Extracted from the liver of the fish Gadidae or cod, cod liver oil serves as an effective dietary supplement containing vitamin A and D and omega 3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). It has been used for ages to fight rickets in children and also because of its omega 3 fatty acid content, it is considered good for post heart attack secondary treatment. It also has positive effects on psoriasis.  In northern parts of Europe, cod liver oil has been used for long for boosting immunity and for joint pain, rheumatism and muscular stiffness.
One can orally take cod liver oil by consuming fresh liver of the cod fish or take supplements that are available over the counter. The oil can be added to your smoothies, juices, sauces, lemon water, almond butter or yogurt to camouflage the typical odor and taste. A teaspoon of the oil supplies you with 4.5 grams of fat i.e. a combination of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as 41 calories. While purchasing cod liver oil you have to look for a reputed brand, especially go for the one that has astaxanthin, an antioxidant that averts oxidation of the oil. Fermented cod liver oil is also good as the process enhances the bioavailability of the nutrients. The appropriate dosage of cod liver oil can vary from person to person but in general an average person can take up to 500 milligrams of EPA/DHA a day. 
11 Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil
The following are the benefits of COD Liver Oil:
- 11 Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil
- Enhances Functioning Of Brain
- Supplies Vitamin A To Our Body
- Good Source Of Vitamin D
- Provides Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Can Curtail Heart Disease
- Could Be Beneficial For Infant Growth And Adult Reproductive Health
- May Reduce Cancer Risks
- Can Be Used For Ulcers
- Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis And Bone Health
- Beneficial For Our Eyes
- 11 Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil
1. Enhances Functioning Of Brain
Presence of vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acid in cod liver oil makes it beneficial for curbing the symptoms of depression. A study revealed that when cod liver oil was taken regularly by the general population, the omega 3 fatty acids worked to better the consequences of anxiety and depression. In Norway, a health study focused on 21, 835 adults for two years and found that those who took cod liver oil daily had 2.5 percent prevalence of symptoms of depression. It was 3.8% in those who didn’t. As the time period of cod liver oil usage increased the occurrence of depressive symptoms further decreased. Cod liver oil by virtue of its constituents, especially omega 3 fatty acids can avert deterioration of our cognitive functions and may reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Supplies Vitamin A To Our Body
You can get almost ninety percent of your recommended allowance of your vitamin A daily from a teaspoon of cod liver oil. This is beneficial for reducing the inflammatory levels in our body as vitamin A brings down cellular oxidative stress. It promotes eye health, is required for synthesis of hormones, is good for brain and bone health, promotes normal functioning of ovaries and testicles and also has anti-cancer potentials. You have to take care that the cod liver oil supplement is of good quality which does not have synthetic vitamin A that is difficult to absorb by the body.
3. Good Source Of Vitamin D
This vitamin is required by our body for effective functioning of our neurotransmitters, inflammatory response and cardiovascular system. It promotes normal metabolism of bones and is needed for effective cellular functioning. The skin naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. But lack of regular exposure to sunlight and not eating foods rich in vitamin D has made vitamin D deficiency pandemic amongst children and adults. Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in children and in adults it can cause osteoporosis, osteopenia, high blood pressure, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, mental illness etc. Cod liver oil along with appropriate exposure to sunlight can reduce the risks of cancer.
4. Provides Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Cod liver oil is considered to be the richest source of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, the two omega 3 fatty acids. The anti-inflammatory effects of these omega-3 fatty acids are good for our heart, arthritis and mental health. Studies have proven that omega 3 fatty acid based supplements are good for fighting inflammation and autoimmune diseases, reducing risk of cancer, promoting bone health, enhancing quality of sleep, curbing pain during menstruation, macular degeneration and promoting growth and development of children. Excessive consumption of fried foods made in refined vegetable oils as well as processed food increases the omega 6 fatty acid levels in our body. The ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats should be 2:1. So, cod liver oil supplementation is beneficial in helping you maintain the ideal fatty acid ratio required for better health.
5. Beneficial For Diabetes
Cod liver oil is said to have the potential of curbing inflammation, inhibiting insulin resistance, regulating sugar levels and decreasing the risk of diabetes associated complications like kidney problems. A study done on diabetic rats revealed that when they were given supplemental cod liver oil for 3 months there was improvement in their condition. Before the treatment began, the rats had high blood cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels. The cod liver oil supplements worked on biochemical markers associated with metabolic syndrome, averted endothelial deficiency, managed weight gain, controlled insulin related sensitivity and inhibited abnormalities related to plasma lipid. The chances of developing diabetes can be curtailed by taking cod liver oil supplements during pregnancy and cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements during first year of an infant’s life.
6. Can Curtail Heart Disease
Cod liver oil as it is or its supplement is good for our heart as it can lower the levels of triglycerides, which is a risk factor for diseases of heart. It also keeps a check on our cholesterol levels and blood pressure both of which are linked to heart issues. Animal as well as human studies have depicted that cod liver oil omega 3 fatty acid may avert hardening of arteries or atherosclerosis and the complications associated with it. People suffering from hypertriglyceridemia can benefit by taking cod liver oil all alone or along with statin drugs.
