver oils, rendered from sustainably harvested fish living in the crystal clear waters of the remote Norwegian Fjords. They provide you with wild caught, unprocessed, raw & sustainable fish liver oils that are thoroughly tested to ensure their oils are not rancid or contain other impurities, which can happen with fermented cod liver oils. Instead, Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil gives you nutritional benefits of a whole, nourishing food.