Cod liver oil

This Week In The HSI Forum

Earlier this month when we heard that executives at the drug giant
Merck and Co. had removed their best-selling osteoarthritis drug
Vioxx from the market, we quickly sent out an alert to HSI
members to let them know about the dangers of this popular drug,
and one of the best natural alternatives: cod liver oil (CLO).

A member named Roz had a specific question about CLO, so she
went to the HSI Forum, started a new thread titled “Diabetes and
Cod Liver Oil,” and started it off with this posting:

“I was surprised to read this A.M., on a recent HSI link in an E-
Alert, that Cod Liver Oil can raise blood sugar in Diabetics. It was
the one about Grandma’s home remedies, where CLO was
recommended for arthritis, unless one is diabetic. Do any of you
Diabetics take Cod liver oil, and have you found this to be true?”

Less than a hour later, Roz had her first response from a member
who calls himself “lae”: “Sometime back I posted information
about studies indicating patients with type II diabetes, who took
four grams (or more) of fish oil saw an increase in glucose levels. I
think it’s worth reiterating that the concern is not with just COD
liver oil, but with fish oil (the EPA/DHA). My advice, if you are
consuming large quantities of ANY fish oil product and are a type
II diabetic (perhaps type I), monitor glucose carefully.”

I agree with lae completely. Generally speaking, fish oil is a safe
supplement – especially when taken in moderate doses – but its use
should be closely scrutinized by diabetics and their doctors.

That’s not to say, however, that fish oil won’t have positive effects
for diabetics. A member named Ken writes: “For myself, brothers
& sister, using cod liver oil has helped our blood sugar levels
normalize, wouldn’t leave home without it.” And when lae asks
how much COL Ken takes daily, he responds: “We average about
2 tsp. of cod liver oil or a little more a day, never less.”

Two members weigh in with information about natural products
that may help manage blood sugar levels. A member who goes by
“mrs” writes: “No personal knowledge but I have several friends
who have been on a product called Alkyl Transfactor which is a
fish/shark liver oil and they say their blood sugar is normalizing.”

And a member named Sylvia offers this suggestion: “My husband
has had more success keeping his blood sugar levels steadier by
taking Limu Moui twice a day. (He is insulin dependent). It
inhibits glucose absorbtion with polysaccharides. Limu is a liquid,
brown seaweed, the main ingredient is fucoidan.”

I’m not familiar with either Limu Moui or Alkyl Transfactor, and a
search on the Internet produces almost exclusively web sites with
sales pitches. So I’d be very interested in hearing from any other
members who have tried these products. I do know that fucoidan (a
complex polysaccharide) contains small amounts of galactose and
xylose; two of the eight essential glyconutrients I told you about in
the e-Alert “Essential 8” (10/14/04).

If you’d like more information about cod liver oil as a treatment
for osteoarthritis, see the e-Alert “Tremors & Aftershocks” below
(Monday, 10/18/04).

Other topics on the HSI Forum this week include:
* No flu shot PLEASE
* Bed recommendations
* Help! Need a natural product to sleep
* Liver and colon cleanses
* Fosamaxshould I take this?
* Bells palsy

To join in with any of these discussions, just go to our web site at, find your way to the Forum, and add your
own insights and comments about health, nutrition and natural


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