Fish Oil And Cod Liver Oil

In an era where people are largely relying on supplements for the required amount of nutrients, the rising query is which supplement is more reliable than the others? With a unanimous acceptance towards supplements made from fishes, the question is – Fish Oil or Cod Liver Oil?

Let us take an attempt to figure out which of these two oils benefits the body more or rather which of the two is richer with nutrients. We can pick up every aspect of these supplements and analyze them comparatively.

Manufacturing Benefits

Cod liver oil, like it sounds, is extracted from the liver of the cod fish. The liver of cod fish steamed and pressed to extract the oil from it, which is made available in the form of liquid as well as capsule. On the other hand, fish oil is made from the flesh and skin of different types of fishes. This is also steamed and pressed to extract the oil which is made available only in the form of capsules.

Richer With Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The two key fish-obtained omega – 3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA, both of them being extremely crucial for a balanced development of the brain, stronger immune system, healthy vision, nutritious growth and so on. Amongst children, the level of DHA determines their intelligence. Higher level of DHA leads to a brighter child. Amongst adults, it has several heart benefits. Fish Oil and Cod Liver Oil, both, contain equal amounts of EPA and DHA, making them equally preferable while prescribing them only for the purpose of omega 3s.

Richer With Vitamins

Vitamins, in a fish, are persevered only in its liver. Thus, Cod Liver Oil has rich amounts of nutrients, while the Fish Oil lacks them. Cod liver oil contains good amounts of Vitamin A that is beneficial for healthy eyesight and good skin. It also does wonders for improving the immune system and fighting various bacterial and virus infections. Liver oil also contains vitamin D in high proportions that helps maintaining strong and healthy bones and teeth. It is a vital nutrient for children. Thus, while prescribing a supplement for vitamins, cod liver oil takes the deal.

Safety Measures

Looking at safety of consuming these supplements, the debate gets arguable. Since cod liver oil is richer with respect to vitamins and omega 3s, the consumption has to be well monitored. An overdose of any vitamin can lead to several complexities. It can do more harm to the body than good. Thus, consumption of cod liver oil has to be based on strict prescription. On the other hand, fish oil is only rich with omega 3s, an over consumption of which would not be as harmful or fatal. However, even their consumption should be well monitored. Calculating on safety levels, Fish oil is believed to be safer than cod liver oil.

It is also said that since cod liver oil is extracted from the liver, an organ which filters the contamination of the body, would contain more contaminated elements that the fish oil. Thus, care should be taken while choosing the manufacturer of your Cod liver oil. If the manufacturer believes in offering the best of healing properties of the liver while eliminating the harmful ones, there remains nothing to worry about. Also, pregnant women must consult their gynecologists before consuming cod liver oil.

The bottom line being, cod liver oil does miracles and wonders to your body and health, if only consulted well before consumption!

Supplement Use Associated With Positive Health Status And Health-related Behaviors

Researchers at Cambridge University evaluated data from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, a longitudinal study of 5,362 individuals born in Great Britain in 1946. Information from the year 1999 was used for the current study, during which the participants were 53 years old. Subjects were interviewed concerning alcohol consumption, physical activity, and smoking, and five day food diaries completed by the participants provided information on dietary and supplement intake. Waist circumference, height, weight, and blood pressure were ascertained during physical examinations, and blood samples were measured for cholesterol, folate, iron and vitamin B12.

Forty-five percent of the women and 25 percent of the men in the study reported using supplements. Women were more likely to consume multinutrient supplements, vitamin E, GLA and vitamin B6, while a greater percentage of men than women reported using fish oil supplements. Men who reported participating in vigorous exercise were 50 percent more likely, and women 60 percent more likely to be supplement users than those who did who did not report this level of exercise. Female nonsmokers were 50 percent more likely to use supplements than those who smoked. Women who used supplements also had a lower body mass index, lower waist circumference, and greater plasma folate and vitamin B12 status than those who did not report using supplements. Individuals with healthier diets that included cereals, fruit, yogurt, oily fish and olive oil were more often supplement users than those who did not consume these foods.

The results of the study show that there is a clustering of healthy behaviors and positive cardiovascular risk factors among some individuals, particularly women. It also shows that those who could benefit the most from supplements may be the least likely to use them.

In the last 25 years, the incidence of coronary fatalities has decreased 33%. This is due largely to avoiding the traditional risk factors. Dr. Paul M. Ridker, M.D., M.P.H. (director of cardiovascular research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston), speculates that an auxiliary list of newer predictive factors may significantly increase the numbers benefiting from 21st century diagnostics and treatment (Ridker 1999a).

For the past 20 years, eclectic physicians have judged Syndrome X to be a powerful indicator of an eventual heart attack. For clarity, let it be understood that a syndrome represents clusters of symptoms. In Syndrome X, the symptoms are an inability to fully metabolize carbohydrates; hypertriglyceridemia; reduced HDL levels; smaller, denser LDL particles; increased blood pressure; visceral adiposity; disrupted coagulation factors; insulin resistance; hyperinsulinemia; and, often, increased levels of uric acid.

Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain flexible cell membranes (Igal et al. 1997). This is important, for healthy membranes contain large numbers of insulin receptors, increasing the surface areas available for insulin binding. This is extremely important in diabetes and Syndrome X.

A number of studies have shown the protective value of fish consumption in regard to averting coronary heart disease and the incidence of sudden cardiac death. For example, a recent study reported data collected from the Physicians’ Health Study involving more than 22,000 men followed over a 17-year time frame. Researchers tested the blood of 94 male study volunteers who experienced an episode of sudden cardiac death (but in whom there was no prior history of heart disease) against 184 matched control study participants who did not experience a cardiac event.

On an average, men who died suddenly had lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Among the men with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, there was a 72% reduction in the risk of sudden cardiac death when compared to the men with the lowest levels of these substances in their blood (Albert et al. 2002; Wascher 2002).

Nutritious Food For Your Brain

For those who work long hours in front of computers, do you always stuff yourself with those junk food, just to save on time? Do you often feel your mind spinning from too much information, memory lapse or fatigue?

Friend, it’s time to make a change to your lifestyle, otherwise we would have to pay a high price for not taking better care of ourselves. Now, we can start from the basic but most vital change ie our diet.

What you need are food that will fuel and nourish your brain. But do you know exactly what your brain needs?

Our brain is made up of 3 major components : Neurons, which power the message, Neurotransmitters, which create the message and Receptors, which receive the message.

Fats are not totally villains, they are actually good guys when it comes to your brain. They are especially important and useful to Neurons. Fats made up about 33% of your brain. And we are talking here about good fats ? fatty acids which your brain needs to perform complex, intricate functions properly.

Now the membranes of neurons (the specialized brain cells that communicate with each other) are composed of a thin double-layer of fatty acid molecules. Fatty acids are what dietary fats are composed of.

When you digest the fat in your food, it is broken down into fatty acid molecules of various lengths. Your brain then uses these for raw materials to assemble the special types of fat it incorporates into its cell membranes. Where do good fats come from ? Top two on the list should be walnuts and sesame.

The amino acids found in proteins are what form the brain chemicals, called the neurotransmitters, that motivate or sedate, focus or frustrate. In other words, they are the masterminds of your mood. Lack of amino acids is quickly detected in your emotions and behaviour. Therefore, it is important you obtain sufficient protein in your diet from eggs, cheese, yoghurts, grains and legumes, nuts and seeds.

You need carbohydrates to fuel your brain. By consuming grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, the carbohydrates are converted into glucose sugars and absorbed into your blood to your brain.

However, raising the blood sugar too fast within a short time can actually cause the slowdown of energy supply to the brain and as a result, an adverse effect on your brain power to focus, remember and learn. That’s why you feel sleepy after a heavy lunch.

Vitamin C helps to maintain the brain in its best state :- alert, alive and intelligent. Eat at least 3 servings of fruits and green leafy vegetables daily to achieve the desired results.

Vitamin B group is needed for the conversion of glucose into brain energy and good functioning of the body immune system and mental health. Even a mild deficiency can cause you to become irritable, lack of concentration and forgetful. Foods that help include mushrooms and cauliflower.

As a guide, you should include the following essential brain foods in your diet :

1. Nuts provide abundance of protein, unsaturated fats, lecithin, inorganic salt and vitamins, all of which are good nourishments for our brain.

2. Mushrooms help to stablise blood sugar levels and prevent the blood vessel from damage, therefore keeping the energy supply to our brain stable and protecting it from stroke. They also contain anti-cancer properties, remove fatigue, stabilise mood, prevent anaemia etc.

3. Eggs are good source of protein, lecithin, vitamins, calcium and other minerals like phosphorus, iron etc, all of which are nutrients necessary for the metabolism of our brain.

4. Tiger lily buds, or dried lily flowers, actually boost the metabolism of our brain since they contain protein, fats, calcium, iron and vitamin B1.

5. The regular consumption of onions helps to prevent blood clotting, thereby improve blood circulation to the brain, lower high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, and are also useful in stabilising mood and reducing tiredness.

6. Millet contain protein, fats, calcium, iron and vitamin B1 and magnesium and is known to strengthen brain cells. Magnesium has been shown in studies to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.

7. Longans strengthen the heart spleen and calm the nerves. They are also used to cure insomnia, prevent senility, forgetfulness, dizziness etc all as a result of poor constitution.

8. Grapefruits are a rich source of Vitamins A, B1 and C which help to neutralize the acidic effects of food which are harmful to the nerve system. One feels refreshed and alert if consume regularly. Oranges and lemons achieve the same effects too.