#HealthBytes: Cod liver oil is loaded with benefits. Find out
Cod liver oil is often confused with fish oil. However, they are not the same. While fish oil is derived from the tissue of fish, cod liver oil is derived from the liver of codfish like Atlantic cod and Pacific cod. But like fish oil, cod liver oil is rich in nutrients and is consumed as a dietary supplement. Let's look at its benefits.
Inflammation is the body's natural response toward infection and wounds. However, this reaction can last at a low level for longer periods of time, leading to chronic inflammation that can cause serious diseases. Cod liver oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that reduce chronic inflammation by suppressing the proteins that promote it. In addition, it also contains Vitamins A and D that prevent further inflammation.
As we age, we lose bone mass, and it increases the chance of fractures and diseases like osteoporosis later in life. To avoid this, a healthy dietary intake of Vitamin D and calcium is important. Cod liver oil is an excellent source of Vitamin D, and studies suggest that taking its supplements along with a calcium-rich diet strengthens fragile bones and reduces bone loss.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is linked to an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Studies show that people who regularly eat fish are at a lower risk of heart diseases owing to its omega-3 fatty acid content. Regular consumption of fish oil supplements like cod liver oil is also known to reduce triglycerides and lower blood pressure.
Ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach or gut and are often caused by bacterial infections, smoking, or too much acid in the stomach. Animal studies suggest that cod liver oil can effectively treat stomach and gut ulcers. It was also observed that cod liver oil suppresses the genes that cause inflammation in the stomach and gut.