Cod Liver Oil – Back to the Future


Cod liver oil (Gadus morhua [Linnaeus, 1758]) is a revered 8th century natural medicine that strengthens the body, relieves joint pain and treats skin problems. Cod liver oil’s reputation continued into the 21st century, and is experiencing a resurgence of interest within the scientific community (R. D. Semba, 2012). Several reasons for this renewal may be linked to cod liver oil’s unique constituent profile which affords meaningful levels of naturally occurring vitamins A (retinol), D3 (cholecalciferol), and the family of essential long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Cod liver oil’s composition can prevent multiple micronutrient deficiencies consistent with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals 2015 and Beyond. Additionally, consuming cod liver oil offers a safe and cost-effective way to ingest the nutritional benefits of seafood necessary to meet physical requirements for optimal health. Increasing the dietary status of vitamin D alone in Western Europe has been estimated to alleviate the economic burden of disease by $293 billion per year (Bengtson Nash, Schlabach, & Nichols, 2014). We find ourselves going back to the future to revisit the health benefits of this remarkable fish oil driven by economic and food resource pressures..
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