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Looking To The 50s For The Good Oil

Looking To The 50s For The Good Oil

Wednesday, March 1st 2006

It tastes foul, but cod liver oil is winning new converts

A teaspoonful of foul-tasting cod liver oil was a daily ritual for millions of children growing up in post-war Britain in the 1950s.

After wartime rationing, the priority was to build up the youth with diet high in protein and boosted with vitamin supplements to ward off diseases such as rickets, which softened the bones and led to the tell-tale bow legs.

Half a century later, middle-class, health-conscious families are again turning to cod liver oil - a rich source of vitamins A and D and omega-3 fish oils as a protective measure against many of the degenerative conditions of modern life.

The translucent amber capsules are now among the most widely consumed vitamin supplements in Britain.

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and rickets - all have been linked to a lack of vitamin D.

Research interest in the vitamin has been fuelled by the recognition that, as the main source is the sun - through its action on the skin - levels drop during the winter months and are generally lower in northern climates.

·Cod Liver Oil is made by heating cod livers then pressing them to extract oil
·Contains vitamins A and D, and omega-3 fatty acids
·Often flavoured or turned into capsules to overcome one of its big drawbacks - taste.

Although some vitamin D can be obtained from the diet, an estimated 60 per cent of people in Britain are deficient by the end of winter. Some experts suggest that staple foods such as bread and milk be fortified with the vitamin.

Sir Donald Acheson, the former chief medical officer, published a paper last year showing that people who spent more time in the sun were less likely to get multiple sclerosis, based on a review of 430, 000 people treated in Oxford for neurological and immune-related diseases over almost 50 years.

Sir Donald was one of the first epidemiologists to note in the 1960s that MS was less common among white populations living close to the equator.

Interest in vitamin D was also taken up by Sir Richard Doll, discoverer of the link between smoking and lung cancer, who was considering research studies into its role in a range of conditions at the time of his death this year.

And the growing evidence of the vitamin's role in protecting against disease has led cancer specialists around the world to rethink their advice on covering up in the sun.

Australia led the way with a statement earlier this year from the Cancer Councils of Australia that "a balance is required" between avoiding skin cancer and obtaining enough vitamin D.

Coming from a nation where the sun is notoriously fierce and skin cancer rates are among the highest in the world, this was powerful testimony of the newly recognised importance of vitamin D.

Source, Weekend Herald, 31 December 2005

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Arctic Cod Liver Oil
Cod Liver Oil Capsules
Cod Liver Oil - Cold Pressed
Coromega - Omega 3 fish oil
Hi Strength Liquid Fish Oil
Hi-Strength Liquid Fish Oil for Kids
Fish Oil 1500 Odourless
Norwegian Cod Liver Oil
Reflux-free Salmon Oil
Omega Woman
V-Omega 3
Vitamin D3

Related health information can be found here:

Arthritis & Rheumatism
Blood Pressure (High)
Blood Pressure (Low)
Blood pressure and hypertension
Cardio Vascular Health
Diabetes and Insulin resistance
Efamarine for healthy skin, hair and nails
Fish oils, garlic and antioxidants for the prevention & treatment of cardiovascular disease

Related articles can be found here:

Dietary Changes Can Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Fish oils for Dyslexia & ADHD
Low Fat Foods Promote Obesity
U.N. Launches Fight Against Obesity, Poor Diets

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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