28 December 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Cod Liver Oil and Cancer

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Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Westernized countries, and medical professionals have identified multiple factors that may contribute to cancer rates, including diet, lifestyle, tobacco use, and sun exposure. Luckily, there are a few steps that can be taken to reduce your risk of cancer. An easy and effective preventative step is consuming fermented cod liver oil on a regular basis.

Vitamin A and Cancer Prevention

Fermented cod liver oil is an excellent source of food-based vitamin A, and this nutrient is important for reducing cancer cells in the body. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, every successful cancer therapy that involved alternative treatment methods included the use of vitamin A. Multiple research studies have found links between vitamin A and specific cancer reduction such as leukemia and lung cancer.

There are two methods that the body can use to obtain vitamin A. This vitamin may be consumed in foods that are eaten, such as fermented cod liver oil, egg yolks, and dairy products. Or, the body is able to use beta carotene from vegetables and fruits and create retinol, which is a type of vitamin A. Foods high in beta carotene include spinach, carrots, broccoli, apricots, peaches, and squash.

When the body has vitamin A, the vitamins are used as needed, and excess vitamins are stored in the liver until they are needed. But, problems can occur if synthetic vitamin A is consumed, because the high levels of synthetic vitamins have low bioavailability so the body may store the nutrients because they can’t be effectively used. As a result, vitamin A toxicity can occur, which can be dangerous for your health.

If you want to reduce your risk of cancer it is important to increase your consumption of vitamin A, but it must be a food based source of vitamin A. Many of the supplements that are available contain synthetic versions of this vitamin, and those synthetic versions are not as effective for cancer prevention. The best source of naturally occurring vitamin A is in fermented cod liver oil, since it provides the necessary vitamin A that your body needs without the risks of synthetic vitamin toxicity.

Vitamin D: Sun Exposure or Food Source?

Another vitamin that affects cancer risk is vitamin D, and multiple studies have found that increased levels of naturally occurring vitamin D may help to reduce the risk of specific types of cancer such as rectal, colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

Vitamin D can be obtained by getting sunlight on your skin on a daily basis, then the body is able to synthesize the vitamin D that you need. But, many people don’t get enough sun exposure each day because our modern lifestyle has most people staying indoors for the majority of the day. If you don’t get the sunlight that is needed, then your levels of vitamin D might be lower which may increase the risk of cancer.

Luckily, there are food based sources of vitamin D, although there are only a few foods that can provide a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Fermented cod liver oil is one of the best food source of vitamin D, and the vitamin is naturally occurring. Some of the vitamin D supplements that are available for purchase contain synthetic vitamin D, and the synthetic versions are not as effective at reducing the rate of cancer… and synthetic vitamins can cause toxicity to occur.

If you are planning to take cod liver oil, it is necessary to find a brand that contains the natural, synthetic vitamin D instead of synthetic vitamins that are added into the oil. The most common production method now involves high levels of heat and a refining process that strips out the naturally occurring vitamin D, and so many manufacturers actually add synthetic vitamins back into the oil to provide the vitamins that people are looking for.

When you are choosing a brand of cod liver oil, read the label and be sure that it specifies that it is “fermented,” because fermented cod liver oil contains the naturally occurring vitamin D which can effectively reduce the risk of cancer. One of the best brands that is available is called Green Pasture, they have high quality oils that can provide the nutrients that you need for overall health and wellness, without the heavy metals and contaminants that may be present in other brands of oil.

When to Use Cod Liver Oil for Cancer

It is always best to consult with your doctor about your cancer treatment, but many cancer patients add fermented cod liver oil to their treatment plan with great success. Another use of the oil is for prevention… instead of waiting for a cancer diagnosis, cod liver oil can be taken on a regular basis to prevent the cancer cells from growing in the first place.

Every person should be using fermented cod liver oil on a regular basis for cancer prevention, especially if they have a family history of high rates of cancer or any other cancer risk factors that may present.

Resources:

Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, American Cancer Society

Vitamin D and Cancer, Vitamin D Council

Do Sunlight and Vitamin D Reduce the Likelihood of Colon Cancer?, PubMed.gov

Cod Liver Oil: The Number One Superfood, Weston A. Price Foundation

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