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COD LIVER OIL

 

Cod Liver & Aspirin

"An Aspirin a day keeps the heart attack away" is one of the mantras of the health care profession. Indeed, studies have shown that aspirin is helpful in preventing the clotting of the blood that can lead to heart attacks. Few people though seem to be aware of aspirin's dangerous side effects when taken regularly.

Not only can aspirin cause serious bleeding of the stomach lining when taken on a regular basis, but convincing new evidence strongly links aspirin to macular degeneration. Researchers, as reported in Alternatives magazine, found that in 109 patients afflicted with macular degeneration, all had been taking frequent dosages of aspirin.

There is a better way

It is called Omega-3 and it is as close as you nearest bottle of cod liver oil.

What's behind it? We all know that a high fat diet is a good way to obtain clogged arteries, if that is one of your goals in life. Wait a minute! Eskimos, who eat staggering amounts of whale blubber, seal and fatty fish gut, have some of the healthiest hearts in the world. The reason: The Eskimos have high levels of omega-3 (polyunsaturated fatty acids) in their blood - substances derived directly from their marine food. For years now, researchers have pitted omega-3 against high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (circulating fats) as well as excessive blood clotting, a process that can cause a heart attack or stroke, and omega-3 almost always came out ahead. In one study that also included the effects of "good oils" derived from plants, cholesterol levels dropped by an average of 11% below control-diet levels, but the omega-3 (fish oil) regimen did something that its vegetable oil counterpart couldn't: It forced down triglycerides by an amazing 33%!

Now back to the Aspirin angle. Scientists in Munich, Germany, look at the effect that omega-3 had on platelet function. What are platelets? They are those tiny blood elements so crucial to the clotting process. When we but ourselves, we need them there at the wound, otherwise we would never stop bleeding. We want platelets to stay loose and out of trouble - meaning, we do not want them to clump up, choking off the flow of blood, precisely what doctors want to avoid when they prescribe daily aspirins.

For 25 days the researchers in Germany supplemented the diets of a group on men with daily doses of cod-liver oil. Then they ran a battery of tests to evaluate the men's cardiovascular systems, particularly the action of platelets. In factors measuring clotting activity, the men registered significant improvements because of their fish-oil intake. Platelet counts went down, their aggregation decreased, even bleeding times increased, another indication that the risk of dangerous clotting had been reduced.

"The findings," say the investigators, "paralleled observations in active Eskimos, who have unique nutrition and a low death rate from heart trouble caused by fatty deposits and blood clots." But the biggest surprise was what the fish oil did for the men's blood pressure: It actually pulled it down. While they were taking the cod-liver oil, their systolic blood pressure dropped an average of of nearly ten points.

In conclusion, omega-3 fatty acids, the researchers note, may be a new preventive for atherothrombotic disease - a preventive that should be stacked against the best convention therapies currently available, including antiplantelet drugs.

Amid all these signs that a little bit of fish oil goes a long way, there are warning from scientists that most people are simple not getting enough of it in their daily diet.

"After years of research," says Donald Rudin, M.D., former director of the Molecular Biology Department at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute in Philadelphia, "We now know that Omega-3 fatty acids are absolutely required by the human body. They are not optional nutrients. Yet most of the population is deficient in them.

The consumption of cholesterol and fat is way up at a time when omega-3 consumption is way down. In more ways than one", says Dr. Rudin, "They're our nutritional missing link."

 

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Cod Liver & Aspirin

"An Aspirin a day keeps the heart attack away" is one of the mantras of the health care profession. Indeed, studies have shown that aspirin is helpful in preventing the clotting of the blood that can lead to heart attacks. Few people though seem to be aware of aspirin's dangerous side effects when taken regularly.

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