Cod liver oil benefits confirmed

Cod liver oil has long been thought to help joints
Scientists have confirmed the age-old belief that cod liver oil is good for the joints.

Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 00:04 GMT

Cardiff-based researchers say taking the supplement could delay or even reverse the destruction of joint cartilage and inflammatory pain associated with arthritic disease.

They believe it could even delay joint replacement surgery.

Over one million people in the UK are affected by osteoarthritis,

It’s an absolutely rational basis for taking it, rather than a ‘hit and hope – my granny thought it might be good for me’ approach

Fergus Logan, Arthritis Research Campaign

Although it is traditionally associated with old age, one in 1,000 children suffers from arthritis.

Severe arthritis causes significant disability for over three million people.

The condition can be life-threatening through its effect on other organs in the body and increased susceptibility to infection.

In the Cardiff research, Professor Bruce Caterson of the School of Biomedicine at Cardiff University looked at the effect of Omega-3 fatty acids (the main component of cod liver oil) on the discarded arthritic knees of people undergoing knee replacement surgery.

Professor Bruce Caterson who carried out the research

Some were treated with Omega-3 fatty acids for 24 hours in a laboratory – others were not.

A chemical was added to mimic an inflammatory response, and the samples examined four days later.

When researchers looked at the cartilage pieces, they found a particular kind of a body chemical called enzymes, which was responsible for destroying cartilage in arthritis, was present in the untreated group.

But they were ‘turn off’ in those treated with Omega-3 fatty acids, as were the enzymes which cause inflammation and pain in joints.


Professor Caterson said his research had been able to prove the theory cod liver oil could help the joints.

“Cod liver oil, which contains Omega-3 fatty acids can be very very helpful and beneficial in arthritic diseases.

“So in very simple terms, we’ve been able to show that we can slow down or remove the activities of the enzymes that degrade cartilage in arthritis, and as well, we can keep inflammation down to a lower level.”

Fergus Logan, chief executive of the Arthritis Research Campaign, which partly funded the research, said: “Thanks to Professor Caterson, we know precisely what cod liver oil can do, where it can help and how that happens.

‘Extremely exciting’

“It’s an absolutely rational basis for taking it, rather than a ‘hit and hope -my granny thought it might be good for me’ approach to medicine which is not particularly well targeted.”

“These findings are extremely exciting, and offer a scientific basis for why cod liver oil helps people with arthritis – and has done for many years.

“Not only does cod liver oil reduce pain and inflammation in the joints of people with osteoarthritis but we now know it also turns off the enzymes responsible for destroying cartilage.

“We’re delighted that something as simple and non-controversial as cod liver oil has the potential to bring relief and restore quality of life to so many people who suffer from osteoarthritis.”

One comment

  • Please study my comments on Cod Liver Oil from the past and the wonderful work by Weston Price and the Weston Price Foundation on the subject. Cod Liver Oil is also seen as very useful in Chinese medicine for the Kidneys and Yin and we all know the connection of the bones with the Kidneys. The Cartlidge aid comes from aiding the Liver, remembering any aiding of the Kidneys will always aid her son the Liver and vice versa. Try to get the best quality you can get which is fermented and stay well away from crap from overhyped Seven Seas.

    -The Unhived Mind

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