Cod liver oil is the oil extracted from liver of cod fish. It is taken as an essential nutrient supplement as it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Cod liver oil enables treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, improves immune system, prevents colonic cancer, supports nervous system development, and also ensures maintenance of cholesterol levels.
The omega-3 fatty acids of cod liver oil help in lowering the amount of harmful low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or bad cholesterol. These fatty acids are heart-friendly and include polyunsaturated fatty acids. They tend to increase the levels of protective high density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. Then, they lower the elevated levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats).
Free radicals or charged compounds which are resulted from the body processes combine with LDL. This bad cholesterol gets oxidized as a result and damages the cell membranes. These particles may creep into the walls of arteries and harden them. Omega-3 fatty acids present in cold liver oil, however, have anti-oxidant properties and, therefore, prevent this oxidation and the associated cell membrane damage. Thereby, it ensures maintenance of proper cardiovascular system. This in turn reduces the risk of cardiac arrest or heart attacks.
While some people prefer to take the cod liver oil directly, some others prefer the supplements. Though cod liver oil helps in regulating cholesterol levels, it has to be taken only in required amounts. Excessive dosage may be problematic leading to many side effects and health issues. Proper advice from your doctor is essential when planning to take cod liver oil supplements for reducing total cholesterol levels.