COD LIVER OIL

OTHER NAME(S):

Aceite de Higado de Bacalao, Acides Gras Oméga 3, Acides Gras N-3, Acides Gras Polyinsaturés, Cod Oil, Fish Liver Oil, Fish Oil, Halibut Liver Oil, Huile de Foie, Huile de Foie de Flétan, Huile de Foie de Morue, Huile de Foie de Poisson, Huile de Morue, Huile de Poisson, Liver Oil, N-3 Fatty Acids, Omega 3, Oméga 3, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Omega-3, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Cod liver oil can be obtained from eating fresh cod liver or by taking supplements.

Cod liver oil is used for high cholesterol, high triglycerides, kidney disease in people with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoarthritis, depression, an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), glaucoma, and middle ear infections (otitis media).

Some people put cod liver oil on their skin to speed wound healing.

When taken in appropriate doses by mouth, cod liver oil seems to help lower high triglycerides (a type of blood fat), lower high blood pressure, and treat some symptoms of kidney disease related to diabetes. It doesn’t seem to lower high cholesterol or reduce arthritis pain. Other uses are still under investigation.

How does it work?

Cod liver oil contains certain "fatty acids" that prevent the blood from clotting easily. These fatty acids also reduce pain and swelling.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Likely Effective for

  • Lowering blood fats called triglycerides. Taking cod liver oil by mouth can reduce triglyceride levels by 20% to 50% in people with high triglyceride levels.

Possibly Effective for

  • High blood pressure. Taking cod liver oil by mouth seems to lower blood pressure (both numbers) a small, but important, amount in people with mild high blood pressure.
  • Kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes. Taking cod liver oil seems to reduce protein in the urine, a marker for kidney disease severity.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Cholesterol disease that runs in families (familial hypercholesterolemia).

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Depression. There is some evidence that people who take cod liver oil have fewer symptoms of depression than other people.
  • Irregular heartbeat in people with heart disease. There is some early evidence that cod liver oil might help to prevent certain types of irregular heartbeat.
  • Ear infections in young children. Preliminary research suggests that taking cod liver oil along with a children's multivitamin-mineral product containing selenium might prevent or decrease the number of ear infections in young children.
  • Heart disease.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • Wound healing.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate cod liver oil for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Cod liver oil is LIKELY SAFE for most adults and children when taken by mouth. It can cause side effects including belching, bad breath, heartburn, loose stools, and nausea. Taking cod liver oil with meals can often decrease these side effects.

High doses of cod liver oil are POSSIBLY UNSAFE. They might keep blood from clotting and can increase the chance of bleeding. Vitamin A and vitamin D levels might also become too high with high doses of cod liver oil.

The safety of cod liver oil when used on the skin is unknown.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Cod liver oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in amounts that provide no more than the recommended daily intakes of vitamin A and vitamin D. Cod liver oil is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken in larger amounts. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not take cod liver oil that provides more than about 3000 mcg of vitamin A and 100 mcg of vitamin D.

Diabetes: There has been some concern that cod liver oil or other fish oils might increase blood sugar in people with diabetes. But there is no strong research that supports this concern. High blood pressure: Cod liver oil can lower blood pressure and might cause blood pressure to go too low if used along with medications for high blood pressure. Be careful when using cod liver oil if you are taking high blood pressure drugs.

Interactions

Interactions?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

!
  • Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with COD LIVER OIL

    Cod liver oil seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking cod liver oil along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.<br/><br/> Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with COD LIVER OIL

    Cod liver oil might slow blood clotting. Taking cod liver oil along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.<br/><br/> Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For lowering triglycerides: 20 mL of cod liver oil per day.
  • For high cholesterol: 30 mL of cod liver oil per day.
  • For lowering blood pressure: 20 mL of cod liver oil per day.

