Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins in Norwegian cod liver oil help improve your health in several ways. This article highlights the benefits and side effects of using the same.
Cod fish are abundant in pure waters of the Atlantic ocean around Norway. Norway is the leading producer and exporter of cod liver oil. This oil is a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. It is packed with vitamins A and D. The oil produced by Carlson laboratories is gluten-free. It is fresh and is flavored with lemon. Liquid form is available for kids, while soft gels are available for adults.
1 cup (approximately 218 g) cod liver oil contains:
|Name of the Nutrient||Quantity|
|Calories from fat||1967|
|Saturated fat||49 g|
|Monounsaturated fat||102 g|
|Polyunsaturated fat||49.1 g|
|Total fat||218 g|
|Omega-3 fatty acids||43024 mg|
|Omega-6 fatty acids||2038 mg|
|Vitamin A||218029 IU|
|Vitamin D||21803 IU|
Traditionally, the oil was used to prevent rickets in children. Following are other health benefits:
Arthritis: The oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It contains EPA, which is helpful in preventing joint pain due to arthritis or other diseases.
Muscles and bones: Deficiency of vitamin D causes pain in the muscles and bones. As this oil is a good source of vitamin D, its regular intake can help overcome this deficiency. The oil helps strengthen the bones, as it promotes the process of absorption of calcium in the body.
Skin and Wounds: A mixture of cod liver oil and zinc oxide helps cure diaper rash and sunburn. Regular intake of this oil helps keep the skin smooth and supple. The oil also promotes fast healing of wounds.
Heart: A regular intake of cod liver oil improves the functionality of the heart, even after a heart surgery or a heart attack. This is because, the omega-3 fatty acids line the arteries after damage and improve the healing process.
Though the oil is beneficial for health, it should not be taken in large amounts. An overdose of this oil can result in side effects.
People living in sunny areas, or those spending a lot of time outdoors in sunny climates may suffer from ‘vitamin D toxicity’, if they take supplements of this oil, regularly. Some brands offer 5,000 IU of vitamin D per teaspoon. Similarly, high doses of vitamin A can result in birth defects and fragile bones.
Some people may experience abdominal cramps or diarrhea after taking supplements of this oil. Other side effects are nausea, vomiting, bloating, flatulence, constipation, bleeding from the nose and/or gums, etc. Headaches, bruises, yellowish skin and eyes, blurred vision, fatigue and tiredness indicates an overdose of the oil. Swelling of the skin or skin rashes, tightness in the chest, and breathing difficulty are experienced by some. The liver of the cod fish, from which the oil is derived, may contain harmful toxins like mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Besides, the oil is rich in saturated fat and cholesterol. So, limited intake of the oil is recommended.
Being high in calories, the oil can lead to weight gain. People diagnosed with bleeding disorders and diabetes, should take the oil capsules cautiously, as they can affect their health adversely. Nursing mothers or pregnant women should consult their doctors before consuming any of the supplements of cod liver oil. To avoid severe side effects, it is better to consult a physician for recommended dosage.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.