By Simply Supplements
Both omega 3 fish oils and cod liver oil contain beneficial levels of essential omega 3 fatty acids. The main difference between the two is that cod liver oil also contains vitamins A and D. Many people believe that fats are unhealthy but this is not always the case. Omega 3’s are healthy fats.
The essential fatty acids found in fish oils are polyunsaturated and play important roles in the function of the body. They are vital for the health of every cell and are required for the formation of cell membranes. Two of the most important omega 3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Our bodies can not manufacture essential fatty acids and so they need to be consumed in our diet. Fish oil supplements can offer a simple and affordable way to help top up the body's supply and to boost overall health.
Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is produced from the livers of fish belonging to the cod family. The oils in these fish tend to build up in the liver and as a result the oil is also high in vitamins A and D. Vitamin A is vital for the maintenance of healthy skin and the immune system. Vitamin D is important for the body’s absorption and use of calcium, and as a result helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth. The body naturally manufactures vitamin D when exposed to the suns rays. Many people choose to take cod liver oil supplements during the winter months, when natural sunlight and vitamin D may be in short supply.
These vitamins offer further benefits when combined with the EPA and DHA in fish oils. However, cod liver oil often contains a lower concentration of omega 3’s when compared to omega 3 fish oil.
Omega 3 Fish Oil
Oily fish such as mackerel and herring tend to accumulate oil in fatty layers of flesh rather than the liver. This results in more highly concentrated levels of EPA and DHA. As these oils are not taken from the liver, they do not contain vitamin A or D.
Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Over the years many different health benefits have been discovered for omega 3’s. These include:
How Much Omega 3 Should I Take?
The current government recommendation for fish intake is two portions of fresh fish each week. Any more could potentially be dangerous, due to the toxins and pollutants that can be found in fresh fish. Fish oil supplements can be taken in higher doses because the oils undergo a distillation process, which ensures all toxins and pollutants are filtered out of the oil. Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for both adults and children, although different dosages are recommended:
Cod liver oil should not be taken in doses above 2000mg due to its vitamin A content. This is because vitamin A can be toxic when taken in high doses.