Health Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil has become an important topic of study in many universities across the globe, partly due to its immense health benefits and partly to nullify its adverse effects, so that its beneficial horizon can be widened. Research has shown that consuming this oil daily can protect you from serious ailments like diabetes, arthritis, kidney problems, cholesterol, and musculoskeletal pain. Let us look at the cod liver oil benefits in detail below:
Fish Oil Supplements Do Not Raise Ldl
Data from a predominantly male, normolipidemic, middle-aged cohort of 9,253 individuals indicated that fish oil supplementation was not associated with increases in LDL-cholesterol levels.
In addition, fish oil supplementation was associated with increases in red blood cell levels of DHA.
ncreases in the omega-3 index and in erythrocyte DHA over time were associated with modestly decreased levels of LDL-C, wrote the researchers, led by Dr William Harris from the Fatty Acid Research Institute .
These findings can reassure individuals who, in making healthier lifestyle choices, want to increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids , that clinically significant adverse effects on LDL-C are unlikely to occur.
High Dose Recommended In Science Advisory
byNicole Lou, Staff Writer, MedPage Today August 20, 2019
Prescription omega-3 fatty acids are an effective and safe option to cut down triglycerides, according to a science advisory released by the American Heart Association .
However, over-the-counter omega-3 supplements are not reviewed or approved by the FDA and should not be used in place of prescription medication for the long-term management of high triglycerides, cautioned writing group chair Ann Skulas-Ray, PhD, of the University of Arizona, Tucson, in a press release.
Prescription omega-3 fatty acids at a dose of 4 g/d, are clinically useful for reducing triglycerides, after any underlying causes are addressed and diet and lifestyle strategies are implemented, either as monotherapy or as an adjunct to other triglyceride-lowering therapies, her group concluded.
Fish oil products containing eicosapentaenoic acid and/or docosahexaenoic acid taken at that dose have been shown to reduce triglyceride levels by at least 30% in patients with triglycerides of 500 mg/dL or greater, according to the statement published online in Circulation.
EPA-only formulations did not raise LDL cholesterol in this group, whereas combination EPA-DHA did, authors noted.
Among people with hypertriglyceridemia in the 200-499 mg/dL range, the 4-g/day dose of prescription omega-3 fatty acids lowered triglycerides by 20% to 30% without significantly increasing LDL cholesterol.
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What Is Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is derived from the liver of codfish and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid , and docosahexaenoic acid . It is a nutritional supplement with high levels of vitamins A and D. These nutrients help the human body in various ways and stimulate the healthy functioning of organs.
Cod liver oil is a pale yellow, bland-tasting, translucent liquid that has a strong odor that is akin to seafood. Nowadays, traders often add various flavors to make oil more appealing to consumers. However, the oil quality is a major factor in deciding its smell. A good quality oil has a slightly sardine-type of flavor. You can find it in a liquid form at pharmacies and drug stores. However, if you do not prefer the smell of this oil, you can take it in the form of a capsule or pill.
The production of cod liver oil is meticulously done through advanced technology. This article will discuss the positive effects of this oil on your vital organs, like the heart and brain. In the past, it was also given to children because of its high level of vitamin D that prevented rickets and other vitamin D deficiency diseases. However, other supplements of vitamin D are prescribed for the same to avoid the adverse effects of cod liver oil, if used in excess.
Cod liver oil is helpful in boosting cognition. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Easy To Add To Your Diet
Cod liver oil is incredibly easy to add to your diet. It comes in many forms, but liquid and capsule forms are the most common.
There are no set guidelines for cod liver oil intake, so most recommendations are based on safe intake levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and D.
A common dose is often 12 teaspoons, but taking up to one tablespoon per day is usually safe. Higher doses are not recommended, as they would result in excess vitamin A intake (
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Modify Your Eating Habits
A great way to lower your cholesterol naturally is to start by replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats .
This means becoming a food label reader, says Dr. Cho. Its important to limit your saturated fat intake. There should be no more than 2 grams of fat per serving and it should account for less than 7% of your daily calorie intake.
Saturated fats are most often found in palm oil and coconut oil, along with animal products like beef, pork, chicken skin, hot dogs and regular cheese.
Heart Experts Support Use Of Prescription Fish Oil To Lower Triglyceride Levels
MONDAY, Aug. 19, 2019 â Heart experts are advising that prescription-strength fish oil pills might help lower excess levels of blood fats known as triglycerides.
The pills contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. When prescribed by a doctor, these meds can lower high triglyceride levels by 20%-30%, according to a new American Heart Association science advisory.
âFrom our review of the evidence from 17 randomized, controlled clinical trials on high triglyceride levels, we concluded that treatment with 4 grams daily of any of the available prescription is effective and can be used safely in conjunction with statin medicines that lower cholesterol,â Ann Skulas-Ray said in an AHA news release. She is one of the authors of the advisory published in the journal Circulation.
