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The Wonder Pill

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Coincidental Cures

Illustration of Cod fishRemedy: Cod Liver Oil

In 2002, researchers at the School of Biomedicine at Cardiff University confirmed what many of our grandmothers have always told us: cod liver oil is good for you. A team of scientists lead by Dr. Bruce Caterson looked at arthritic knee cartilage discarded after knee-replacement surgeries. that these compounds are all available in pill form today.

The researchers treated one group of the samples with the main ingredient of cod liver oil - Omega-3 fatty acids- and did nothing to the other group. After subjecting both groups to a chemical that mimmicks the inflammation arthritis sufferers are prone to, the researchers found a cartilage-destroying enzyme present in the untreated sample was not present in the group treated with the Omega-3 fatty acids. "These findings. . .offer a scientific basis for why cod liver oil helps people with arthritis and has for so many years," Dr. Caterson told the BBC in February 2002. But modern research has yet to confirm the myriad other benefits said to be gained from a daily dose of cod liver oil, long forced on children as a general cure all. Though it's likely that cod liver oil's high levels of vitamins A and D and Omega-3 fatty acids were in fact beneficial to previous generations, children everywhere can rejoice that these compounds are all available in pill form today.

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