Medical Definition of Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil: An oil extracted from the liver of the cod. Cod liver oil was once given religiously to children every day as a rich source of vitamins A and D. It was also used to treat children with rickets, a bone disease due to vitamin D deficiency.

Cod liver oil is now known to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Perhaps because of this, cod liver oil helps slow the destruction of joint cartilage in osteoarthritis.

Anyone who was ever given cod liver oil, even years ago, can still remember its distasteful odor and foul taste. It reportedly comes in more palatable forms today.

Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016

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