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Cod liver oil, betaine sped recovery and protected immunity after exercise

Cod liver oil’s powerful anti-inflammatory effect

Few studies have examined the anti-inflammatory effects of cod liver oil, which contains the omega-3s EPA, DHA, vitamins A and D, and other antioxidants.

In this study, doctors measured fish oil in the diets of 1,002 healthy recreational athletes, and their inflammatory factor—C-reactive protein—levels before and after a 57-mile bicycle race. Of the 856 who reported taking omega-3 fish oil supplements, 20.2 percent took it in the form of cod liver oil.

Those who took fish oil supplements had C-reactive protein levels 16 percent lower than those who did not take fish oil supplements. When doctors isolated the cod liver oil users, they found 34 percent lower C-reactive protein levels compared to the non-fish-oil group.

Reference: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; 2021, Article No. 51, Published Online

Betaine protects immunity after intense exercise

Intense exercise reduces immunity. In this study, 29 professional youth soccer league players, age 15 to 16, took a placebo or 2 grams of betaine per day before, during and after the season.

Comparing inflammatory factors before and after the season, interleukin-1 and -6 (Il-1, Il-6) decreased 24 to 40 percent for those taking betaine while increasing 6.8 percent for placebo. The betaine group also did not see an increase in white blood cell counts (WBC)—an inflammatory response—while WBC increased for placebo.

Discussing the findings, doctors said betaine influences a major inflammatory pathway, suppressing expression of inflammatory Il-1, Il-6, and tumor necrosis factors.

Reference: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; 2021, Article No. 42, Published Online


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