View References

REFERENCES:

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  • al-Meshal MA, Lutfi KM, Tariq M. Cod liver oil inhibits indomethacin induced gastropathy without affecting its bioavailability and pharmacological activity. Life Sci 1991;48:1401-9.. View abstract.
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  • Jonasson F, Fisher DE, Eiriksdottir G, et al. Five-year incidence, progression, and risk factors for age-related macular degeneration: the age, gene/environment susceptibility study. Ophthalmology 2014;121(9):1766-72. View abstract.
  • Landymore RW, Kinley CE, Cooper JH, et al. Cod-liver oil in the prevention of intimal hyperplasia in autogenous vein grafts used for arterial bypass. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1985;89:351-7. View abstract.
  • Landymore RW, MacAulay M, Sheridan B, Cameron C. Comparison of cod-liver oil and aspirin-dipyridamole for the prevention of intimal hyperplasia in autologous vein grafts. Ann Thorac Surg 1986;41:54-7. View abstract.
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  • Linday LA, Shindledecker RD, Tapia-Mendoza J, Dolitsky JN. Effect of daily cod liver oil and a multivitamin-multimineral supplement with selenium on upper respiratory tract pediatric visits by young, inner-city, Latino children: randomized pediatric sites. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2004;113:891-901. View abstract.
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  • Lorenz R, Spengler U, Fischer S, Duhm J, Weber PC. Platelet function, thromboxane formation and blood pressure control during supplementation of the Western diet with cod liver oil. Circulation 1983;67(3):504-11. View abstract.
  • Lucas A, Stafford M, Morley R, et al. Efficacy and safety of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation of infant-formula milk: a randomized trial. Lancet 1999;354:1948-54. View abstract.
  • Mai XM, Langhammer A, Chen Y, Camargo CA. Cod liver oil intake and incidence of asthma in Norwegian adults - the HUNT study. Thorax 2013;68(1):25-30. View abstract.
  • Mavroeidi A, Aucott L, Black AJ, et al. Seasonal variation in 25(OH)D at Aberdeen (57°N) and bone health indicators--could holidays in the sun and cod liver oil supplements alleviate deficiency? PLoS One 2013;8(1):e53381. View abstract.
  • Olafsdottir AS, Thorsdottir I, Wagner KH, Elmadfa I. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet and breast milk of lactating Icelandic women with traditional fish and cod liver oil consumption. Ann Nutr Metab 2006;50(3):270-6. View abstract.
  • Porojnicu AC, Bruland OS, Aksnes L, Brant WB, Moan J. Sun beds and cod liver oil as vitamin D sources. J Photochem Photobiol B Biol 2008;91:125-31. View abstract.
  • Prisco D, Paniccia R, Bandinelli B, et al. Effect of medium-term supplementation with a moderate dose of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on blood pressure in mild hypertensive patients. Thromb Res 1998;1:105-12. View abstract.
  • Raeder MB, Steen VM, Vollset SE, Bjelland I. Associations between cod liver oil use and symptoms of depression: The Hordaland Health Study. J Affect Disord 2007;101:245-9. View abstract.
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  • Sellmayer A, Witzgall H, Lorenz RL, Weber PC. Effects of dietary fish oil on ventricular premature complexes. Am J Cardiol 1995;76:974-7. View abstract.
  • Shimizu H, Ohtani K, Tanaka Y, et al. Long-term effect of eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl (EPA-E) on albuminuria of non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1995;28:35-40. View abstract.
  • Skúladóttir GV, Gudmundsdóttir E, Olafsdóttir E, et al. Influence of dietary cod liver oil on fatty acid composition of plasma lipids in human male subjects after myocardial infarction. J Intern Med 1990;228(6):563-8. View abstract.
  • Stammers T, Sibbald B, Freeling P. Efficacy of cod liver oil as an adjunct to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug treatment in the management of osteoarthritis in general practice. Ann Rheum Dis 1992;51:128-9. View abstract.
  • Terkelsen LH, Eskild-Jensen A, Kjeldsen H, et al. Topical application of cod liver oil ointment accelerates wound healing: an experimental study in wounds in the ears of hairless mice. Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg Hand Surg 2000;34:15-20. View abstract.
  • Toft I, Bonaa KH, Ingebretsen OC, et al. Effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on glucose homeostasis and blood pressure in essential hypertension. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 1995;123:911-8. View abstract.
  • Veierod MB, Thelle DS, Laake P. Diet and risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma: a prospective study of 50,757 Norwegian men and women. Int J Cancer 1997;71:600-4. View abstract.

More Resources for COD LIVER OIL

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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