7. Could Be Beneficial For Infant Growth And Adult Reproductive Health
A study revealed that women who took cod liver oil during pregnancy and lactation had children who at age four scored better at intelligent tests than those born to women who consumed corn oil.  Cod liver oil supplies you with ample omega 3 fatty acid which is required during pregnancy as well as for our reproductive health. Cod liver oil fats are precursors to eicosanoids that not only take part in anti-inflammatory process but are also needed for fertility, menstrual cycle and hormone related functions. It is required for bringing about improvement in conditions like preeclampsia, cramps related to menstruation, premature birth, improper ovulation, depression after delivery, infant brain development during nursing, menopause, poor sperm count and motility, and breast cancer.
8. May Reduce Cancer Risks
Cod liver oil and sunlight supply us with abundant vitamin D which is linked to reducing risks of developing cancer. A study revealed how the vitamin D obtained from these two sources can probably avert breast cancer owing to antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects on the breast cancer cells, thereby decreasing tumors of mammary glands.  A cohort study done on Norwegian cancer patients revealed that when cod liver oil was taken daily throughout the year by patients with solid tumor and those with lung cancer, their risk of death decreased. 
9. Can Be Used For Ulcers
In a study done on patients of diabetes mellitus with ulcers on their feet, cod liver oil was applied topically. Routine caring of feet along with topical cod liver oil application was done on 21 patients with lesions which preexisted from one week to 136 weeks. Complete healing took place with cod liver oil application in 21 patients in an average of 10.1 weeks. Before this treatment, 24 weeks was the average time taken for the ulcers to heal.  A study was done on rats to analyze the effect of cod liver oil on duodenal and gastric ulcers that were induced experimentally. Cod liver oil was given in the doses of 0.5 gram per kg, p.o. and 1 gram per kg, p.o. Both the doses brought about healing though the higher one was more effective. 
10. Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis And Bone Health
An autoimmune, inflammatory and chronic disease of joints, rheumatoid arthritis, affects more women than men. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to reduce the pain stemming from rheumatoid arthritis. But their long term use is associated with several side effects related to our cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. So, a study was conducted to analyze whether cod liver oil given along with NSAID could reduce its daily dosage and therefore have an impact on side effects as well. In a 6 month study, patients in the age group of 19 to 60 years were given 5 capsules of cod liver oil two times a day. The capsules having 300 mg of cod liver oil were given along with Diclofenac Sodium 50 mg tablet daily, up to 200 mg. It was concluded that simultaneous usage of cod liver oil helped bring down the average daily dosage of Diclofenac Sodium required by the patients and therefore probably impacted the subsequent side effects.  Studies have also shown that cod liver oil supplements taken along with a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium has the potential of enhancing bone strength in children and lowering loss of bone mass in adults. As cod liver oil is a source of vitamin D which is required by our bones, its supplementation is especially beneficial for people living away from equator. They are devoid of enough sunlight for vitamin D synthesis for around six months. 
11. Beneficial For Our Eyes
Age related macular degeneration and glaucoma lead to loss of vision and often these may stem from persistent inflammation. Cod liver oil by virtue of its constituent vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acid can offer anti inflammatory protection to your eyes. Animal studies have depicted that omega 3 fatty acids can curb nerve damage and eye pressure, the risk factors of glaucoma. Another study linked omega 3 fatty acid consumption with 41% reduced risk of later AMD and 17% reduced risk of earlier AMD. Similarly, vitamin A is also linked to reducing the risk of the two eye conditions. 
Dosage Of Cod Liver Oil
For oral consumption, the following is advised:
- To Reduce High Cholesterol: You need to consume 30 ml of cod liver oil daily.
- Blood Pressure: 20 ml of cod liver oil needs to be taken daily for reducing blood pressure.
- Triglyceride Levels: You need to consume 20 ml of cod liver oil a day to bring down your high triglyceride levels.
Precautions Associated With Cod Liver Oil
The following are the precautions associated with Cod Liver Oil
- Taken in normal doses it is usually safe for children and adults. It may cause bad breath, nausea, loose motions, belching etc. but if you consume it along with your meals you can prove beneficial for these issues.
- However, in high doses, cod liver oil may interfere with normal blood clotting and enhance bleeding. High doses may also increase the levels of vitamin A and vitamin D unnecessarily.
- Pregnant and lactating mothers: These women should dose their cod liver oil supplements in a way that they do not consume more than 100 mcg of vitamin D and 3000 mcg of vitamin A.
- Blood pressure: If taken along with medicines to control high blood pressure, cod liver oil may lower your blood pressure too much. So, you have to be careful.
- Might interact with antiplatelet drugs: If you are taking antiplatelet drugs you have to be careful about taking cod liver oil as both of them together can lead to easy bleeding and bruising. Some of these medicines are ibuprofen, aspirin, diclofenac, naproxen, warfarin etc.