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Cod Liver Oil

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How does Cod Liver Oil work?

Cod liver oil contains certain "fatty acids" that prevent the blood from clotting easily. These fatty acids also reduce pain and swelling.

Are there safety concerns?

Cod liver oil is LIKELY SAFE for most adults and children when taken by mouth. It can cause side effects including belching, bad breath, heartburn, loose stools, and nausea. Taking cod liver oil with meals can often decrease these side effects.

High doses of cod liver oil are POSSIBLY UNSAFE. They 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.

The safety of cod liver oil when used on the skin is unknown.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Cod liver oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in amounts that provide no more than the recommended daily intakes of vitamin A and vitamin D. Cod liver oil is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken in larger amounts. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not take cod liver oil that provides more than about 3000 mcg of vitamin A and 100 mcg of vitamin D.

Diabetes: There has been some concern that cod liver oil or other fish oils might increase blood sugar in people with diabetes. But there is no strong research that supports this concern. High blood pressure: Cod liver oil can lower blood pressure and might cause blood pressure to go too low if used along with medications for high blood pressure. Be careful when using cod liver oil if you are taking high blood pressure drugs.


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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.


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