If I had to choose only one superfood to take on a desert island with me, it would definitely be cod liver oil.
The countless cod liver oil benefits are mind blowing and make it the almost perfect nutritional supplement (and I say almost because the (unflavored) taste can make some people prefer a mud smoothie)
But before you opt for the mud smoothie, here’s your chance to discover the all its benefits, why fermented cod liver oil is even better and why it’s critical to choose the right brand (Avoiding vitamin A toxicity among other things).
- 1 What’s Special About Cod Liver Oil?
- 2 21 Cod Liver Oil Benefits and Uses
- 3 Why Fermented Cod Liver Oil is Superior
What’s Special About Cod Liver Oil?
Cod liver oil is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the planet. Here’s why:
1. It contains more natural Vitamin A (a fat-soluble vitamin) per unit than any other food. For example, it has 3 times more Vitamin A than beef liver (grass-fed), the next richest resource.
If you don’t eat enough grass-fed butter and meat, you may be deficient in vitamin A.
Vitamin A deficiency can cause many health problems, such as Vitamin D deficiency (Vitamin D can’t function properly without enough Vitamin A), low ability to fight inflammation, decreased growth rate (for children of course), slower bone development, decreased likelihood of survival from serious illness, night blindness and even autism.
2. Cod liver oil has plenty of Vitamin D as well, which most North Americans do not get enough of.
Recent research has found that proper levels of Vitamin D are critical for optimal function of the immune system, preventing autoimmune diseases and preventing cancer.
Also, Vitamin D is important for bone strength, balanced blood sugar levels and fertility (among other things).
3. It contains high amounts of DHA, EPA and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are particularly needed for blood thinning, reducing pain and inflammation, proper brain function and generally, well, for everything.
Bottom line is that cod liver oil contains all the nutrients that most of us are not getting from our diet and lifestyle.
21 Cod Liver Oil Benefits and Uses
1. Joint pain and arthritis (Here are 10 more science backed remedies for arthritis)
2. Chronic muscle and bone pain
3. Acid reflux
4. Dry eye syndrome and glaucoma
5. Dry skin, dry skin, dry hair
6. High triglycerides levels
7. Acne, psoriasis and eczema
8. Birth defects from Vitamin A & D deficiency (prevention).
9. Infant development abnormalities.
10. Alternative treatment for Crohn’s Disease
11. Menstrual cramps (Here are the best home remedies for PMS)
12. Systemic/localized inflammation
13. High blood pressure
14. Boosting immune system and fighting autoimmune diseases
15. Aspberger’s, ADD, ADHD and Autism (which was found by a few studies to be related to Vitamin A deficiency)
16. Bronchial asthma symptoms (some reported complete cure)
17. Early stage kidney disease
18. Slowing down and preventing all cancers
19. Reversing tooth decay
21. Middle ear infections
As for cancer, according to Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS and author of Beating Cancer with nutrition, cod liver oil augments the immune system, prevents metastatic cancer cells and “may be as effective as any cancer treatment available”.
As for autism, if you, your child or your relative has autism (or ADD, ADHD, Aspberger) – Here’s an important article about the autism-vitamin-A connection that can change your life.
Attention: The Critical Factor in Choosing Your Supplement
Recent studies has found that without adequate amounts of Vitamin D, high dosage of Vitamin A (such as in cod liver oil) can be toxic.
It’s highy important to get a cod liver supplement which has the right ratio of Vitamin A and D, which is 1:5 or lower.
This is not a suggestion, it’s a must. Some of the popular brands have a Vitamin A & D ration of 1:100, which is very bad and can lead to more health problems than the ones you’ve started out with!
Why Fermented Cod Liver Oil is Superior
Fermented cod liver oil is extracted without heat (which destroys most of the nutrients and thousands of micro nutrients found in traditionally made cod liver oil) and allows for a much better absorption of Vitamin A in your body.
Fermented cod liver oil is extracted through natural lacto-fermentation. Traditionally, fishermen would throw cod livers into a barrel, add some sea water and leave to ferment.
For the best of my knowledge, Green Pastures’ cod liver oil (made in Nebraska from cod livers that are gathered in the Arctic) is the only traditionally fermented cod liver oil (it takes more than 6 months for this process, not very appealing for industrial-profit-driven companies)
Cod Liver Oil Dosage
According to the WAPF website, here are the correct amounts we should be taking:
Children age 3 months to 12 years: A dose of cod liver oil that provides about 5000 IU vitamin A daily (Get them the flavored ones, such as the cinnamon tingle or peppermint, to make it easy for them to get down, or add to smoothies)
Children over 12 years and adults: A maintenance dose of cod liver oil that provides about 10,000 IU vitamin A daily
Pregnant and nursing women: A dose of cod liver oil that provides about 20,000 IU vitamin A daily
But, if you are taking the fermented cod liver oil, you should reduce the above dosage in half. And, don’t forget the A: D vitamin ratio which has to be 1:5 or less. (This is easily solved if you get the fermented one)
If you are taking the liquid form of the fermented cod liver oil, 1 teaspoon full a day is enough (according to the WAPF guidelines) and easy to measure.
The Fermented Cod liver oil capsule size is 500mg, so two capsules equal about 1/4 teaspoon. To get a full teaspoon you’ll need 4-5 capsules, but it’s better to start gradually and increase with time.
For tooth decay – Dr. Price’s tooth decay curing protocol included 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons per day of fermented Cod liver oil.
Why We Only Buy Green Pastures’ Cod Liver Oil
As I mentioned before, Green Pastures’ fermented cod liver oil is the only one I’ll buy, because it’s the only cod liver oil which is traditionally fermented (and not deodorized, bleached etc) and extracted without nutrient-destroying heat.
Also, Green Pastures’ FCLO has the right Vitamin A: D ratio.
As for the taste, Cinnamon tingle is well tolerated by our 2 boys and my husband takes the capsules.
Carlson Labs also has the right ratio, but is not fermented. It’s up to you.
Cod liver oil is probably the number one nutritional supplement/superfood and I think every family should have it at home.
But, it’s important to get the right brand and be well informed about the Vitamin A: D ration and the making process to make the best choice for you and your family.
What about you? Are you enjoying the remarkable benefits of cod liver oil? Tell me about your experience and let me know if you have any questions.
To your health & happiness,
Sources for this article include: