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Cod Liver Oil Vs Fish Oil- Which One Should You Consume?
There are differences between supplements of cod liver oil vs fish oil. Both are health supplements coming from separate fish sources with unique benefits. To be more precise, the main difference between cod liver oil vs fish oil is that cod liver oil is a certain fixed type of fish oil.
Both possess extremely beneficial health benefits due to the presence of omega 3 fatty acids as the main ingredient. These fatty acids support many systems in our body, as well as help, prevent data diseases. The human body cannot prepare its own omega 3 fatty acid which makes it highly beneficial to consume them from outside sources like these.
Two different types of fatty acids present in fish oil include DHA or docosahexaenoic acid and EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid. These oemga3 fatty acids are also termed “good oils” making them a must-include in your diets.
Some plant sources such as seeds, nuts, and vegetable oil also have omega 3 fatty acids but they are different. Plant sources contain ALA or alpha-linolenic acid. This is not as beneficial as the fatty acids we receive from fish oil.
If you do not consume 2-3 servings of fish every week, you can always go for supplements like cod liver oil and fish oil to enjoy their health benefits.
Below given are certain differences between cod liver oil and fish oil that may help you which one to go for.
Cod liver oil vs fish oil
1. Cod liver oil vs fish oil-Source
The first difference between cod liver oil vs fish oil is their source. The source of fish oil is usually the flesh of fatty fish. It is extracted from the following fishes:
While cod liver oil as the name implies is generated from the liver of codfishes. The most common codfishes used for extraction are pacific cod and Atlantic cod.
These fishes have a great amount of omega 3 fatty acids due to their diets underwater. They eat phytoplankton which absorbs microalgae which is the main and original source of omega 3 fatty acids.
2. Cod liver oil vs fish oil- Benefits
Cod liver oil has a high level of DHA and EPA along with important vitamins like vitamin D and A. Many benefits of cod liver oil are considered to be highly useful for the treatment of many diseases as they have anti-inflammatory properties.
The unique strength and benefits of cod liver oil vs fish oil are most likely because of the presence of vitamin A and vitamin D. As they are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids, they are useful for protecting against loss of vision from inflammatory eye diseases such as glaucoma and AMD (age-related muscular degeneration).
Cod liver oil is highly nutritious and a single teaspoon of cod liver oil can provide 90% of the daily value of vitamin A while providing 113% of the daily value of vitamin D. Due to vitamin D, cod liver oil plays an important role in keeping the bones healthy by regulating the absorption of calcium. It also helps suppress the proteins that promote inflammation thus helping with swelling.
There are many issues for which cod liver oil has been proven to be highly beneficial like:
- It helps lower inflammation in the body.
- It helps reduce the pain that comes with arthritis
- Helps reduce depression and anxiety
- It helps promote healthy fetal eyesight and brain function.
- Helps to maintain bone density
- It also helps lower the risk of type 1 diabetes when used by pregnant women for their babies.
- Supports healthy function f immune system
- lowers the triglyceride level in blood
- prevent the development of upper respiratory illnesses
- increases good cholesterol
- Prevent build-up of plaque in arteries
With so many important health benefits, you must start taking some of these supplements and improve your overall health. Cod liver oil was also used as a common supplement for children in the United States to prevent rickets earlier. Later some practices were raised on its vitamin toxicity which stopped its usage.
While fish oil has pure omega 3 fatty acids unline cod liver oil. Nearly 30% of fish oil is filled with omega 3 fatty acids which can help maintain its high level in your body. It is especially proven to be useful in the areas of mental health, heart health, inflammatory ailments, breastfeeding, and pregnancy.
Fish oil can be useful in the following:
- It supports healthy function and the development of the brain.
- It supports liver health
- supports skin health
- su[ppprts fetal development, pregnancy, and breastfeeding in women.
- Bits of help reduce waist circumference
- reduces pain and inflammation that comes from rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Cod liver oil vs fish oil- Which is safe to use?
