Cod Liver Oil
- What other names is Cod Liver Oil known by?
- What is Cod Liver Oil?
- How does Cod Liver Oil work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Cod Liver Oil.
Cod Liver Oil Safety and Side Effects
Cod liver oil is safe for most people. It can cause side effects including belching, bad breath, heartburn, and nosebleeds. Taking cod liver oil with meals can often decrease these side effects.
High doses might keep blood from clotting and can increase the chance of bleeding. Vitamin A and vitamin D levels might also become too high with high doses of cod liver oil. High doses might also cause nausea and loose stools.
Do not take cod liver oil if:
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- You are sensitive to aspirin. Cod liver oil might affect your breathing.
Cod liver oil is used for high cholesterol, high triglycerides, kidney disease in people with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoarthritis, depression, an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), glaucoma, and middle ear infections (otitis media).
Some people put cod liver oil on their skin to speed wound healing.
When taken in appropriate doses by mouth, cod liver oil seems to help lower high triglycerides (a type of blood fat), lower high blood pressure, and treat some symptoms of kidney disease related to diabetes. It doesn't seem to lower high cholesterol or reduce arthritis pain. Other uses are still under investigation.
Likely Effective for...
- Lowering blood fats called triglycerides. Taking cod liver oil by mouth can reduce triglyceride levels by 20% to 50% in people with high triglyceride levels.
Possibly Effective for...
- High blood pressure. Taking cod liver oil by mouth seems to lower blood pressure (both numbers) a small, but important, amount in people with mild high blood pressure.
- Kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes. Taking cod liver oil seems to reduce protein in the urine, a marker for kidney disease severity.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Cholesterol disease that runs in families (familial hypercholesterolemia).
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Depression. There is some evidence that people who take cod liver oil have fewer symptoms of depression than other people.
- Irregular heartbeat in people with heart disease. There is some early evidence that cod liver oil might help to prevent certain types of irregular heartbeat.
- Ear infections in young children. Preliminary research suggests that taking cod liver oil along with a children's multivitamin-mineral product containing selenium might prevent or decrease the number of ear infections in young children.
- Heart disease.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
- Wound healing.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get tips on handling your hypertension.