Cod liver oil is the essential oil extracted from the livers of Atlantic cod.
Proven track record
The medical use of cod liver oil has been dated as far back as 1789, documentation reveals it was used by Manchester Infirmary to treat rheumatism and then in 1824 used as remedy against rickets (a condition caused by Vitamin D deficiency). Since then science has isolated cod liver oil as a valuable source of fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and of as one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids (in particular EPA and DHA).
Good for the joints
Scientists based in Cardiff reported that cod liver oil could help people suffering from osteoarthritis. Research found enzymes responsible for destroying cartilage in arthritis were 'turned off' in the presence of omega-3 fatty acids (the main component of cod liver oil).
Good for mood
Cold liver oil contains two types of omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA. Researchers from the University of Illinois in Chicago have confirmed that these omega-3 fatty acids exhibit powerful antidepressant and brain boosting benefits. They have found that taking either EPA alone or EPA and DHA together helps to alleviate depression symptoms. In a previous study the same researchers found women deficient in omega-3s while pregnant were more prone to depression during and after their pregnancy.
Good for the skin and hair
The omegas bolster the skin's barrier function, improving texture and may provide protection from the damaging effects of UV.
As well as high levels of omega-3's cod liver oil also contains copious amounts of vitamin A and D - known to promote general health. Providing nourishment to hair follicles encourages hair growth as well as distribution of the vitamins down the length of the hair shaft. This helps to give the hair a healthier appearance and makes it stronger, protecting it from damage.
Good for immunity
Cod liver oil is also a fantastic source of Vitamin D, research has found it plays a significant role in improving immunity - to be more specific it has been shown to trigger and arms the body's T cells. These are the cells in the body that seek out and destroy any invading bacteria and viruses.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.