If you’re looking for nutrient-rich source of vitamins and fatty acids to help keep you healthy, then look no further than cod liver oil
Best used in daily doses, it’s little wonder that so many people are using these supplements as part of their routine.
However, if you’ve never taken it before, you may want to know a little bit more information on the science behind it and its benefits first.
What are the nutritional benefits of cod liver oil?
Cod liver oil, in case you haven’t guessed, is a type of oil that comes from the liver of a cod. It’s high in unsaturated fatty acids and various vital vitamins – like vitamin A and vitamin D – which our bodies require to function properly. Research shows that there are many benefits to taking cod liver oil supplements, including:
- Relieving joint pain in those who suffer from arthritis or similar conditions
- Speeding up the natural healing process when you’re injured or recovering from an infection
- Helping maintain strong and healthy bones due to the presence of vitamin D
- Improving eye health by reducing inflammation thanks to high amounts of vitamin A
- Boosting brain function and memory skills
- Reducing your chances of developing heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
Most of these advantages are down to the fact cod liver oil contains omega-3 – a type of fatty acid that’s proven to be a fantastic anti-inflammatory.
What is omega-3 and why is it good for you?
As we’ve mentioned, omega-3 is a form of unsaturated fat that’s typically sourced from oily fish. Along with omega-6 – another essential fat found in things like vegetables, dairy and seeds – omega-3 is one of the main forms of fat we need to stay healthy.
There are two types of omega-3 (DHA and EPA) found in fish, both of which have amazing health benefits like those listed above. While most people should get enough omega-3 fatty acids through their diet, non-fish eaters may struggle to consume the right amounts. That’s where cod liver oil supplements come in.
Cod liver oil capsules vs liquid
If you’re keen to make cod liver oil one of your regular supplements, you’ll find it comes in both capsule and liquid form. What’s the difference, you might ask? In general, cod liver oil in liquid form is more popular as it’s easy to swallow. However, if you can’t stand the taste of fish, you might prefer the soft cod liver oil capsules instead.
Both forms will come in different strengths to suit your needs. Some may even be enhanced with other ingredients such as evening primrose oil or multivitamins.
If you’ve opted for a liquid cod liver oil, make sure you store it in a cool, dry place and not in direct sunlight to prevent it from spoiling.
Cod liver oil side effects
If taken correctly and in the right dosage for you, you shouldn’t experience any side effects from cod liver oil.
As omega-3 can affect your blood pressure, it’s always best to consult your doctor first if you have a heart condition or are taking medications such as blood thinners or aspirin.
What is the right dosage?
You’ll find the recommended dosage on the back of your chosen cod liver oil supplement.
Remember that supplements should always be taken alongside a healthy and balanced diet and never be a substitute for food. Ideally, you should be eating at least two portions of oily fish per week. If you’re not a fish eater, you have a medical condition or you’re pregnant, we recommend chatting to a healthcare professional before you start taking cod liver oil.
Last updated: 19 March 2020