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Title: A treatise on cod liver oil and cod liver oil emulsions
Author: Wells, John William
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1903
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Cod Liver Oil is a remedy of great antiquity and is said to have been used by the Greenlanders, Laplanders and Esquimaux before they came in touch with civilisation. The oil used by these primitive peoples was doubtless a very crude product and various improvements in the preparation of the oil have been made since these early days. The oil is extracted from the Livers of the various Gadidoe. No practical difference exists in the Morphology of the Liv ers of the various Gadidoe, although differences exist in the oil expressed from the Livers of fish in the various fisheries, probably due to care in selection of thé cod rejection of other species and to the special environments of each fishery, i.e. Temperature, Depth. of water, and Food supply &c. This can seen in the differences between Norwegian and Newfoundland Cod Liver Oil. The yield of oil from the Livers also varies greatly in different years according to modifications of Temperature and food supply. Three varieties of medicinal oil are recognised in commerce pale. light brown and brown; but these insensibly merge into each other, and are only the result of different processes or periods of preparation, as mentioned above. The pale oil possesses a fishy odour and a slight acrid taste, while with the darker oil there is a distinctly disagreeable empyretunatic odour and taste. In composition the oil contains olein and margarin with small proportions of free butyric and acetic acids, a peculiar principle termed gaduin, certain bile acids, free phosphorus, phosphatic salts, and traces of iodine and bromine. Cod liver oil is valuable in medicine on account of its great nutrient properties; it aids rapidly to the store of fat within the human frame, and it enriches the blood in red corpuscles. It is much more digestible than other animal oils, a fact which may account for its superior therapeutic value. At one time it was supposed that its virtues resided in the iodine and bromine which the oil generally contains; but these are present in only exceedingly minute proportions, and sometimes they cannot he traced at all. The oil has long been favourably known in medicine as a remedy for rheumatic complaints, but its great value in pulmonary consumption has been demonstrated only in comparatively recent times. It is administered internally in chronic rheumatism, scrofula, phthsis, chronic skin diseases,and general debility; and it is sometimes externally applied in affections of the skin. The oil is taken with facility by young children; but the repugnance of adults to its taste and eructations is not easily overcome,and many methods have been suggested for masking its taste. With that view the oil is enclosed in gelatinous capsules, or prepared in the form of aromatised emulsions of equal parts of mucilage, of gum tragacanth and the oil. There are numerous other forms of emulsions recommended, as well as combinations with medicinal syrups, and cod liver creams,jellies and bread; and various devices are familiarly employed as in the administration of unpleasant medicines. Failing all these, cod liver oil has been introduced into the system by injection.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available