An interesting review of a historical study shows that cod liver oil was very effective at preventing and treating tuberculosis. Led by Professor Malcolm Green, the review analyzed data from a study carried out by physicians at the Hospital for Consumption, Chelsea (now the Royal Brompton Hospital), when 542 patients with tuberculosis received standard treatment with cod liver oil. These patients were compared with 535 patients who received standard treatment alone without cod liver oil. The disease was stabilized in 18% of the patients given cod liver oil , compared with only 6% of those in the control group. Deterioration or death occurred in 33% of patients given standard treatment alone, but in only 19% of those given cod liver oil, a reduction of 14%.
Professor Green says that the steady fall in tuberculosis deaths in the late 19th and early 20th centuries is often attributed to better living conditions but he believes improved nutrition was probably as important. “It could well be that the widespread use of cod liver oil encouraged by doctors played a significant part”. Green concludes that cod liver oil is a rich source of Vitamin D and additional studies shows that in order for the immune system to fight tuberculosis infection, it must have optimal levels of vitamin D. Since tuberculosis is still a common infection, accounting for millions of deaths annually across the world, vitamin D supplements are important to in combating tuberculosis.
Cod liver oil supplements can improve cholesterol levels, prevent heart attack, support brain health, and promote proper function of the immune and nervous system. Cod liver oil has high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, and very high levels of vitamin A and vitamin D.