There are medical advantages of cod liver oil and there are disadvantages. Cod liver oil advantages may not exceed the dangers. The essential advantage of cod liver oil is identified with its omega-3 substance, yet fish oils got from the tissue of fish, instead of the liver, give that advantage without the dangers.
The health benefits of cod liver oil are related, primarily to omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential for the healthy function of the brain, the heart, the joints, the digestive system, and many other systems of the body. Another benefit of cod liver oil is related to its vitamin E content, which helps the body process the fatty acids, is an essential antioxidant, and promotes the health of the skin and the hair.
Benefits of Cod Liver Oil/Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are essential to human health, cannot be produced inside the body, and so, must be obtained from food or through supplementation. The best know source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish. Some fish contain more omega 3s than others.
There are two sorts of omega-3 unsaturated fats that have been recognized as fundamental for human wellbeing. They are Docosahexaenoic Acid or DHA and Eicosapentaenoic Acid or EPA. These are discovered principally in fish. The body can convert another omega-3 fatty acid, known as Alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, to DHA and EPA, but the process is relatively inefficient. It is believed that one would have to consume a great deal of ALA in order to get the health benefits provided by DHA and EPA.
The omega-3 found in flaxseed oil is ALA. And some believe that flaxseed oil can provide cod liver oil benefits, without the risks, but this is debatable. Although there are no risks associated with flaxseed oil, it is unknown if ALA provides the same health benefits as DHA and EPA.
The Risks of Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil contains a lot of nutrients An and nutrient D and may contain toxins, for example, mercury and pesticides. The body needs sufficient measures of nutrient A, however, huge sums can be harmful. Vitamin D is not commonly found in natural foods, but many processed foods are fortified with vitamin D to ensure good nutrition.
At one time the benefits of cod liver oil were believed to be associated with its vitamin A and D content. This was before omega-3 fatty acids had been identified and before food fortification was a common practice. It was also before taking daily multi-vitamins became a common practice and before industrial pollutants had contaminated our oceans.
While no tolerable upper limit for vitamin D consumption has been established, the adequate intake for adults, under the age of 50, and children are believed to be around 200 units per day. Adults over 50 should increase consumption to 400 units per day for men and 600 units per day for women. Nutrient D is fundamental for the body to handle calcium and is along these lines a factor in forestalling osteoporosis and keeping up bone wellbeing. In any case, one of the well-known cod liver oil items contains 4000 to 5000 units of nutrient D per teaspoon, an excess consistently.
A tolerable upper limit for vitamin A has been established. The maximum amount of vitamin A that a 25-year-old man should consume per day is 10,000 IU. Women should consume less than half that amount. Women who are pregnant should avoid dietary supplements that contain vitamin A because of the risk of birth defects. While vitamin A is necessary for fetal development and overall good health, it is stored in the fat cells and there is a great risk of over-supplementation. Excess consumption of vitamin A is also believed to contribute to osteoporosis.
One of the well-known cod liver oil items contains 4000-5000 IU of nutrient A, per teaspoon. When added to the sum that might be available in other dietary enhancements, just as the food that an individual devours each day, it will put a great many people over the protected furthest breaking point for nutrient A. While the advantage of cod liver oil for providing fundamental omega 3s is known, it is obscure if abundance utilization of nutrient A will balance those impacts.
A better choice for vitamin A supplementation is beta carotene and other carotenoids. Present in the better daily dietary supplements, carotenoids are converted by the body to vitamin A on an as-needed basis and are not associated with the negative effects of “pre-formed” vitamin A. The only known side effect of excessive consumption of carotenoids is a yellowing of the skin, called carotenosis, which is not dangerous but may be undesirable.
Fish oil derived from the flesh of fish does not contain the vitamins A and D. Those vitamins are usually present in adequate amounts in daily multi-vitamins and fortified foods. Though extra vitamin D supplementation is often recommended for persons over the age of 50, it is not a benefit of cod liver oil and there are better choices for vitamin D supplementation.
From an environmental standpoint, over-harvesting of the codfish has led to the depletion of many populations. Farms affect the health of wild fish. The equipment used for harvesting damages the habitat of other water-dwelling life forms. Although there are cod liver oil benefits, these health benefits can be obtained from other sources that do not cause damage to our environment.
You can get the health benefits of cod liver oil by taking fish oil supplements derived from the flesh, rather than the liver of fish. To learn more, please visit the Fish Oil Guide.