From the depths of the Arctic Sea to the shelves of stores around the world, cod liver oil is one of many fish oils considered to be beneficial to health and wellness. Harvested from fish that populate the glacial waters of Norway, cod liver oil is an age-old remedy for what ails you, including everything from colic and rickets to high cholesterol [source: Rajakumar].
Extracted from the cod fish, whose prized meat contains less than 1 percent fat, cod liver oil is exactly what it sounds like: the oil from a cod's liver [source: Kurlansky]. Traditionally, cod liver oil was simply scooped off the top of barrels of cod livers, but with today's health standards, production has changed and regulations are in place. Fish oils currently on the market have been purified by removing mercury and other harmful substances [sources: Moeller, Weil].
Cod liver oil, like other natural fish oils, is considered to be high in vitamins, especially A and D, and Omega-3 acids. But cod liver oil differs from other oils in that it contains less saturated fat [sources: Monroe Street Medical Clinic].
If you're wondering just how beneficial cod liver oil might be, you're not alone. Omega-3s and fish fats seem to make headlines in the news fairly frequently. In this article, we'll look at the potential benefits and reported side effects of cod liver oil and find out how it's being used to treat dry skin.