Relationship Between Cod Liver Oil and Constipation Explained
The relationship between cod liver oil and constipation is a natural treatment and ailment. In other words, cod liver oil has been used to provide natural relief from constipation for many years. Other fish oils provide the same benefit, without the risks that can be associated with the excessive consumption of cod liver oil. Both oils provide essential omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for optimal brain, cardiac, joint and digestive function.
My parents and my grandparents took regular doses of cod liver oil and constipation was not a problem for them. After complaining about a "belly pain", my mother gave me a spoonful of the unpleasant, smelly taste. After that, I kept my stomach pains for me. Sure, it relieved constipation, but "Yuck!" I could taste it for hours, every time I belched!
Today, the best fish oil supplements are molecularly distilled to eliminate odor. In the form of a capsule, they are insipid. Storing the capsules in the freezer and / or taking them with food can prevent belching and any aftertaste, while at the same time relieving occasional constipation.
Most people experience constipation occasionally. Very little fiber in the diet is a common cause, as there is very little water. But, many other factors can contribute to occasional constipation. Prescription medications, dietary supplements that contain iron, a sedentary lifestyle, travel or other changes in routine and stress are some of the many things that can lead to constipation.
Excessive use of stimulant laxatives can cause eventual dysfunction of the digestive muscles. leading to chronic constipation. Most people find that even the occasional use of stimulant laxatives can cause cramping and discomfort. Fish oils improve digestive function, can be taken regularly and are "milder" than most non-prescription laxatives, such as Ex-Lax. Many people relate cod liver oil and the prevention of constipation.
Just remember to choose wisely. All supplements are not the same. Cod liver oils contain vitamin A. Pregnant women should avoid supplements that contain vitamin A, as it has been associated with a significant increase in birth defects. Too much vitamin A, even in healthy adults, can be toxic. In general, it is safer to get your daily requirements of vitamin A from food or beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A as needed and, therefore, is not toxic.
Other concerns about the consumption of cod liver oil are related to mercury contamination and contamination of other industrial pollutants. Mercury is stored in the liver of fish. Therefore, there is a greater likelihood of contamination by mercury in the oils that come from the livers of the fish. The source of most cod liver oils is Atlantic cod, which has been harvested excessively and swims in some of the most polluted waters in the world.
Fish oils derived from fish "meat" are generally safer alternatives. But, it is still necessary to choose carefully. Some oils are not molecularly distilled and contain mercury and other contaminants. And, if you are concerned about environmental problems, some fish are overexploited and their populations are not considered sustainable. Manufacturers should list the "source fish" (cod, shark, salmon, etc.), the distillation process and the ocean from which the fish is extracted, but most do not.