The health benefits of cod liver oil
Cod liver oil, as its name suggests, is oil extracted from the liver of cod. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. You can also get omega-3 from eating things such as tuna, herring and mackerel and by taking a supplement such as Seven Seas Simply Timeless Cod Liver Oil.
As well as omega-3, cod liver oil is also a great source of important nutrients including vitamin D. These important nutrients play a crucial role in supporting your body’s maintenance of normal heart function, the maintenance of normal bone and muscle function and contribute to the normal function of the immune system.
Omega-3 fats are essential fatty acids. Two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Your body can’t make them and they must be obtained from the diet or other external sources - which is why both adults and children should aim to consume two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. Additionally you can also benefit from regular supplementation with a cod liver oil food supplement.
Omega-3 supplements may be unsuitable for people with certain conditions and medication.
If you are worried and thinking of taking an omega-3 supplement please consult a healthcare professional first.
Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of phosphate and calcium in the body which is crucial to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to rickets (bone deformities) in children, and bone pain and tenderness resulting in a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
Vitamin D is made by our bodies in reaction to sunlight on our skin. Most of us should be able to get vitamin D from sunlight from late March/April to the end of September. However, between October and early March we don’t get any vitamin D from sunlight.
How much do I need?
In a change to previous advice, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition is now recommending a Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) for vitamin D of 10 μg/d (400 IU/d), throughout the year, for everyone in the general UK population aged 4 years and above.
The RNI of 10 μg/d (400 IU/d) for the general UK population includes pregnant and lactating women and population groups at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Since there were insufficient data to set RNIs for children aged under 4 years of age, safe Intakes are being recommended for this age group (8.5-10 μg/340-400 IU per day for all infants aged under 1 year of age and 10 μg/400 IU per day for infants aged 1 year up to 4 years).
If you are concerned please speak with a healthcare professional.
Cod liver oil can be bought in most food retailers, health stores and pharmacies.