Cod liver oil is an oil extracted from cod livers. It was once a popular nutrititonal supplement for children, as it the
cooked livers to extract the oil, while, fish oils are extracted from the cooked whole body tissues of fatty fish. Though
cod liver oil and fish oils are similar, cod liver oil contains much  more vitamins A and D per unit weight than regular
fish oil. A high quality cod liver oil is pale-yellow, thin, oily liquid with fishy taste.

Cod liver oil is a drug as well as food since it is recognized in the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). According to
USP XXII, cod liver oil is the partially destearinated fixed oil obtained from fresh livers of Gadus morrhua Linne and
other species of Fam. Gadidae. Cod liver oil cotains, in each g, not less than 255 ug of vitamin A and not less than
2.125 ug of vitamin D. Cod liver oil may be flavored by the addition of less than 1% of a suitable flavor or a mixture
of flavors.
Cod liver oil benefits on arthritis has been demonstrated in several studies. Maternal intake of cod liver oil early in
pregnancy was associated with a higher birthweight. Higher birthweight always indicates a lower risk of diseases
later in life. The amount of vitamin D activity in a teaspoon of cod liver oil was sufficient to prevent rickets in infants.
In a study, cod liver oil together with multivitamin-mineral and selenium was effective in chronic/recurrent sinusitis
(children). A study of 545 childhood-onset type 1 diabetes and 1668 population control subjects in Norway shows
the use of cod liver oil in the first year of life associated with a significantly lower risk of type 1 diabetes.

Vitamin D was reported to help ward off many types of
cancer. Lipid disorders and increased oxidative stress may
exacerbate some complications of diabetes mellitus. Some ingredients in cod liver oil such as antioxidants, PUFAs,
EPA and DHA may help protect the cells from the destructive effect of increased lipids and lipid peroxidation
products. Combination of vitamin D and calcium may prevent fragility fracture in elderly. Study of 4490 cases from
the Norwegian Health Survery demonstrated that people with mucoloskeletal pain experienced less pain if they took
cod liver oil. [16] [For details:
Cod Liver Oil Benefits]
A study shows that high doses of cod liver oil may increase blood pressure? This can be a serious cod liver oil side
effect. Otherwise, cod liver oil is safe at recommended doses. Cod liver oil is well-tolerated in most studies, only a
few cases show mild cod liver oil side effects [1]. Never exceed the daily recommended doses, it is because vitamins
A and D are fat-soluble. Intake of large amounts of vitamins A and D may lead to toxic levels. Further, overcooked
cod liver oil (and salmon oil as well) may lead to serious toxic side effects - toxic malonaldehyde, glyoxal and
methylglyoxal produced when these oils are heated at 60 degrees C for 7 days, 200 deg. C for 1h. Salmon and cod
liver oils produced more these chemicals than vegetable oils did, probably, salmon and cod liver oils contain more
long chain PUFA such as EPA and DHA.[2]

Side effects of cod liver oil can be serious, especially compared with NSAIDs. Cod liver oil has been demonstrated to
have blood pressure lowering activities in animal studies. [X1] Further, researchers found an increase in the
bleeding time and a decrease in platelet aggregation after supplementing 8 subjects with 40 ml/day of cod liver oil
for 25 days. [X2] A 3 month-study shows there is no change in blood pressure when aspirin was given on
awakening, but a high significant blood pressure reduction in the patients who received aspirin before bedtime. [X3]
Both cod liver oil and aspirin have blood pressure-lowering effects, users must watch out if they take both products

Another serious side effect can be related to gastric erosion. Studies have demonstrated that non-steroidal anti-
inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) including aspirin can significantly damage the gastroduodenal mucosa. [X4, X5] A
study has shown that a diet rich in fish oil (includin cod liver oil) could alter the balance between n-6 and n-3 fatty
acids in major gastric mucosal phospholipids, markedly reduced the availability of 20:4n-6, and increased the
incidence of gastric erosions induced by restriction or emotional stress. [X6] Because cod liver oil and aspirin both
may cause undesired side effects of gastric disturbance, some healthcare specialists do not suggest to take fish oil
and aspirin together.

Another unwanted side effects for certain people of intake cod liver oil may be asthma. Cod liver oil contains vitamin
D, but also contains other fat-soluble components such as vitamin A. Before 1999, the cod liver oil formula in Norway
contained a high concentration of vitamin A. High vitamin A status is associated with increased risks of several
chronic diseases. Of the 17 528 subjects, 18% (n=3076) consumed cod liver oil daily for ≥ 1 month over the past
year. Cod liver oil intake was significantly associated with incident asthma. [Mai XM et al, Cod liver oil intake and
incidence of asthma in Norwegian adults--the HUNT study. Thorax. 2013 Jan;68(1):25-30]

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cod liver oil benefits   cod liver oil Vs fish oil         November 05, 2011                     
Cod liver oil side effects are many
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