Natural Healing Tips: Cod Liver Oil For Pregnancy & Parenting
06/24/2012 | 02:40 PM
Cod liver oil has a long history for as being used as a dietary supplement and for good reason. The long-chain fatty acids in the oil are essential to the nervous system development and have been linked to increases in IQ, memory, attention span, cognitive performance and others. While the fishy taste and smell can be off-putting, the oil is now scented with lemon or mint or comes in scent-free gelatin capsules.
Cod liver oil is a good source of Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, including the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which plays an important role in brain development. Numerous studies have found omega 3 effective in improving memory and combating depression, and ADHD. The polyunsaturated fatty acid eicosapentaenoic (EPA) contained in cod liver oil has been shown to play an important role in improving heart disease. Cod liver oil also contains Vitamin A and D.
- Cod liver oil can be the foundation of your child’s brain: In the last trimester of pregnancy, the formation of child’s brain, retina and nervous system are completed. All of them are composed of 60 % Omega 3 fatty acids. The formation process of the brain is based on the mother’s reserves of Omega 3 fatty acids. Limited omega 3 can lead to brain and sight defects.
- Cod liver oil helps your child grow: The effects of cod liver oil, rich in vitamins A and D, ensures the normal growth of teeth (eases teething and reduces the risk of tooth decay development), bone and the development of eyesight.
- Cod liver oil prevents postpartum depression: Insufficient Omega 3 fatty acid reserves during pregnancy can lead to postpartum depression for new mothers. Therefore, it is important for new mothers to have an additional intake of Omega 3, before and after delivering the baby.
- Cod liver oil is a great source of Vitamin D: Vitamin D is synthetized by the human body when out in the sun. Otherwise we can get it from skim milk, fish oil, sardines, mackerel, salmon, eggs, cheese, liver, beef, but the main disadvantage is that when cooked, most of the vitamin disappears. That is why cod liver oil is an ideal form of vitamin D supplementation.
- Arthritis: Daily administration of two teaspoons of cod liver oil can lower the amount of analgesics required by the treatment of patients with arthritis. Several studies, including a 2004 one from the University of Cardiff show that the oil has three effects: it acts as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and it slows down the cartilage degeneration inherent in osteoarthritis.
- Depression: Several studies have found that that a tablespoon of cod liver oil taken daily can significantly ease depression. This is because of the DHA content in cod liver oil. DHA is thought to act as an anti-depressant by increasing gray matter in three areas that tend to be smaller in people who have serious depression. A 2007 University of Pittsburgh Medical School study found that the more DHA a person consumed, the more gray matter there was in three areas of the brain linked to mood: the amygdala, the hippocampus and the cingulate.
- Rickets: Babies born prematurely are most prone to rickets, but also mothers with nutritional deficiencies, or problems with the intestinal absorption and assimilation of Vitamin D and calcium. After birth, whether breast feeding or using formula, doctors recommend vitamin D and calcium supplements. Cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin D and an ideal supplementation to prevent rickets.
- ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder): Cod liver oil is an ideal source of Vitamin D, Vitamin A and Omega 3 fatty acids that provide the perfect setting for the development of cognitive functions such as increased attention, reduced agitation and stabilized mood.
- Osteoporosis: It was found that a sufficient amount of Vitamin D ensures normal metabolism of calcium even when calcium intake is low. Vitamin D is essential to the absorption of calcium. Cod liver oil also contains omega-3 eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), all of which help improve bone health.
Possible Side Effects
- Nausea: Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, belching are all common side effects with cod liver oil. If these symptoms do not subside, talk to your doctor or discontinue the oil.
- Anti blood clotting: The Omega 3 fatty acids have a long list of benefits but they can also act as blood thinners, especially at high doses, i.e. more than 3 g per day. Persons taking drug-thinning medication should talk to their doctor before consuming cod liver oil.
- Low blood pressure: Cod liver oil can lower the blood pressure. People taking high blood pressure medication should talk to their doctor before consuming cod liver oil.
- High levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin D: Cod liver oil is frequently supplemented with high levels of vitamin A and vitamin D. Don’t take extra supplementation of these vitamins if consuming cod liver oil.
Cod liver oil is an essential oil with one of the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids. This long-chain fatty acid is known as a brain builder, and studies have linked it to reduced levels of depression, ADHD, arthritis, osteoporosis, and improved memory, attention span, and cognitive performance. Because of its fishy taste, it is often combined with other flavors or taken in a tasteless capsule form. Cod liver oil has long been given to infants for general health. A growing number of studies have found its range of health benefits, both mental and physical wellbeing.