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What You Want to Know About Cod Liver Oil

If you're interested in trying a cod liver oil supplement to support your health, you've come to the right place. Keep reading to get all the basics on cod liver oil.

The adage that “life begins at forty” can be a double-edged sword. At this age, you may have acquired the self-confidence and assurance to live your life as you please. On the other hand, at the age of forty or thereabouts, chronic and degenerative diseases start to creep in and you can feel a slowing down of energy levels and a constant aching in your bones.

Source of Genuine Cod Liver Oil

One natural supplement that's very popular among people as they approach middle age (defined vicariously as between the ages of 35 to 59) is cod liver oil. Cod liver oil, as the name implies, is sourced from the cod fish’s liver and has been found to have many health benefits. It is worthwhile to note however, that due to high market demand for this therapeutic supplement, many products purportedly claiming to come from codfish are actually derived from related cod species. Thus, when buying cod liver oil gels, capsules and liquid, keep in mind that not all products are created the same. True codfish that gives the highest health benefits are the cold-water fish that are found in the deep waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, although a good species can also be found in the depths of the north Pacific ocean, near Japan. 
Modern production of cod liver oil involves steaming the cod liver tissues, pressing them and gathering the oil that is extracted in the process. The purification process plays a big role in the quality of cod liver oil. Following high standards for purification ensures the removal of the toxins mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins. 

Vitamins and Nutrients Found in Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil has very high vitamin A and vitamin D content. It also contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids - just one family of the essential fatty acids that the human body does not produce but is important for its role in metabolism. The EPA and DHA forms of omega 3 fatty acids are the most well known for their preventive actions against cardiovascular diseases. 
Vitamin A promotes a good immune system to fight against the free radicals and bacterial infections. Vitamin D is an essential support for the absorption of calcium in the body to maintain strong and healthy bones. 
Omega 3 fatty acids improve brain and memory function and relieve symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma and emphysema. The fatty acid EPA helps in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases while DHA, another fatty acid, is good for the eyes and the nervous system. 

Health Benefits of Cod Liver Oil

It is a fact that cod liver oil has many therapeutic effects on the different body systems. Some of these beneficial results are based on scientific studies and others come from the testimonies of people who have seen actual healing after using or taking the supplement. Cod liver oil has been found to lessen the detrimental consequences or prevent the following health conditions: 
  1. High blood pressure -- Omega-3 fatty acids are the recommended polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that prevent blood from clotting easily and arteries from hardening
  2. High cholesterol and triglyceride levels -- As in high blood pressure, omega 3 fatty acids help lower blood cholesterol levels if taken at 30 ml daily
  3. Coronary artery disease -- Prevents blood clots or thrombus from forming, which help prevent life-threatening coronary thrombosis
  4. Kidney disease -- Cod liver oil is believed to lower urine protein, an indicator of kidney problem
  5. Arthritis -- The vitamin A in cod liver oil holds back the deterioration of the cartilages and relieves the inflammation and pain, which are common symptoms of arthritis
  6. Rickets and osteomalacia -- These are common conditions that come about from a deficiency in vitamin D, which cod liver oil contains in healthy doses
  7. Depression -- Deficiencies in the vitamins A and D can worsen an already existing case of depression, and cod liver oil helps in alleviating the symptoms of depressive disorders by supplying the body with these essential vitamins
In the olden times, cod liver oil was a daily supplement for children to prevent them from contracting rickets, a disease that weakens the bones and otitis media, a common ear infection. It was also applied topically to wounds to promote healing. 

Side Effects of Cod Liver Oil

An unpleasant but relatively harmless side effect of cod liver oil is its fishy taste and odor when taking the supplement, especially in its liquid form. There is also a rancid aftertaste when belching. This makes the supplement unpalatable in spite of the great values and benefits it brings. 
A more serious side effect is an overdose of vitamins A and D. Hypervitaminosis of the vitamin A can cause defects of babies in the womb, so pregnant women should refrain from taking cod liver oil during the term of pregnancy. After childbirth, a breast-feeding mother should not take cod liver oil, as she will pass on the supplement to her infant. 
People with high blood pressure should monitor their blood pressure readings on a regular basis, at least once a week or when dizziness, headache or lightheadedness set in. Blood pressure levels can get too low if cod liver oil is taken in conjunction with medications for hypertension. 
Cod liver oil slows blood clotting. People with cardiovascular conditions who are on anticoagulant medication (medicine that slows down blood clotting) will be prone to gastric bleeding and bruising if they take cod liver oil and medications for blood clotting at the same time. 
Overall, cod liver oil is one of the most recommended natural supplements for people, especially those who have a family history of chronic diseases. The benefits that it gives far outweigh the side effects mentioned above. Careful intake can be done by doing your research and buying only high quality supplements sold in reputable pharmacies and online stores.
Legal Disclaimer:
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.
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eVitamins is a registered trademark of eVitamins, LLC. Statements made about specific vitamins, supplements, procedures or other items sold on or through this website have not been evaluated by eVitamins or by the United States Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. As always, please consult with a licensed doctor or physician before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program, before taking any vitamin or medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a problem.

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