Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Oleum jecoris aselli

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In the past, it was an important remedy against rachitis and other avitaminoses; nowadays it has been superseded by synthetic vitamins. Cod-liver oil also contains a relatively high content of iodine.

 Klin Med (Mosk). 2005;83(10):51-7.
[Clinical application of omega-3-fatty acids (cod-liver oil)]
Vermel' AE.

A range of prospective studies have proven high efficacy of omega3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega3-FA, cod-liver oil (CLO)) in secondary prophylaxis of atherosclerosis and its complications. Monotherapy with CLO or its combination with statines in natients with hypertriglyceridemia substantially lowers triglyceride level. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, including the capability of prostaglandin production reduction, clinical application of omega3-FA is indicated in high risk of preterm delivery, and in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In the latter CLO application allows reduction of the dose of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and improves chief clinical symptoms (reduces pain and morning joint stiffness.)

Drug Discov Today. 2004 Feb 15;9(4):165-72.
Biological basis for the benefit of nutraceutical supplementation in arthritis.
Curtis CL, Harwood JL, Dent CM, Caterson B.
Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3US, UK.

Arthritis is a common disease in which the end-point results in joint replacement surgery. This article reviews the use of nutraceuticals as alternative treatments for pathological manifestations of arthritic disease. The efficacy of fish oils (e.g. cod liver oil) in the diet has been demonstrated in several clinical trials, animal feeding experiments and in vitro models that mimic cartilage destruction in arthritic disease. In addition, there is some evidence for beneficial effects of other nutraceuticals, such as green tea, herbal extracts, chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine. However, in most cases, there is little scientific evidence at the cellular and molecular levels to explain their mechanisms of action.

 Lancet. 1990 Mar 3;335(8688):508-9.   
Fish oils and diabetic microvascular disease.
[No authors listed]

Pediatrics. 2003 Aug;112(2):e132-5.  
Vitamin D, cod-liver oil, sunlight, and rickets: a historical perspective.
Rajakumar K.
Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-2583, USA.

Rickets, a disease of vitamin D deficiency, is rarely confronted by the practicing pediatrician in the United States today. At the turn of the 20th century, rickets was rampant among the poor children living in the industrialized and polluted northern cities of the United States. With the discovery of vitamin D and the delineation of the anti-rachitic properties of cod-liver oil by the 1930s, it became possible to not only treat but also eradicate rickets in the United States. Rickets was a common disease in 17th century England. Frances Glisson's treatise on rickets published in 1650, a glorious contribution to English medicine, described the clinical and anatomic features of rickets in great detail. The exact etiology of rickets had been elusive until the 1920s. During the Glissonian era, rickets was a mysterious disease. By the late 19th and early 20th century, faulty diet or faulty environment (poor hygiene, lack of fresh air and sunshine) or lack of exercise was implicated in its etiology. Animal experiments, appreciation of folklore advocating the benefits of cod-liver oil, and the geographical association of rickets to lack of sunshine were all relevant factors in the advancement of knowledge in the conquest of this malady. In this article, the history of rickets pertaining to the discovery of vitamin D, cod-liver oil, and sunlight is reviewed.