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9 Health Benefits of Cod Liver Oil

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By Ryan Raman

Cod liver oil is a type of fish oil supplement.

Like regular fish oil, it's high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to many health benefits, including reduced inflammation and lower blood pressure (1, 2).


It also contains vitamins A and D, both of which provide many other health benefits.

Here are nine scientifically supported benefits of cod liver oil.

1. High in Vitamins A and D

Most cod liver oil is extracted from the liver of Atlantic cod.

Cod liver oil has been used for centuries to relieve joint pain and treat rickets, a disease that causes fragile bones in children (3).

Although cod liver oil is a fish oil supplement, it's quite different than regular fish oil.

Regular fish oil is extracted from the tissue of oily fish like tuna, herring, anchovies and mackerel, while cod liver oil is extracted from the livers of cod.

The liver is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D, which give it an impressive nutrient profile.

One teaspoon (5 ml) of cod liver oil provides the following (4):

  • Calories: 40
  • Fat: 4.5 grams
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 890 mg
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.1 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1 gram
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1 gram
  • Vitamin A: 90 percent of the RDI
  • Vitamin D: 113 percent of the RDI

Cod liver oil is incredibly nutritious, with a single teaspoon providing 90% of your daily requirements for vitamin A and 113 percent of your daily requirements for vitamin D.

Vitamin A has many roles in the body, including maintaining healthy eyes, brain function and skin (5, 6).

Cod liver oil is also one of the best food sources of vitamin D, which has an important role in maintaining healthy bones by regulating calcium absorption (7).

Summary: Cod liver oil is very nutritious and provides nearly all of your daily requirements for vitamins A and D.

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