A simple and cheap cure?
A simple and cheap cure?iStock

Dosing with Vitamin D to prevent COVID or to ease its symptoms once contracted has been established as effective, but what about other vitamins or nutrients? Who has heard of using fish liver oil, for instance, to prevent COVID?

In fact, scientists have been analyzing the efficacy of fish liver oil in preventing COVID and ameliorating its symptoms since 2020, in a number of studies conducted in Iceland and Norway. In one study in 2020, a group of Icelandic scientists at the University of Iceland showed that free fatty acids found in fish liver oil can quickly destroy viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The results were impressive: Fish liver oil with 1% and 2% free fatty agents was found to destroy 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 within just ten minutes.

Another study conducted by researchers at Oslo University, a randomized, placebo-controlled, and quadruple-blinded study, examined the effectiveness of cod liver oil in prevention of COVID-19 in healthy adults. The study was completed in June, 2021, but the results do not seem to be anywhere on the internet.

The study at the University of Iceland was a laboratory study; researchers had yet to prove they could replicate their findings in human subjects. According to an article in Viðskiptablaðið, an initial trial with 30 people infected with COVID-19 was approved by the Scientific Ethics Committee later that same year, but when, in 2022, the Icelandic daily newspaper Frettin contacted the lead researcher on the study for an update, Professor Stefánsson said the research project had been discontinued due to lack of funds.

According to Dr. Stefánsson, the Icelandic Centre for Research had approved a “substantial grant” to finance the study, but the grant was later withdrawn with no explanation given.

Fish oil, and specifically Omega-3 fatty acids, have long been established as safe and useful in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions and also as prophylaxis. Their specific usefulness in the treatment of COVID-19 is likely due to a number of features, including their ability to fight inflammation and modulate cytokine responses to viral invaders which can prevent cytokine storm from ensuing, a prime cause of multi-organ failure and death in severe cases of COVID-19.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to have the ability to enhance the body's anti-viral response by inducing interferon which inhibits viral replication.