What is omega 3 and why do we need it?
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Taking a supplement is a convenient way to look after your health, but what exactly can it do – in particular, what are the health benefits of cod liver oil? Cod liver oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids, which helps decrease clot formation and reduces inflammation in the body, said the experts at WebMD. One such omega-3 fatty acid is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – and studies have shown that DHA can improve cognitive function and protect against dementia.
The supplement also contains vitamin A, which is vital for immune system function, cellular growth, eye health, and reproduction.
Moreover, cod liver oil is rich in vitamin D – the sunshine nutrient that is scarce in winter months.
“Consuming cod liver oil can provide you with a significant amount of essential vitamins and fatty acids,” said the experts at WebMD.
“Supplementing with it may offer several potential health benefits.”
For example, the consumption of cod liver oil supplements has been associated with a reduced risk of glaucoma – the leading cause of blindness.
The presence of vitamin A in the supplement has been said to prevent cellular damage from oxidation, which could otherwise contribute to the development of glaucoma.
The NHS explained the optic nerve – that connects the eye to the brain – is damaged in cases of glaucoma.
It’s caused by fluid build-up in the front of the eye, which increases pressure inside of the eye.
Symptoms might include: blurred vision, or “rainbow-coloured circles” around bright lights.
On occasion, glaucoma can lead to:
- Intense eye pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- A red eye
- A headache
- Tenderness around the eyes.
Early diagnosis (at the opticians) and treatment can help stop your vision from worsening.
The experts at WebMD added that cod liver oil supplements possess anti-cancer properties.
“Because cod liver oil contains both vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, it’s a powerful weapon in fighting cancer,” they said.
Cod liver oil prevents angiogenesis – the development of new blood vessels, which cancerous tumours need to amass in size.
Disrupting angiogenesis interferes with tumour growth, thereby inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
Cod liver oil supplements may also help to prevent multiple sclerosis, which is linked to low vitamin D levels.
In addition, the supplement has been shown to help people with rheumatoid arthritis deal with joint pain.
A 24-week study found that people who supplemented with cod liver oil reported lower pain scores and relied on painkillers much less.
Cod liver oil supplements may help to prevent:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups.
Be aware that before taking any type of supplementation, it’s best to discuss doing so with your doctor.
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