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Cod Liver Oil & Fish Oil Heath Benefits for Women

by
author image Linda Tarr Kent
Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Kent holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Washington State University.
Cod Liver Oil & Fish Oil Heath Benefits for Women
Cod liver and fish oils provide omega-3s. Photo Credit Fish oil vitamins image by Stephen VanHorn from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Cod liver oil and fish oil both provide omega-3 fatty acids. The main difference between the two is that cod liver oil contains more vitamins A and D. Omega-3s reduce inflammation in the body and can help prevent or alleviate a host of undesired health conditions. The body cannot make its own omega-3s, so women must consume them via supplements or food, advises the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). The omega-3s in cod liver oil and fish oil have many potential health benefits for women.

Heart Health

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women, according to the American Heart Association. Scientific evidence is strong that consuming omega-3 supplements like fish oil and cod liver oil reduces the risk of cardiac death, advises the Mayo Clinic. This is true even among women who have a history of heart attacks.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The omega-3 content of fish oil and cod liver oil can help improve the joint tenderness and morning stiffness experienced by women who suffer rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis strikes women three times as often as it strikes men, most often between the ages of 40 and 60. This chronic, inflammatory disorder affects the small joints in a woman's hands and feet, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Bone Strength

Omega-3s are important for bone strength and for preventing osteoporosis. Women are four times more likely than men to develop this condition in which bones become fragile and break easily, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Omega-3s may help increase calcium levels in a woman's body and thus improve bone strength, according to UMMC.

Menstrual Pain Reduction

Cod liver and fish oils might help with menstrual pain, although not enough solid research exists to advocate omega-3s for this use, advises UMMC. A few smaller studies do conclude a link exists, such as a Danish study published in the July, 1995 "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition." Results of that study support the hypothesis that a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources leads to milder symptoms during menstruation, notes lead author B. Deutch of Aarhus University in Denmark.

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