Cod Liver Oil, you say? Isn’t that what old folks take?
Quite likely! And it’s not just the old folks: this daily health elixir has been traced back to ancient Roman times. Throughout history, it’s been ladled out to kids and adults alike as a means of maintaining good health.
And it’s still good! In fact, this humble oil could help to boost your immune system, improve your bone health and maintain the healthy functioning of your cells and blood lipid levels. Read on!
What’s so good about the Cod?
Cod Liver Oil is rich in Alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that the body converts into Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). WE NEED THESE FATTY ACIDS! The brain alone is made up of 60% fat, most of which is DHA. In fact, every one of the 100 trillion+ cells in our body needs high-quality, HEALTHY fat to function. We can’t actually make these essential fatty acids ourselves, so we have to get them from our diet or supplements.
We need Omega 3 to:
- Maintain the health and function of cell receptors
- Provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation.
- Reduce the “bad fats” (triglycerides) in the blood and raise the “good fats” (HDL).
- Make the blood less viscous, reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Reduce inflammation and joint pain
- Boost cognition. DHA helps the brain to function properly, boosting memory, learning and happiness.
Other studies have shown that Omega-3 may help in reducing asthma symptoms, improving behaviour in ADHD and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Cod Liver Oil contains high levels of preformed Vitamin A,
a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin A is essential for:
- Maintaining good night vision
- Keeping skin clear and supple
- A healthy immune system, good vision and reproduction
- Proper functioning of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs
In fact, Vitamin A deficiency is linked to failing eyesight and blindness, as well as increased susceptibility to infections, thyroid and skin disorders. This deficiency is usually due to inadequate intakes of preformed Vitamin A – the type found in Cod Liver Oil.
NOTE: Some sources claim that overconsumption of Cod Liver Oil can lead to Vitamin A toxicity. This, however, is quite rare and can of course be avoided if correct dosage is adhered to.
Cod liver oil is an excellent source of Vitamin D, which we ALL need! Vitamin D is another fat-soluble vitamin but is very difficult to get from diet alone. We need it to:
- Promote calcium absorption in the gut and allow efficient uptake of calcium in the cells. This aids normal mineralization of bone, as well as bone growth and remodeling.
- Modulate cell growth and maintain healthy functioning of the neuromuscular system
- Maintain a healthy immune system
- Reduce inflammation
Vitamin D deficiency is known to cause rickets, a disease common in malnourished children. Rickets is characterised by a failure of bone tissue to properly mineralise, which leads to soft bones and skeletal deformities.