Does the word ‘Cod Liver Oil’ ring a bell ? And then bring a weird taste to memory. Yes, it was indeed a popular home remedy for a healthy brain development and strong bones. The health and healing benefits of this superfood are plenty, yet the popularity and consumption has declined in the recent decades.
Once a standard supplement in traditional European societies, cod liver oil provides fat-soluble vitamins A and D, which Dr. Weston Price, a research pioneer found was present in the diet of primitives in amounts ten times higher than the typical American diet of this day. There is hardly a disease in the books that does not respond well to treatment that includes cod liver oil, and not just infectious diseases but also chronic modern diseases like heart disease and cancer. Cod liver oil provides vitamin D that helps build strong bones in children and helps prevent osteoporosis in adults. The fatty acids in cod liver oil are also very important for the development of the brain and nervous system. “If you want to prevent learning disabilities in your children,” said David Horrobin, distinguished medical and biochemical researcher, “feed them cod liver oil.”
Cod liver oil contains more vitamin A and more vitamin D per unit weight than any other common food. One hundred grams of regular cod liver oil provides 100,000 IU of vitamin A, almost three times more than beef liver, the next richest source; and 10,000 IU vitamin D, almost four times more than lard, the next richest source. Of course, cod liver oil is only consumed in small amounts, but even a tablespoon (about 15 grams) provides well over the recommended daily allowance for both nutrients.
In addition, cod liveroil contains 7 percent each of the elongated omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. EPA is the precursor of important prostaglandins, localized tissue hormones that help the body deal with inflammation; and DHA is extremely important for the development and function of the brain and nervous system. So it’s no surprise that in numerous studies cod liver oil has proven to be a powerhouse in fighting disease.
Pregnant women using cod liver oil have infants with a lower risk for juvenile type 1 diabetes. This effect was found only in mothers taking cod liver oil, not in mothers taking multivitamin supplements. Cod liver oil taken by nursing mothers improves the fatty acid profile in breast milk to promote optimal brain development and also increases levels of vitamin A to prevent infections.
As for treating diabetes in adults, cod liver oil has been used in a number of trials with both insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. In both conditions cod liver oil improved glucose response and other markers of the disease. Vitamin A in cod liver oil helps promote healing and protects the retina, both problem areas in the diabetic patient. Cod liver oil has lowered blood pressure induced by stress-elevated levels of cortisol. Vitamin D in cod liver oil promotes absorption of calcium and magnesium, thereby lowering blood pressure.
Colitis responds more effectively to the type of omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil than to medication. Cod liver oil should be the first protocol for this condition as well as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Topically applied, cod liver oil contributes to faster wound healing and improvement in skin quality. An excellent treatment for diaper rash and other skin conditions is cod liver oil mixed with zinc oxide. And cod liver oil taken orally helps maintain soft skin and minimize wrinkles.
And what about cancer? All the nutrients in cod liver oil help prevent cancer. Vitamin A has been part of every successful alternative cancer therapy so far. In a study in China, use of cod liver oil was found to be protective against childhood leukemia. In a study of Norwegian men and women, consumption of cod liver oil was found to protect against lung cancer.
With that being said, the modern society should reconsider and revisit their health choices to ensure that amidst the busy 40 hour schedule, we do not overlook the importance of a healthy life. Afterall, “Health is Wealth”.