Arctic cod liver oil is usually a cold-pressed oil derived from the livers of cod fish caught deep in the seas surrounding the Earth's North Pole, particularly off Scandinavia. The oil normally is sold in capsule form for use as a dietary supplement. Arctic cod fish oil may be purchased online or in the vitamin section of most drugstores.
Normally referred to as cod liver oil, the substance has long been used as a traditional home remedy to treat everything from constipation to high cholesterol. Like all nutritional supplements, Arctic cod liver oil is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for efficacy in treating any medical condition.
Cod liver oil was first produced in Norway in the late 1800s by Peter Möller, whose process of extraction resulted in a slick brown substance believed to be rich in vitamins A and D, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, according to the Weston Price Foundation. These long-chain amino-acids are thought, but not proven, to be beneficial to cognitive function, as well as maintaining a positive emotional sense of well-being.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming Omega-3 fatty acids by eating at least two servings of fish per week. The association further advises patients taking more than 3 grams per week in capsule form to do so only under the guidance of a doctor.