Norwegian doctors rely on cod liver oil

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  • Researchers at the University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, want to recruit 70,000 volunteers to determine whether cod liver oil and vitamin D prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

What if cod liver oil was an effective treatment for Covid-19 infection? The question may give rise to a smile. It is, however, very serious, and is even the subject of a large-scale clinical study in Norway. As detailed The world, Oslo University Hospital announced on Tuesday (November 10th) that it was looking for 70,000 volunteers to determine if cod liver oil can prevent against contamination with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the Covid-19 epidemic.

A form of the disease more often benign

This large-scale study is based on the results of a study launched last March to assess the risk factors for SARS-CoV-2. 15,000 Norwegians responded, including 2,000 who tested positive. They had detailed their lifestyle on the Internet.

It turned out that regular consumers of cod liver oil were less carriers of the virus and, when infected, developed some form of the disease more often benign. “The difference is not astronomical, but significant enough for us to take a closer look “, explains Arne Soraas, doctor and researcher in the microbiology department at Oslo University Hospital.

One in five Norwegians use cod liver oil

This observation joins that ofa Spanish study published on October 27 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and the work of the National Academy of Medicine which, last May, highlighted the benefits of vitamin D “in the regulation and suppression of the inflammatory cytokine response causing the acute respiratory distress syndrome which characterizes the severe and often lethal forms of Covid-19”.

Indeed, vitamin D is well known for its action in “prevention of respiratory tract infections”. In Norway, its consumption is even encouraged from the age of 1 by the health department. “At least one in five Norwegians swallow it every day “, underlines in The world Arne Soraas. According to the latter, however, it cannot be ruled out that these good results of cod liver oil against Covid-19 infection should be qualified. It is indeed possible that people who consume regularly are also more careful about the virus and take more care of their health.

To determine its real effectiveness, the researchers will mail half of the volunteers bottles of cod liver to cover their daily consumption for six months. The others will receive a placebo consisting of corn oil. They will be followed for two years.


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