Cod liver oil, as the name suggests, is a nutritional supplement that was originally made from the liver of cod fish. But, in modern times, most cod liver oil is made by cooking the entire fish. The health value of cod liver oil is similar to that of fish oil. It contains tremendous amount of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Cod liver oil is also concentrated with vitamins A and D, which fish oil does not provide. The omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins have been proven effective in the prevention and treatment cardiovascular disorders, neurological degeneration and retinoid diseases. Since diabetics have a higher than normal risk for strokes and heart attacks, nervous system damage, cataracts and blindness, it is especially beneficial for them to take an extra daily supplement of cod liver oil.
Promotes Better Circulation
If you have diabetes, it is extremely important for you to keep your blood pressure down. High blood pressure does serious damage to your already impaired kidney functions, and can put you at high risk of total kidney failure. Your heart is also weaker than normal if you have diabetes. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for you to maintain a healthy circulatory system.
The omega-3s in cod liver oil is highly effective in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. These good fats accelerate the removal of your low density lipoproteins (LDL) and prevent plaque formation. DHA is also known for raising the number of high density lipoproteins (HDL) in your blood. HDL helps to clean out cholesterol deposits and toxins and protects your blood vessel from these damaging agents. Vitamins A and D also has antioxidant functions. The combined effort of these nutrients gives you better circulation and stronger blood vessels so that you can be safe from strokes and heart attacks.
There is one precaution you should take. Though taking cod liver oil supplement during pregnancy can reduce the risk of type I diabetes and promote better brain development in newborns, you should not do so if you have diabetes. Cod liver oil can raise the risk of gestational hypertension fivefold. This may not be such a problem for healthy mothers, but if you have diabetes, it can lead to severe and irreversible complications.
Prevents Neurological Disorders
Diabetic neuropathy is common complication associated with diabetes. Diabetes causes microvascular damage to the small capillaries that supple blood and oxygen to the nerves. As a result of the damage, nerve cells do not receive enough nutrients and oxygen to function correctly, leading to symptoms such as numbness and tingling of extremities, loss of sensation and eyesight, dizziness and speech difficulties. If the injured blood vessels are near your central nervous system, it can cause debilitating brain and nerve damage. DHA and EPA are renounced for protecting blood vessel lining and nerve cells from damaging factors. Taking DHA and EPA can significantly reduce your risk of hemorrhage, depression, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Protects Your Eyes
The number one cause of legal blindness in the U.S. is diabetes. Diabetes-induced capillary damage inhibits nutrient supply to the tissues and nerves of your eyes, especially near the retina. Taking cod liver oil supplement can prevent these damages and the extra dose of vitamin A in the oil can provide further nourishment for your retina (and can help prevent macular degeneration and other optic diseases).