Cod liver oil was once used primarily as an all around health tonic for children. Researchers now know that cod liver oil can benefit those suffering from arthritis. This natural, low cost remedy may be just what you need, if you’re one of the millions of people worldwide dealing with this painful and often crippling joint disease.
What Is Cod Liver Oil?
Cod liver oil is oil that is obtained from the liver of the cod fish. The oil is extracted by steaming the cod livers; the end result is golden oil that is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin D.
How Does Cod Liver Oil Help?
Cod liver oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help quell the inflammation of arthritis. It does this without the serious side effects of NSAID drugs. Numerous studies have shown that cod liver oil may help with the symptoms of arthritis. One study found that those who took cod liver oil were able to reduce their pain medication by 30 percent. Arthritis sufferers who take cod liver oil supplements often report a reduction in joint stiffness, swelling and fatigue.
Cod liver oil is thought to suppress the enzymes that are responsible for the destruction of cartilage in the joints. The use of cod liver oil may help with osteoarthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis and could slow or possibly reverse the progression of these diseases. Some feel that by taking cod liver oil, the need for joint replacement surgery could be delayed or avoided altogether.
What Does It Taste Like?
The taste of cod liver oil varies considerably with the quality and brand of the supplement. Some cod liver oil has a very unpleasant, fishy taste that makes it hard to swallow. Other oils are quite mild and sometimes flavored with lemon or mint. If you find that you can’t tolerate the taste of cod liver oil, try another brand or consider taking the gel capsules.
Cod liver oil should be purchased in tinted bottles and stored in a cool dry place. Once the oil is opened it is best stored in the refrigerator. Always purchase cod liver oil from a reputable source to ensure that it is fresh and free from contaminants.
Cod liver oil poses no serious side effects for healthy individuals. However, it can pose problems in certain situations. The oil is a natural blood thinner and may be contraindicated in those taking blood thinning medications. Cod liver oil may also lower blood pressure; those taking blood pressure medications may find that their blood pressure drops too low.
Another thing to keep in mind is that cod liver oil can be high in vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and should not be taken in excess. Make sure that the combination of supplements you are taking does not put you over the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A.
It is always best to consult with a health care professional before you start taking any new dietary supplements.