When I was growing up, I saw my aunt giving an oval-shaped light brown colored pills to my cousin every night. Although my cousin didn’t like it, she would convince her to take it. When I asked her what that was, she said it is a medicine which is good for health and should be taken every day. Little did I know that those pills were nothing but cod liver oil supplements. So what exactly is cod liver oil and why is it considered healthy? Well, that is what we will be discussing today.
What is Cod Liver Oil?
Cod liver oil comes from the liver of Gadus Morhua fish. It is one of the most common fish oil supplements that is widely consumed for its amazing health benefits right from kids to elderly people. The oil is packed with a wide range of nutrients such as omega fatty acids, Vitamin D and Vitamin A to name a few.
There are many stories of mothers forcing their children to take cod liver oil. This is because of the beneficial properties of the oil. In some cases, it becomes difficult to get the daily doses of vitamin A and D and omega-3 fats through diet. In such a case, taking cod liver oil as a supplement can help your kid to reap the nutritional requirement.
Vitamin A: It is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, which is very crucial during the growing years in children. It also plays a key role in aiding in bone growth and development, proper vision and cellular growth.
Vitamin D: It not only prevents rickets (which is a common problem in growing children) but is also important for muscle function and bone function. In fact, it may prevent type 1 diabetes, hypertension, and many common cancers.
Omega-3 fats: are good for the brain and the heart due to the presence of unsaturated fats. As cod liver oil is loaded with vitamins and healthy fats, it acts as an excellent health supplement for kids, especially during the growth years as it lowers the risk of rickets and boost overall growth and development.
Health Benefits of Cod Liver Oil
Not just in kids, cod liver oil is packed with numerous health benefits which makes it a healthy supplement even for adults. Read further to explore about this wonder oil and how you can include it in your daily regime.
1. Strengthens Bones And Joints
Vitamin D3 in cod liver oil helps to absorb dietary calcium and build strong bones. It can also reduce the chances of rickets in children and Osteomalacia (soft bones) and osteoporosis (brittle bones) in adults.
2. Lowers Cholesterol
A tablespoon of cod liver oil a day can work wonders in lowering bad cholesterol. In addition to lowering bad cholesterol, it also increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in your body.
3. Prevents Diabetes
Cod liver oil has been shown to greatly decrease the chances of children developing type I diabetes in a later stage.
Due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, it can treat depression and improve your cognitive performance. People suffering from psychosis, Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or bipolar disorders can benefit significantly through its usage.
5. Promotes Heart Health
Omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil have shown to be helpful in lowering blood pressure, blood stickiness and abnormal heart rhythms, especially when heart receives a poor blood supply.
6. Protects Eyes
Research reveals that regular use of cod liver oil is beneficial for the cells and tissues in eyes. It also protects one from age-related macular degeneration.
7. Improves Skin Health
Fats are a must for healthy body cells. The right kind of fat like the omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil boosts the absorption of vitamins and minerals and will make the skin glow when included in everyday diet.
8. Aids In Wound Healing
Fatty acids are especially good for their anti-inflammatory properties. So intake of this oil or its supplements help heal inflammation and wounds faster.
9. Keeps Kidneys Healthy
In people with type 2 diabetes, cod liver oil can reduce protein content in the kidney, which is an indication of the severity of kidney disease.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Choosing the right product: Not all supplements are created equal. Choose the right type of cod liver supplement which is in keeping with the needs of your body. Generally, the daily intake of Vitamin A and Vitamin D should not exceed 10000 IU and 5000 IU respectively in adults.
Liquid or capsule: You can either choose liquid or capsule. Liquids have a fishy taste. Capsules can be chilled before intake to avoid the pungent taste.
Right quantity: Always consult a dietitian to be more aware of the dosage when taking cod liver oil for the first time. It is important to identify the need before deciding on the quantity for daily intake.
Allergic tendencies: If you are allergic to fish, cod liver oil should probably be avoided. You can always choose other supplements for your needs.
So, go ahead and add this nutritional supplement to your diet and reap the countless health benefits that it has to offer. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)