People have been taking cod liver oil for hundreds of years. Children were practically force fed spoonfuls of the nasty liquid in the 1800s as a way to prevent and treat rickets, a condition that developed in thousands of children due to undernourishment.
Fast forward 200 years to today, however, and it is an abundance of food that has contributed to our most endemic health issues. According to the World Health Organization, over 1.5 billion adults of the age of 20 are overweight - and worldwide obesity has doubled since 1980! What a shocking statistic.
Obesity is one of the most prominent factors behind primary hypertension, also known as high blood pressure - although it is worth noting here that it is not the only factor.
In addition to leading a healthier, more active lifestyle, it is thought that cod liver oil can provide a helping hand as a natural method for reducing highblood pressure. This wondrous supplement was used 200 years ago to treat children who didnt get enough food, and today, its used to treat those who have eaten too much - although, as many will be relieved to know, today the supplement is widely available in an easier-to-swallow capsule!
In the medical world, its currently understood that a daily dose of cod liver oil can help reduce your bodys blood pressure naturally by a small, but important, amount in people with mild-high blood pressure.
WebMD describes cod liver oil as possibly effective for treating high blood pressure specifically, which means that reputable scientific evidence supports the theory, but theres not enough scientific evidence providing the hypothesis. WebMD offers citations to the relevant studies, which weve added to this article.
I have high blood pressure. Is it worth me taking cod liver oil?
As weve explained above, only a limited number of studies provide a link between cod liver oil and hypertension, but the small amount of results is fairly promising.
The supplement comes with very few side effects if you stick to the recommended daily dose, and the supplement is rated as likely safe for most people, with exception to pregnant and breast-feeding ladies.
Cod liver oil contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, and a fair amount of healthy vitamin D and vitamin A too. As such, it is understood that the supplement helps with a host of health problems, including lowering our blood fat - this is actually rated as likely effective - and improving kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes. In all, it really could be worth you trying a course of cod liver oil to see how it helps you, but as with all new medications or supplements, do consult a doctor first if you are suffering from a medical condition - especially if you are taking any other medications.
It has been suggested that cod liver oil might actually interact with medications for high blood pressure causing your blood pressure to drop to lower than it needs to be! If you are taking blood pressure medication, it is essential that you speak with your doctor or physician before starting a course of cod liver oil.
WebMD rates the interaction as moderate, which means caution should be demonstrated and a health providers advice should be sought before taking the supplement. This also applies to anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs; the supplement is also thought to interfere with blood clotting. Again, speak to your doctor before taking cod liver oil if you are currently on any medication.
Cod Liver Oil & Hypertension studies cited by WebMD:
Prisco D, Paniccia R, Bandinelli B, et al. Effect of medium-term supplementation with a moderate dose of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on blood pressure in mild hypertensive patients. Thromb Res 1998;1:105-12.
Toft I, Bonaa KH, Ingebretsen OC, et al. Effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on glucose homeostasis and blood pressure in essential hypertension. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 1995;123:911-8.
This article was written by Carly Wood, on behalf of Seven Seas - world-leading suppliers of natural healthcare supplements, including cod liver oil. In her spare time, Carly loves to walk her doggies and brush up on her baking skills.