Secrets of the deep: Cod liver oil supplements for dog arthritis treatment?
Cod liver oil has been used to improve people’s general health for centuries now. The oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, and high amounts of vitamin A and D. Clinical tests have proven that cod liver oil helps prevent rickets in children and lowers the risk of heart disease. Cod liver oil is also good for the skin, hair, and nails.
An interesting property of cod liver oil is that it can suppress inflammation. Normally, this is an unwanted side effect but for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, cod liver oil reduces the damage done by the inflammation to the joint cartilage.
Although people from fishing communities of northern Europe have been using cod liver oil to improve their body’s resistance against the extreme cold, it was only in the 1950s where scientific research was done to study the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids found in the oil. From these clinical tests, a nutraceutical industry of cod liver oil supplements was established. Now, cod liver oil products are consumed all over the world.
What are the benefits of cod liver oil supplements for people?
Cod liver oil contains Omega-3, which is actually composed of three fatty acids. One type is Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA, a fatty acid that can suppress inflammation. Another important nutrient of cod liver oil is vitamin A. The vitamin is an anti-oxidant (which means it removes substances called free radicals in cells); Anti-oxidants help prevent further damage to cells.
Therefore, cod liver oil is believed to be very helpful to slow down the degeneration of the joints seen in human (especially rheumatoid) arthritis.
- The EPA reduces inflammation
- Vitamin A prevents further damage to the joint cartilage.
Is cod liver oil effective against dog arthritis?
Because cod liver oil is used so much in people it is also given to dogs quite commonly . However it is not as helpful for dogs because dogs rarely get rheumatoid arthritis.
There are other supplements that are better at dealing with the symptoms of dog arthritis. For instance, to prevent further cellular damage in the cartilage tissue, I would recommend the use of supplements containing a combination of vitamins A, C, E with selenium and flavanoids. These nutrients are proven antioxidants.
As an anti-inflammatory I suggest fish oil over cod liver oil. The main difference between the two is that the former contains higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, most especially EPA.
Cod liver oil is not as effective as fish oil and anti-oxidant supplements in the treatment of dog arthritis, though many people are very happy with its effect.
Visit my blog www.dogarthritisblog.info to read more about the many ways we can treat the pain and inflammation of dog arthritis.