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July 23, 2020
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Cod Liver Oil Vitamins: Do They Pose a Health Risk?

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Cod liver oil is known to be one of the best and most concentrated sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrients provide a range of benefits including brain and bone health. Omega 3 fatty acids help to keep cardiac ailments at bay, enhance memory and cognitive functioning and prevent the risk of musculoskeletal disorders like arthritis.

Vitamin A: This nutrient is vital for skin health and for proper vision, so it should form a part of your daily nutritional intake. The upper limit for vitamin A stands at 10,000 IU for men and about 5000 IU for women. Most people get their daily dose of vitamin A from food.

However, if you are using these vitamins, it is imperative to understand that cod liver oil products contain as much as 5000 IU of vitamin A, often in a single or two capsules. This means that including food items rich in vitamin A like carrots etc in your meals will lead to an overdose.

Vitamin A is a fat soluble nutrient that stays in the body for extensive periods after consumption.
So, overdoses of the nutrient will inadvertently lead to its accumulation in the blood, leading to toxicity. The effects of vitamin A overdose can be particularly detrimental for pregnant women as it can lead to birth defects in the child

Vitamin D: One of the two cod liver vitamins, this has also raised red flags among health practitioners. Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones, teeth and for regulating the immune system and blood sugar levels.

The recommended dosage of vitamin D is about 200 IU per day for children and 400 IU to 600 IU for adults. However, a mere teaspoon of it can give you as much as 5000 IU of vitamin D; needless to say, this can be a serious cause of overdosage.

Doctors usually recommend that they should only be used during winter months when people tend to get minimum sunlight exposure, which can impact the production of vitamin D in the body.

Although this oil can give you more than your daily supply of Omega 3 fatty acids, the higher concentration of vitamin A and vitamin D can pose a health concern. Add to this the rampant cases of mercury, lead and other heavy metal poisoning in cod liver oil and it is easy to understand why people are apprehensive about using this health supplement.

While there is nothing wrong with taking high quality cod liver vitamins, it is imperative to be mindful of your daily intake of nutrients to ensure that you do not overdose. Alternatively, you may want to use fish oil supplements instead of cod liver oil to get the same health benefits with minimal risks.

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