Cod liver oil offers an excellent, naturally-occurring source of vitamins A and D. In addition, it delivers significant amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Let’s take a closer look at what these powerful nutrients actually do inside your body and why fish oil supplements could make a great addition to your health regimen.
Oh, and there’s a nice giveaway at the end courtesy of our friends at Twinlab. Don’t miss that!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids—EPA & DHA
There are literally thousands of published articles in peer-reviewed, scientific literature about the use of omega-3 fatty acids use in humans. Furthermore, the research solidly supports their value for cardiovascular health support and other purposes. In addition, a study published in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy revealed that our Western diets are lacking in omega-3 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. All of this makes a strong case for supplementation with fish oil.
Vitamin A plays an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, gene expression [i.e., the process by which the information coded in genes (DNA) is converted to proteins and other cellular structures], cell division, and cell differentiation (i.e., the process during which a cell becomes part of the brain, muscle, lungs, blood, or other specialized tissue). Vitamin A also helps regulate the immune system.
This nutrient is best known for facilitating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus (as well as magnesium), and thereby helping to promote bone health. In addition, vitamin D is a potent immune system modulator with a variety of effects on immune system function. Adequate vitamin D levels may also be important for supporting healthy blood pressure already within normal ranges.
Twinlab Cod Liver Oil: Sourcing, Processing and Testing for Purity and Potency
Quality is extremely important when it comes to sourcing cod liver oil. Twinlab uses only exceptionally high quality cod liver oil from cod that are harvested from clean Arctic waters off the coast of northern Norway. Once the oil is extracted from the cod, it goes through additional processing to assure a clean, potent product. These processing steps include:
- Neutralization: The cod liver is passed through a wiped film evaporator at specified temperatures, enabling the removal of PCBs, dioxins, furans, free fatty acids, and some sterols. The distillate from the reaction is considered waste, while the residue (neutralized oil) is further processed.
- Molecular Distillation: The cod liver oil is then pumped into the wiped film evaporator to be separated by molecular distillation. The distillate and residue will have different EPA and DHA profiles, and could be used for further processing as required.
- Cold Filtration: The cod liver oil is then cooled (“winterized”) prior to filtration to separate saturates from the oil.
- Steam Deodorization: In a vessel, oil is heated under vacuum and then injected with potable steam to remove odors.
- Blending with Antioxidants: In the case of some cod liver oil products (e.g. Emulsified Cod Liver Oil), antioxidants such as vitamin E are added to the oil to ensure that it will remain stable for long periods of time.
Finally, Twinlab tests the cod liver oil in the laboratory to verify purity, including tests for heavy metals. Then the finished product is tested for stability to verify that it will maintain its potency will on the shelf.