While cod liver oil may be taken as a supplement by those who don't eat oily fish, it also has a number of other benefits that could help overall health. Joints: Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA, are converted in the body into substances (series 3 prostaglandins and series 5 leukotrienes) that reduce inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties in cod liver oil are beneficial for joint health and the symptoms of arthritis. Brain: DHA plays an important structural role within brain cell membranes, improving their fluidity so that messages are passed on more rapidly from one cell to another. EPA is involved in cell signalling and also improves communication between brain cells. Populations with high intake of cod liver oil have lower levels of depression. Heart: The omega 3 content in cod liver oil could also be beneficial for your heart as they have beneficial effects on blood pressure, blood stickiness, inflammation and are prescribed to lower abnormally high blood fat levels. Bones: Vitamin D3 is essential for absorbing dietary calcium and maintaining strong, healthy bones. Low intakes increase risk of rickets in children and, in adults, of osteomalacia (softening of the bones) and osteoporosis (brittle bones). Cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamin D3, typically supplying 5mcg per dose (the EU recommended daily amount). Eyes: According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) many studies reveal that vitamin A provided by fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes, raw carrots, green beans and oranges (in the carotenoid form), as well as the retinol form found in cod liver oil, could help maintain healthy cells and tissues in the eye. Omega-3 fish oils, especially DHA, may protect against progression of age-related macular degeneration.
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