Omega-3, Vitamin A/D are essential acids and vitamins. Let us compare the advantages and health benefits of Fish oil and Cod Liver oil.
The modern western diet is highly deficient in Omega-3 Polyunsaturated acids. This is due to a wide variety of reasons. Cattle, for example, were grass fed for centuries until it was discovered that feeding them grain both made them larger and practically quadrupled their milk production.
While this greatly enhanced the profits of cattle and dairy farmers, it changed a fundamental aspect of the food chain; meat processed from grain fed cattle contains practically no Omega-3’s.
As such, unless you can afford special grass-fed beef or organic, free-range meat and poultry, chances are you must turn to fish for your Omega-3 intake. Unfortunately, eating too much Omega-3 fish can result in mercury poisoning. This is because fish high enough on the food chain to be rich in Omega-3’s generally absorb a significant amount of mercury whilst feeding, also. Given this, it can be quite dangerous to eat wild salmon or tuna every day of the week.
What is the average American to do? The most convenient answer would be to supplement with fish oil capsules daily. These capsules, which can also come in liquid form, provide the daily recommended dose of Omega-3’s and are derived directly from fish such as salmon, tuna, or cod. Additionally, they are molecularly distilled to ensure a specific level of purity. Some brands are purer than others, and the specific dosage of each can still vary.
Fish Oil Benefits and Vitamins
Fish oil contains the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body and possess a wide variety of health benefits. Clinical studies have suggested that they can help treat everything from clinical depression and anxiety to heart disease.
When shopping for fish oil, ensure that a good proportion of the active ingredients is EPA/DHA. Some lower quality products will claim “3g of Fish Oil” but only a small proportion may actually be EPA or DHA. Generally, there should be more EPA than DHA.
Cod Liver Oil Benefits and Vitamins
Cod Liver Oil is quite similar to fish oil with a few significant differences. Unlike simple Fish Oil, Cod Liver Oil contains a considerable amount of Vitamins A and D. Vitamin D is excellent for bone health, especially for those living in northern regions with limited exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin A helps the body’s immune system fight off infection, regulates the genes to ensure proper function, and aids in night vision. Some Cod Liver Oil supplements, however, may contain extremely high levels of Vitamin A and should be approached carefully, especially by women who are pregnant or lactating. Overexposure to Vitamin A is a toxic condition that should be monitored carefully.
As more research is conducted, the benefits of supplementation with Fish Oil or Cod Liver Oil are multiplying exponentially. As a consequence of the demand this produces, many sub-par brands have surfaced. As always, before you begin regularly supplementing with anything, check with your doctor first and do all of the necessary research to ensure good health down the road.