Triglycerides are fats that circulate in the blood. Elevated levels of triglycerides can lead to narrowing of the arteries, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
About 25% of U.S. adults have triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL, which is borderline high. Rates of elevated triglycerides are on the rise in the United States due to growing rates of obesity and diabetes, both of which boost triglyceride levels.
Very high levels of triglycerides can also cause inflammation of the pancreas.
While the AHA comes out in favor of prescription fish oil supplements, it does not do the same for over-the-counter supplements.
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Summary Of Past Results
A 2006 paper published in the journal, Atherosclerosis, is the perfect summary of the body of scientific work done to investigate the effects of fish oil on cholesterols.
The authors of the paper did a systematic review of 21 such studies and found that fish oil consumption significantly reduced triglyceride levels, slightly increased HDL cholesterol, and moderately increased LDL cholesterol.
This review also found that high doses of fish oil supplements produced a greater reduction in triglyceride levels than low doses. Also, patients with very high triglyceride levels saw better results from fish oil supplementation.
While it would seem that fish oil did not improve HDL cholesterol nor reduce LDL cholesterol well enough, the authors of this review insisted that fish oil represents one of the effective natural supplements for reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
How fish oil improves cardiovascular health without significantly lowering LDL cholesterol is discussed in the sections above.
Choosing Cod Liver Oil
If you wish to supplement with cod liver oil, its important to pick a brand that doesnt contain excessively high levels of vitamin A. Carlsons, for example, provides 850 IU of vitamin A and 400 IU of vitamin D, while other brands can contain thousands of vitamin A IUs per dose.
Most cod liver oil pills or supplements have safe levels of mercury, but as with all fish products, it can be contaminated. So be sure to also choose a brand that has been tested for mercury.
The benefits of cod liver oil can improve your health, but it is also risky because of high vitamin A levels. What do you think about this dilemma? Do you take cod liver oil tablets? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Originally published in 2015, this post has been updated.
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Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil: The Anti
People living in parts of northern Europe have been using cod liver oil for centuries to enhance immunity and protect them from dark, long winters. They have also used cod liver oil as a natural solution for rheumatism, aching joints and stiff muscles.
The primary source of cod liver oil was eating the fresh livers of Gadus morhua fish. While not very appetizing to most people, traditional populations felt it was worth it to benefit from cod liver oils numerous health-promoting effects.
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Galarraga, B., Ho, M., Youssef, H. M., Hill, A., McMahon, H., Hall, C., Ogston, S., Nuki, G., and Belch, J. J. Cod liver oil as an non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug sparing agent in rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology. 2008 47:665-669. View abstract.
Ahmed AA, Holub BJ. Alteration and recovery of bleeding times, platelet aggregation and fatty acid composition of individual phospholipids in platelets of human subjects receiving a supplement of cod-liver oil. Lipids 1984 19:617-24. View abstract.
al-Meshal MA, Lutfi KM, Tariq M. Cod liver oil inhibits indomethacin induced gastropathy without affecting its bioavailability and pharmacological activity. Life Sci 1991 48:1401-9.. View abstract.
Anon. Licensed fish-oil concentrate versus cod-liver oil. Lancet 1987 2:453.
Aviram M, Brox J, Nordoy A. Effects of postprandial plasma and chylomicrons on endothelial cells. Differences between dietary cream and cod liver oil. Acta Med Scand 1986 219:341-8.. View abstract.
Bartolucci G, Giocaliere E, Boscaro F, et al. Vitamin D3 quantification in a cod liver oil-based supplement. J Pharm Biomed Anal 2011 55:64-70. View abstract.
Brox JH, Killie JE, Gunnes S, Nordoy A. The effect of cod liver oil and corn oil on platelets and vessel wall in man. Thromb Haemost 1981 46:604-11. View abstract.
Brox JH, Killie JE, Osterud B, et al. Effects of cod liver oil on platelets and coagulation in familial hypercholesterolemia . Acta Med Scand 1983 213:137-44.. View abstract.
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Cures Depression And Improves Brain Health
Cod liver oil, upon regular consumption, decreases depressive symptoms in people suffering from major depression. Populations with a high intake of cod liver oil have minor levels of depression. DHA plays a structural role within brain cell membranes, progressing their fluidity so that messages are passed on more rapidly from one cell to another. EPA is related to cell signaling and also raises communication between brain cells.
How To Lower Cholesterol
If fish oil is off the table because of purity concerns, their unpleasant taste, stomach distress, diarrhea, heartburn, risks of bleeding, or something else, what other remedies are you left with to decrease your cholesterol levels if youve been told you dont have to take prescription medication? Here, we give you three suggestions that could help you lower your cholesterol naturally.
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Active Components Of Cod Liver Oil
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are considered essential because they cant be produced by the body. Modern diets often have a ratio of approximately 15 to 1 of omega-6 to omega-3. Omega-3 supplements are important to restore this imbalance. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is somewhere between 2 and 5 to 1, which varies depending on whether youre healthy or have a specific disease .
Omega-3s help reduce chronic inflammation and autoimmune disorders and are crucial for the development and healthy functioning of the brain .
DHA is important for brain function and vision. Its found in large quantities in the eye and brain and is involved in the production of neurotransmitters .
