The health benefits of cod liver oil, salmon oil and evening primrose oil
COD LIVER OIL
Cod liver oil is rich in the fat soluble vitamins A & D, and supplies small amounts of the omega 3 essential fatty acids, EPA & DHA. The benefits of cod liver oil are due to the synergy of these valuable nutrients which are largely lacking in modern man’s diet. In years gone by, cod liver oil was routinely given to children during the winter months to boost the immune system. Perhaps you remember the days of the yucky tasting stuff?! Fortunately, today we have capsules for convenience. In summary, cod liver oil helps to boost the immune system and fight infections, build strong bones and teeth and protect against tooth decay and osteoporosis, keep joints supple and pain free, balance the hormones thereby reducing PMS and menopausal symptoms, prevent and overcome depression, maintain healthy skin, improve skin problems and promote mineral absorption. The benefits of cod liver oil are numerous – click on the link for more detailed info: cod liver oil – super food of note
Salmon oil contains no vitamin A & D but supplies generous quantities of the omega 3 fatty acids, EPA & DHA, which are essential for good health, and again largely lacking in our diets. Unless you eat fatty fish 2 – 3 times per week, a supplement is advisable. Vegetarians can obtain their omega 3’s from plant foods, but it said that the conversion of the alpha-linolenic acid in plant foods to EPA & DHA is not always efficient. Flaxseed, Hempseed and Chia seeds (and their oils) are the recommended alternatives. My conclusion is that in a healthy individual, this conversion may take place readily and that unless you have symptoms of an omega 3 deficiency, plant based omega 3’s should be fine. My personal choice is to take both, but I do rely predominantly on fish oils, especially for the children for the high DHA content which is essential for healthy development of the brain and the eyes. EPA has important anti-inflammatory properties which makes it valuable in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease such colitis and Crohn’s disease. EPA & DHA combined offer remarkable therapeutic benefits and are essential in preventing and overcoming serious diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes as well as autoimmune disorders, kidney problems, skin disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney problems and anxiety and depression. These essential fatty acids are exactly that – ESSENTIAL!
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL
Evening Primrose oil is one of the richest sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) – the good omega-6 fat! Borage oil contains greater quantities of GLA but some experts believe that despite this, Evening Primrose oil still has greater therapeutic value. In healthy, well nourished individuals linoleic acid in omega-6 rich foods, is converted by the enzyme, delta-6-desaturase (D6D) to GLA. This enzyme (and therefore the conversion) is dependent on vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B3, zinc and magnesium. Low amounts or deficiencies of these nutrients will result in a deficiency of GLA and the body will not be able to manufacture prostaglandin E1 which is one of the body’s greatest natural therapies for fending off premature ageing, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, allergies, asthma and autoimmune disorders to name but a few. Diabetics, cancer patients, the elderly and hypothyroid individuals are particularly susceptible to loss of this enzyme, making GLA supplementation essential. Additionally the loss of enzyme D6D can result in the uncontrollable production of cholesterol. Evening primrose oil is well known for it’s beneficial effect on the skin and in balancing hormones, making it a valuable aid in alleviating PMS and menopausal symptoms. Around December last year, my son Luke, developed around his mouth an area of dry, red and inflamed skin which persisted for 6 months until I added a supplement containing Evening Primrose Oil. Since he’s been on it he’s had no more flare up’s. This was proof enough of GLA’s ability to tackle skin problems.
The role of essential fatty acids in maintaining health and preventing disease cannot be underestimated. When it comes to fats in the diet, it is all about balance. Including 1/3 each of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in the daily diet is considered to be a healthy balance. However, many people overdo saturated and monounsaturated fats, to the exclusion of the healthy omega 3 & 6 polyunsaturated fats. This is when health issues arise. These 3 supplements in combination with a healthy, well balanced diet and a good whole-food concentrate such as Spirulina or Barleygreen goes a long way in ensuring good health and general wellbeing. The addition of vitamin C with bioflavanoids for antioxidant protection would round off your supplement plan nicely. Sprouts contain incredible amounts of vitamin B & C, so use these generously as another great food source of nutrients and enzymes. They are easy to make and very affordable.