Cod Liver Oil: Superfood

Cod Liver Oil: Superfood post image

Whenever I recommend cod liver oil as a much needed supplement, people wrinkle their noses and say “Yuck”! Maybe their mother or grandmother forced them to take it. I remember my mother coercing us to take a liquid vitamin that was horrible, so I can appreciate the aversion. However, once you understand the incredible robustness that cod liver oil imparts, you may change your mind.

The traditional way of manufacturing cod liver oil was to dump the cod livers into barrels until the barrel was full. Then it was sealed and the livers left to ferment. After months of fermentation, the hepatic cell walls break open allowing the oil to float to the top of the barrel. The barrel was then opened and the oil carefully skimmed off.

Modern manufacturing had lead to a decrease in the nutrient content due to alkali refining, bleaching, winterization and deodorization. There is only one manufacturer to my knowledge that actually replicates the all natural method of cod liver oil manufacture and that is one of the sponsors of Real Food Media, Green Pasture. You may have seen the ads on my blog.

We support this particular manufacturer because he has invested a great amount time and expense to learn how to ferment the cod livers in the traditional way, creating a product that is extraordinarily pure and nutrient dense. I would not use any other cod liver oil product because it is just not worth it.

There are many reasons to add cod liver oil to your diet. Here are just a few:

Reason #1: Cod liver oil contains more vitamin A and D per unit than any other food. It has three times the vitamin A than beef liver, then next highest source. It has four times the vitamin D than lard, the next highest source. It is truly a superfood.

Reason #2: Making up seven percent of the composition of cod liver oil are the valuable fatty acids, EPA and DHA. These essential fatty acids are the basis for important hormone-like prostaglandins that help fight inflammation. DHA is extremely important for the developing brain and eyes.

Reason #3: There is also a small amount of the important vitamin K that is necessary for strong bones and healthy blood clotting.

This is what Sally Fallon Morell has to say about cod liver oil:

Doctor Price was right, as usual. Cod liver oil is very good for you, more than you ever knew. Research studies ranging from 1918-2001 give cod liver oil an A+ rating… Many of the conditions addressed by cod liver oil are considered related under the title Syndrome X. These include obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, adult onset diabetes and stroke. Evidence is accumulating that these diseases of civilization are the result of high levels of omega-6 fatty acids and low levels of omega-3 fatty acids along with deficiencies of fat-soluble vitamins. We may be paying a very high price for our rejection of parental wisdom to take our cod liver oil.

If you are not presently taking cod liver oil you may want to review the importance of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, K2, EPA and DHA. These vitamins are absolutely essential for good health. Most people do not get enough, for many reasons.

Vitamin A has been labeled toxic due to poor research that used artificial vitamin A, not naturally occurring. Healthy traditional cultures received ten times more vitamin A (naturally occurring) in their food then we get in our modern diets. Conventional recommendations are to stay out of the sun so that we can’t make the vitamin D that our bodies need. Modern packaged foods and grain products are very high in omega 6 fatty acids, creating a completely out of balance ratio of omega 6 to 3 for many people. These deficits have created fat soluble vitamin deficiencies which are the basis for many health conditions and diseases.

Dietary changes to real foods may come slowly. But taking cod liver oil constitutes taking a giant leap forward in your health goals.

Disclosure: I have received some samples of different flavors of Green Pasture cod liver oil. However, I have been using this oil, that I purchase as a consumer, for many years.

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This post is linked to: What’s on the Menu, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Healthy2Day Wednesday, Foodie Wednesday, Creative Juice Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Frugal Follies, Turning the Table Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Food Trip Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday, Fight Back Friday, Fun With Food Friday, Friday Food, My Meatless Monday, Meatless Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Mangia Monday, Seasonal Sunday, Sugar-Free Sunday, Monday mania, Delectable Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Made From Scratch Tuesday, Tuesday At the Table, Tuesday Tasty Tidbits, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday

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Leave a Comment

  • Brynna June 30, 2011, 10:22 am

    Great post! We have all been taking CLO for the last 5 years or so (we started when my 18 month old daughter began having dental problems). Since then I have become a huge WAP fan (love his “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” book!) and have switched to Green Pasture’s fermented CLO, even though it costs an arm and a leg (but it’s cheaper than the dental bill! LOL).

    (found your post on the Healthy 2Day linkup!)

    • Jill June 30, 2011, 11:49 am

      Hi Brynna,
      Thanks for your comments. It’s always an investment in your health to buy the highest quality products. It’s an informed choice you have to make.

  • Miz Helen June 30, 2011, 7:42 pm

    Oh no, sorry, I can’t do the Cod Liver Oil. I still remember having to drink it to go into labor. I am sure it is a special mineral, it sure helped to bring that baby in the world that night. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back real soon! Hope you have a great week end!
    Miz Helen

    • Molly June 30, 2011, 8:44 pm

      It’s actually castor oil that people take to help them go into labor. Cod liver oil is quite different. It can taste bad, but it won’t cause any physical reactions like castor oil does.

  • Susan with Permanent Posies July 6, 2011, 2:06 pm

    Well, as disgusting as it sounds, I think I will try it. Thanks for some great info.

    • Jill July 6, 2011, 2:46 pm

      Hi Susan,
      Sign up for my giveaway and maybe you will win a coupon for a bottle of emulsified clo — it really is quite palatable!

  • Melanie July 15, 2011, 2:09 pm

    Hi Jill,

    I have a question about CLO. I have only been taking it for a few months, but I find that once I am halfway done with the bottle, it is no longer “oil” and is a very thick consistency – more like peanut butter. Should I be stirring it from the beginning to avoid this? Is it normal for it to be so thick?

    Also, if I am taking coconut oil daily, do I also need to combine my cod liver oil with butter oil?


    • Jill July 15, 2011, 7:11 pm

      Hi Melanie,
      Yes on both — shake the bottle before use. And since coconut oil and butter oil have different qualities, you should take them both as well as the cod liver oil.

  • Healthwise November 11, 2012, 9:53 pm

    Hello, I am really enjoying your posts, just came across this site as I was looking up slow cooker safety (post about going for cast iron dutch oven instead of crockpot mentioned your site)…

    Anyways, yes I love Green Pastures Cod Liver Oil! The only one I feel I can actually digest properly, as it is fermented. Thank you for mentioning this process, as I keep finding over and over HOW a food is processed is critical to it’s integrity and value (digestibility).

    It is expensive, but worth it as it lasts some time. 2ml suggested dose (less than 1/2 teaspoon) with 237 ml bottle can last nearly 120 days/4 months if taken every day. I paid ballpark $50 for mine, which comes out to about $10 a month if you take it 6 days a week. Ok, enough with math, but you get my point…

    By the way, now that I think of it, my (very high quality) multivit was like $40 for 30 servings, hmmm…would rather put that money towards nutrient dense foods, like cod liver oil!

    The first time I bought it, it was the clo with butter version. Now I am using the straight clo. I think I will stick with it in the future simply because the included oral syringe makes it quick to measure and extract from the bottle. No spoon dipping/wiping out spoon (as with butter version). EASY to take – put it in a shake and you won’t taste it. Neither will your toddler! Works every time.

    Glad you mentioned it. I have seen Green Pastures website; bought mine from local chiropractor in Ashland, OR (Full Circle). No more heavy belly something-just-isn’t-right feeling from unfermented clo!