EPA helps protect against clogged arteries by reducing blood clotting. It increases fat breakdown and preliminary evidence suggests it makes liver cancer cells more vulnerable to death .
The EPA/DHA ratio in cod liver oil should be stated on the label. Most manufacturers claim cod liver oil is higher in DHA than in EPA, unlike fish oils in general.
1 tsp/5 mL of cod liver oil contains approximately 850-4,000 IU of vitamin A, equivalent to 255 1200 mcg of retinol/RE. This is quite high, as the daily intake requirement is 1000 mcg RE for men, 800 mcg RE for non-pregnant as well as pregnant women and 1,300 mcg RE for lactating women .
What Actually Is Omega
Lets take it from the top. Omega-3 is the name for a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that primarily offer benefits to your cardiovascular health, but also to your immune system, memory, and mood.
Omega-3 is made of 3 types of fat that combine to boost your health:
- Alpha-linolenic acid . This one is a fat you need in your diet, as it helps you produce the following two:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid . These are your omega-3 fats proper, which both cod liver and fish oil supplements contain. While your body makes them, it does so very slowly and you dont produce all you need.
- DHA is thought to be the most important omega-3 acid, as its benefits are seen in various parts of your body, from your brain to the retinas in your eyes.
Ultimately, these fatty acids are vital because they help reduce inflammation one of the major biological triggers of heart disease. But they have some other benefits too.
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Fish Oil And Your Cholesterol
It seems like a sure bet fish oil helps support heart health, so it makes sense it would lower your cholesterol, too. Unfortunately, the claims may not be as science-backed as theyre advertised to be.
Fish oil has been studied extensively with relation to cholesterol numbers. In over 21 studies of healthy men and women, fish oil supplements were actually shown to increase bad LDL cholesterol. For someone with an already unhealthy LDL or total cholesterol screening, this could increase their risk of developing heart disease.
DHA has been shown to increase LDL, while pure EPA has been shown to have no effect on LDL. Further, Omega-3s are FDA-approved for treating triglyceridemia and not hypercholesterolemia. Not to mention, omega-3s increase ones risk of bleeding and are not recommended prior to elective surgery.
Theres slightly conflicting evidence in new research, though. Fish oil does have an impact on cholesterol, and it isnt simply an increase in LDL cholesterol. Studies of fish oil supplement use also reveal that fish oil helps increase your good HDL cholesterol levels. The same studies also reported that fish oil helped increase the molecule size of LDL cholesterol.
The increase in LDL cholesterol molecules makes them less likely to cling to artery walls, which can decrease your chances of developing atherosclerosis.
Bottom Line: Should You Take Fish Oil To Lower Your Cholesterol
Probably not. If you have high cholesterol numbers, there is good evidence to show that taking fish oil wont help you regain cholesterol balance. In fact, it could place you at higher risk of developing even higher LDL levels.
If, however, you do not have high cholesterol, taking fish oil is unlikely to raise your cholesterol levels so significantly that it makes you unhealthy. Ultimately, getting a yearly blood screening will ensure your cholesterol levels are still within healthy range while you take a supplement.
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Plant Foods Which Contain Omega 3s
A number of plant foods are high in the omega 3 fat, ALA. Try to eat more of these, especially if you dont normally eat fish or if you are vegetarian.
The plant foods which are good sources of omega 3s are:
- some oils including flax , walnut, soya,pumpkin and algal oil
- green leafy vegetables
- seeds, especially flax , pumpkin, chia and hemp seeds.
Is Fish Oil Bad For Ldl
Does fish oil raise LDL cholesterol?
Andrew Weil, M.D. | August 18, 2008
Fish oil or, more precisely, omega-3 fatty acids offers so many health benefits, including reduction of risk of heart disease, that most experts recommend that everyone eat more coldwater, oily fish, . Fish provide both of the omega-3s: eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid our bodies need. Another omega-3 precursor, alpha-linolenic acid , occurs in nuts , leafy vegetables, flaxseed and some animal fat, especially from grass-fed animals. The body must convert ALA into EPA and DHA, an inefficient process.
Omega-3s are so important to heart health that my longstanding recommendation has been to consume two to three servings of fish per week or to take a fish oil supplement if you dont like fish. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two fish meals a week. I eat fish often and also take 2-3 grams of supplemental fish oil a day.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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May Support Eye Health
Vision loss is a huge health problem, affecting over 285 million people worldwide .
There are many reasons why people lose their vision, but two of the leading causes are glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration .
Both of these diseases can result from chronic inflammation.
However, the omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A in cod liver oil have been shown to protect against eye diseases caused by inflammation (
In one study in 3,502 people aged 55 and over, researchers found that people who consumed the most vitamin A had a much lower risk of glaucoma than those who ate the least vitamin A .
Although vitamin A is great for eye health, its not recommended to take high doses of it, as it may cause vitamin A toxicity.
Cod liver oil is a great source of omega-3 and vitamin A, both of which may protect against vision loss from inflammatory eye diseases like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration .