Norwegian cod liver oil is a type of fish oil extracted from the livers of the Norwegian cod, a fish that lives in the North Atlantic Sea, off the coast of Norway. This particular cod species produces an oil high in vitamins A and D, so the oils extracted from their livers are generally high in nutritional value. The vitamins in Norwegian cod liver oil can support immune function, vision, blood sugar regulation, bone health, and hormonal regulation. Norwegian cod liver oil also typically contains the omega-3 fatty acids found in many types of fish oil. These can support brain function, improve mood and prevent cardiovascular disease.
While cod liver oil may not contain as many omega-3 fatty acids as other fish oils, its vitamins and fats can make it a valuable nutritional supplement. While the benefits of cod liver oil have yet to be definitively proven, research suggests that Norwegian cod liver oil can help reduce inflammation, fight heart disease, and stabilize or even reverse diabetes. EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in cod liver and other fish liver oils, may help significantly reduce inflammation in the body. Research into using cod liver oil to manage the symptoms of arthritis suggests that regular use of cod liver oil supplements can help reduce joint inflammation, relieve joint pain and support joint health.
Many experts believe that cod liver oil and other fish oils can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Norwegian cod liver oil's anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce arterial inflammation to support cardiovascular health. It may also help prevent stress-related increases in blood pressure.
Researchers believe that vitamin D, normally found in high concentrations in Norwegian cod liver oil, can help to improve insulin function to control diabetes. Some believe that cod liver oil supplements can prevent type 1 diabetes in children, and others feel that regular use of cod liver oil can help type 2 diabetics manage or even reverse their conditions. The vitamin A in cod liver oil can support vision and speed healing of wounds, which is of particular concern to diabetics, since diabetes can increase the risk of eye disease and contribute to slow healing or non-healing of wounds.
While cod liver oil can be obtained from any species of cod, Norwegian cod are considered the best, since their livers contain the highest amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D. Cod liver oil contains low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, compared to the levels often found in other fish oils. Those wishing to benefit from omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may wish to consider using another type of fish oil supplement.