How does it work?
Vitamin A is essential for eyesight, especially for seeing in dim light. It combines with proteins in the eye to form a special pigment that sends messages from the eyes to the brain.2 Vitamin A is essential for the health of the skin and the protective membranes that line the nose, mouth, throat, and intestinal tract. Vitamin A is required to produce new cells in the skin and membranes, which the body constantly breaks down and replaces. Because healthy skin and membranes are a barrier to invading organisms, Vitamin A plays an important role in the body’s immune system.2
Vitamin D regulates calcium levels in the body. It enhances the absorption of calcium from foods, controls the amount of calcium that is lost from the body, and keeps blood calcium levels steady. Vitamin D is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
EPA and DHA dosage recommendations vary depending on your age and health. WHO recommends a daily intake of 0.2–0.5 grams (200–500 mg) of combined EPA and DHA. However, it may be necessary to increase the dosage if you are pregnant, nursing, or at risk of heart disease.
The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin A is 5,000 IU (International Units). The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin D is 400 IU (International Units).
Who Should Use Cod Liver Oil?
People who do not eat foods rich in vitamin A or vitamin D, such as milk, eggs, liver, or fish, may not be meeting their needs. Vitamins A and D are critical for normal growth and development, so children who do not get enough of these vitamins in their diet may benefit from cod liver oil.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Vitamin A is safe when taken at recommended levels. Experts recommend that vitamin A supplements be limited to 10,000 IU per day. Vitamin A may cause liver damage and birth defects if taken in large amounts (25,000 IU or more per day) for many months or years. No side effects are reported for vitamin D intakes under 2,000 IU per day in healthy adults. Greater amounts of vitamin D can increase the loss of calcium from the bones and from the body. Excess amounts of vitamin D, when taken for many weeks or months, may lead to toxicity.