Major misconceptions about fish oil & cod liver oil

Fish oil

Fish oil is extracted from fatty fish (oily fish or fatty fish). Most of these fish live in deep sea waters, so when we buy fish oil, we usually find the words “deep sea fish oil”.

Most common fish oils on the market are extracted from herring, sardines, salmon (also called salmon in China), cod, etc. The fish oil of salmon must be wild-caught. The fat content of artificially raised salmon is not high. Fish such as sharks, swordfish, tilefish, and mackerel are generally not used as sources of fish oil because they are at the upper end of the marine food chain and are prone to accumulate more toxic substances such as metallic mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls. .

Cod liver oil is generally extracted from the liver of cod, so if you buy imported cod liver oil, it will basically have the word cod liver oil.

Different nutritional values

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, mainly DHA and EPA.

Cod liver oil is rich in vitamin A and vitamin D, but also rich in DHA and EPA, of which wild salmon has the most considerable DHA and EPA content.

Compared with fish oil, cod liver oil contains less DHA and EPA. However, the content of vitamin A and vitamin D in cod liver oil is very alarming, so do not overeat when supplementing.

Mainly applicable to different groups of people

Fish oil is relatively more suitable for middle-aged and elderly people with cardiovascular problems; cod liver oil is more suitable for people with corresponding vitamin deficiencies. No matter which one, the intake should be strictly observed.

Can fish oil prevent cardiovascular disease?

wrong! To be precise, fish oil has the effect of lowering triglycerides, slowing down the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and slightly lowering blood pressure. But so far, there is no scientific evidence that eating fish oil can prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of heart disease and death.

Relatively speaking, fish oil may be more suitable for the following groups of people:

  • People with high triglycerides;
  • People with related cardiovascular disease;
  • People who are at high risk for related heart diseases, such as those with irregular lifestyles, smoking, drinking, eating junk food, and those with a family history of cardiovascular disease.

As for the role of fish oil in improving brain cognitive function, diabetes, asthma, etc., it can only be said that the relevant scientific evidence is even less than that for cardiovascular diseases.

Can you make your own decisions about fish oil and take it for a long time?

wrong! It is best to follow your doctor’s advice when taking health supplements and do not make decisions without authorization. The main function of fish oil is to supplement required nutrients. If you are not deficient in DHA and EPA, excessive supplementation will be harmful to health, such as excessive heavy metal intake, affecting coagulation function, etc.

Is eating fish oil more effective than eating fish?

wrong! Usually, medicinal supplements are not as effective as dietary supplements. Whether it is fish oil or cod liver oil, they are not as effective as eating fish. But only a few fish are rich in omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids and vitamins A and D, and these fish are usually not cheap. Therefore, when it is impossible to obtain omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins A and D from food, it is also possible to supplement them through health products.

owever, when eating fat-rich deep-sea fish and deep-sea fish health supplements, you must pay attention to the dosage to avoid excessive intake of heavy metals.

Is cod liver oil necessary for newborn babies?

wrong! Not all babies need cod liver oil, and cod liver oil is not suitable for all babies.

First of all, the nutritional needs of newborns are closely related to the mother’s nutritional intake during pregnancy. Every newborn’s situation is different, so generalizations cannot be made. Secondly, the vitamin A content in cod liver oil is relatively high, and incorrect consumption may be harmful to health.

If the mother consumes sufficient amounts of these nutrients during pregnancy and lactation, there is no need to supplement cod liver oil to the newborn, especially if the newborn is fed formula milk powder with these nutrients added. In addition, do not add any additional nutrients to your baby without the professional identification and permission of a doctor or nutritionist. Excessive intake of these nutrients will increase the baby’s digestive and metabolic burden, and may also affect immunity, coagulation and other functions.

Can cod liver oil promote brain development, improve memory, and prevent myopia?

Half right, half wrong. The vitamin A, vitamin D, DHA and EPA contained in cod liver oil have these health functions themselves. So there is no substantial error in the merchant’s promotion, but it can easily be misleading.

If pregnant women and nursing mothers are deficient in these nutrients, exclusively breastfed babies may also be deficient in these nutrients, affecting brain development, vision development, etc. But now everyone pays great attention to nutrition during pregnancy. Most nutrients are eaten in excess rather than in excess. Therefore, most babies do not need to take additional cod liver oil supplements. Because these nutrients are already contained in breast milk and formula. So don’t give your baby health supplements without your doctor’s permission.

Cod liver oil with a vitamin A to vitamin D ratio of 3:1 is best?

wrong! When it comes to health care products, there is no best choice, only the most suitable. Whether to supplement and how to supplement are all determined according to individual needs.

For people who regularly eat orange and green vegetables and fruits (such as carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, spinach, leeks, rape, etc.), there is no need to supplement vitamin A.

Is cod liver oil suitable for pregnant mothers to take?

It depends on the physical condition of the pregnant woman. Pregnant women do need to take in a certain amount of vitamin A, vitamin D, DHA, etc. at different periods. However, the use of supplements or health products still depends on their own nutritional intake. It is recommended to consult a doctor during a pregnancy check-up.

In general, you can consider taking a small amount of vitamin D. Because most people are prone to vitamin D deficiency. However, because the vitamin A content of cod liver oil is too high. It is not recommend for pregnant women to take it. High doses of vitamin A, like vitamin A deficiency. It may cause damage to the fetal nervous system development and even malformations. Pregnant women should eat more foods rich in vitamin A.

Finally, I want to remind everyone: medicinal supplements are not as good as dietary supplements. Natural food sources are the healthiest and most effective. It is best to start with a balanced diet every day. Health supplements are only an auxiliary means. Do not sacrifice the basics for the sake of the bottom.

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