Inflammation and Cod Liver Oil

Dr. John Briggs

Inflammation and Cod Liver Oil

3 mins
March 8, 2021

Inflammation is a major player in multiple diseases, and especially in heart disease. There would be no arterial plaques if there wasn’t inflammation of the vascular walls to begin with. No, it’s not cholesterol causing heart disease. Shutting down the liver’s ability to make it won’t correct the condition. 

The most pro-inflammatory element we deal with in today’s society is that of sugar. The immense quantity of sugar consumed today in America grows every year. Because of this we see more and more inflammatory response throughout the body. With this inflammation, there’s increased cellular fluid retention, resulting in weight gain, fat accumulation and obesity. 

Although there’s many treatments for this increase in inflammation, there’s no better way of ending the cycle than getting free of the sugar and refined carbohydrates. For many, this can be as difficult as getting off some diabolical drug. Oh yea, that’s what sugar really is. It’s not nutritional in any manner. In fact, the metabolism of sugar demands more energy than it gives off. 

Many have resorted to traditional healthy diets like the Mediterranean diet to help stop inflammation and quench the cravings for sugar. More recent diets like the Ketogenic diet, works great but sometimes is thwarted as the ability to digest and absorb the required nutrition requires help as damage from sugar has altered stomach, pancreatic, liver, gallbladder and intestinal function. 

A major roadblock for the ketogenic diet is if a person has had their gallbladder removed. This is a huge factor for anyone when it comes to digesting and absorbing fats. And that’s not just with a ketogenic diet. That said, those missing their gallbladder are at greater risk of systemic inflammation. When I encounter this problem, I begin treatment with bile salts. The best is Cholacol, and I usually have them use one or two with each meal to insure they utilize fats appropriately. 

When dealing with inflammation, healthy fats are crucial, thus the information on the missing gallbladders. Cod liver oil had been the mainstay years ago. The fact that it used to be given to the students in school every morning has eluded us. There weren’t the issues of kids getting sick at school and bringing it home to the family. 

Cod liver oil is not only rich in vitamin D, but is an excellent source of vitamin A. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s when vitamin A was discovered, restricting it from an animal’s diet resulted in upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, and ear infections. Since we have stopped giving this wonderful nutrient to our kids, it’s no wonder that by the time the child reaches puberty they have been on massive doses of antibiotics for ear infections and even had tubes put in the ear drums. 

When coupled with a highly bioavailable turmeric supplement, the anti-inflammatory action is excellent. Dr Kerry Bone tackled the issue of how poorly curcumin was absorbed into the system by matching it with Galactomannosides from fenugreek. The result is one of the most aggressive absorption vehicles yet. This form crosses the blood brain barrier 245 times more than straight curcumin. Why is this important? Inflammation of the brain is the cause of dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Cod liver oil not only contains the EPA fats which deal with inflammatory process, but is rich in the DHA fats which are required to nourish the brain and nervous system. This combination of the turmeric and Cod liver oil is a real one two punch in dealing with inflammation. 

What we call bad cholesterol (LDL), is generated by our liver to try and put out the fire when there’s inflammation. Giving the patient a statin drug to turn off the liver’s production of the LDL is like laying off your fire department because there’s too many fires burning. So, when we see cod liver oil raising the HDL, which is calling the fire trucks back to the fire station, LDL levels drop as a result. It’s easy to see why I avoid putting my patients on statins and insist on using cod liver oil instead. 

With the new science of using endocannabinoids made from hemp oil to address inflammation, the growing of hemp products has exploded. Our body has receptors for and manufactures these endocannabinoids. This system is responsible for relaxation, metabolism, sleep, memory, immunity and inflammation, neuroprotection, appetite, pain, and emotional memory. What’s not been emphasized to this point is how fish oil feeds the body’s ability to manufacture these endocannabinoids. 

Sometimes we complicate life and miss the basic essentials which don’t cost an arm and a leg, have been around forever, and have been pushed aside to sell expensive replacements.

If you’ve missed any of my articles or wish to review, please go to my Blog page https://drjohnabriggs.com/blog.html

Dr Briggs is a 1980 graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and has been practicing naturopathic medicine in the northwest corner of Oregon since his graduation. His practice involves diagnostic and therapeutic modalities which have stood the test of time and the challenges of diverse disease. We believe that each person exists dynamically as a spirit being, possessing a soul made up of their mind, will, and emotions, living in a body which requires specific care and nutrition. To address only the physical needs is to ignore the real person, and frequently, the real issues. We strive to address all your issues (spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical) with compassion and wisdom.

This article was orginally reported by
Dr. John Briggs

Dr. John Briggs is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.