Both the oils are generally considered to be safe for usage but you must still consult your healthcare provider before consuming any one of them through supplements. Both cod liver oil vs fish oil may end up causing mild side effects and might not be safe for everyone. It is not safe for:
- For small children so make sure you talk to a pediatrician before giving wether of these oils to your child.
- It is still not known if people having shellfish allergies or some other allergies should take these oils or not.
- People having heart conditions and blood problems must be cautious about using either of these oils.
Cod liver oil may cause the following side effects:
- Causes belching
- causes heartburn
- causes nosebleeds
- makes the blood thinner
- contains unhealthy levels of both vitamin A and D (there are still debates going on regarding these side effects)
Also, it is important to note that cod liver oil must be avoided totally if you are pregnant.
Side effects of fish oil:
- loose stool
- the trouble with clotting of blood after injuries.
- reduced levels of vitamin E
- Fish tasting burps and indigestion.
- Interactions with any contraceptive medication you are taking and interaction with blood editions, weight loss drugs having orlistat.
4. Cod liver oil vs fish oil- How much to take?
Both these oils are present in form of supplements in capsule or liquid forms. These supplements have less mercury compared to fresh fish.
You can calculate the amount of cod liver oil or fish oil to be taken based on the amount of DHA, EPA, and vitamins in cod liver oil vs fish oil. However, there are so many standard recommendations o how much dose to take. If you wish to know the exact dosage to be taken, visit your healthcare provider and reading the indications given on the label. You can also compare the level of DHA and EPA to what you may receive if you ate fish instead.
For instance you can consider these examples:
- 3 ounces of Atlantic salmon wild variety has 0.35 grams of EPA and 1.22 grams DHA in it.
- 3 ounces of pacific of the dish when cooked has 0.04 grams EPA and 0.10 grams DHA in it.
When it comes to taking supplements, consuming more than required is not a good option even if it has numerous health benefits. Both these oils deliver health benefits from the presence of omega 3 fatty acids but cod liver oil also has vitamin A and D. If you wish to consume extra vitamins for your health, you may prefer taking cod liver oil supplements.
If you do not require extra vitamins, just go for fish oil. You may also take fish oil along with vitamin A and D supplements separately if you do not like taking cod liver oil.
Taking any of these supplements with food, specifically any fatty food will help better digestion and absorption of omega 3 fatty acids.
Make sure you do not switch from prescription medicines to these supplements without the oversight of a doctor.
Another point of difference between cod liver oil vs fish oil is their viability. Fish liver oil is much easier to find compared to cod liver oil. Dietary supplements are easier to locate in general. From health stores to grocery stores to online sites, you will find plenty of supplements at cost-effective prices after-sales.
Quality is the most important thing to check while selecting any supplements. It can be quite difficult to find out which one is better by taking a look so make sure you speak to your doctor and get a trusted brand of supplement. The support should be clinically tested to ensure they are high quality and pure.
Always store the supplements in cool and dark places and do not take them if they smell rancid even the slightest bit.
The Bottom Line
Cod liver oil vs fish oil has certain differences but both are great to increase the level of omega 3 fatty acid in your body. These fatty acids are not produced inside the body so they must be taken from reliable sources. These fatty acids are highly important for the healthy function of your body orangs including the brain, heart, and developing fetus during pregnancy.
Most of the attributes of these two supplements are the same because both are derived from fish. Their specific side effects or risks differ because their sources are different. One is derived from the flesh of the fish while the other from the fish liver as the name suggests.
You can take any of these based on your needs. Cod liver oil is rich in vitamin A and D, those seeking to take vitamins too along with omega 3 fatty acids are recommended to take cod liver oil while others can simply for fish oil capsules or supplements.
If you notice any side effects which are given above, make sure you visit your doctor and find out if they are beneficial for you or not. Always reach out to your doctors before taking supplements to make sure if they are worth taking or not. Always, do not ever replace prescribed medications with supplements.