Decades ago, children dreaded the very words "cod liver oil." Daily teaspoonfuls of this less than appetizing product were thought to be a cure-all by our grandmothers and great grandmothers. According to a new study, they were not completely wrong.

Researchers at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary have found that giving kids a daily teaspoon of lemon-flavored cod liver oil, which has vitamins A and D and omega-3 fatty acids, followed by a tasty multi-vitamin tablet with selenium, a trace metal, may prevent those troublesome middle ear infections.

Middle ear infection, or otitis media in Latin, is a common and costly aftereffect of the colds and flu that plague children in winter months. The study, published in the July, 2002 issue of the Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, found that children with otitis media required fewer antibiotics and had fewer ear infections once they began taking cod liver oil and vitamin/mineral supplements.

For more information about middle ear infections, see The Doctor's article, Bottle Feeding and Ear Infections: A Formula for Disaster, by Dr. Craig Brown.