Cod liver oil is one of the oldest health supplements known to humankind. As long as 2,000 years ago, Roman soldiers posted in Britain were given cod liver oil as a food to help them deal with long, dark, cold winters.
What is cod liver oil? As the name suggests, cod liver oil is the fat expressed from or fermented from cod livers. The oil can be extracted by heat, or by fermentation.
Cod liver oil was the primary tool for fighting rickets in the first half of the twentieth century, and millions of Scandinavians still take it every morning all year around. But why should cod liver oil be on anyone's shopping list in the modern world? Here are 10 reasons.
- Cod liver oil provides all the omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fish oil and more.
- Cod liver oil doesn't have to taste bad.
- Cod liver oil doesn't cause fishy burps.
- Cod liver oil fights children's ear infections.
- Cod liver oil may prevent childhood diabetes.
- Cod liver oil may prevent cancer.
- Good quality cod liver oil is easy to spot. Good quality cod liver oil is thin, yellowish, and only mildly fishy in taste. When cherry, lemon, lime, orange, or mint essence is added to the oil, it may have no fishy taste at all.
Cod liver oil is rich in vitamins A and D, two vitamins that are in short supply for people who have to deal with long winters. It is also rich in lycopene and astaxanthin, and fermented cod liver oil contains natural coenzyme-Q10.
Cod liver oil straight up tastes a little like liquid sardines. Bottled cod liver oil comes in lemon and cherry flavors, and Nordic Naturals makes cod liver oil capsules with chocolate, lemon, lime, and chrry flavoring.
If you belch or burp after taking any kind of fish oil, the problem isn't the fish oil. The problem is "marine liquids" that get into the product during processing. Modern cod liver oil doesn't cause digestive upset unless you take way too much-more than about 3 tablespoons (45 ml) a day.
An advantage of giving cod liver oil to kids is fewer ear infections. The omega-3 essential fatty acids in cod liver oil stop inflammation, and this keeps bacteria from getting trapped in the ear canal.
A Norwegian study found that women who take cod liver oil every day while breastfeeding have children at lower risk for type 1 diabetes in childhood.
A Norwegian study found that women who took cod liver oil had 25 per cent lower rates of cancer in general, and 40 per cent lower rates of lung cancer.
If cod liver oil looks gross or tastes bad, it's spoiled. Nobody should have grimace while taking cod liver oil. And taking cod liver oil is an easy and inexpensive way to get all your omega-3's and more.