For centuries, Icelanders and Norwegians have sworn by fish liver oil.
It’s said to cure just about everything — from the common cold to impotence.
In the past five or six decades, countless researchers have shown that the old wives’ tales about the stuff really are true. This is good medicine.
Stores throughout the world have discovered it, and you no longer need to go to your local health-food store to have it ordered in.
The last time I was in the Yukon, you could even buy Norwegian cod liver oil at the Superstore.
But it appears that simple cod liver oil isn’t enough for some Norwegians.
Now, you can buy a different kind of oil.
Really, really different.
A small company in Tromsø has attempted to defy Brigitte Bardot’s fight for the protection of seals.
The company, Olivita, has begun to produce a very special oil: a mixture of seal oil and olive oil that is said to enhance and better just about anything in one’s life.
But though it may sound far-fetched, the evidence actually points to some real results.
Tromsø is a town of 65,000 in northern Norway, latitude 70, a community with a very good university where much of Norway’s most intriguing research is done.
“The knowledge about OliVita is based on nine clinical research studies done on 1,200 participants starting in 1986 and continuing to the present day by professor Bjarne Østerud and professor Edel Elvevoll at the University of Tromsø,” says on the company’s website.
“OliVita has a patented synergistic effect between the natural marine polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids and the natural antioxidants and inflammation-soothing components from especially chosen, minimally processed olive oils.
“The synergy effect is only attained when the olive part is in balance with the marine component. The marine component assures a high intake of polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids, while at the same time keeps the fat in its original and natural form.
“The marine component is refined to assure that the amount of environmental toxins is as low as possible.”
It couldn’t be stated any simpler.
But the website asserts that the two oils work together in a way no other food supplement can offer.
Combined, the two oils are said to have anti-inflammatory effects, reduce psoriasis and arthritis, as well as protect the body against reactions that can lead to atherosclerosis, blood clots and stroke.
Now, whether this actually works hasn’t been proved.
However, we have all heard that eating less saturated fat and more fish is better for you, and while the company humbly admits that “eating seafood is still your best bet,” its spokespeople just might be right in that this new oil is a good alternative if you don’t like fish or don’t eat enough of it.
One can only try — that is, if one can bring oneself to swallow parts of Bardot’s cute little friends.
Need I mention that there are no pictures of cute little seals in their ads?