Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil is a traditional food which has been used for centuries.  I remember my mother telling me how she took her teaspoon full every morning.  She actually liked the taste of it calling it “numnu”.  Unfortunately this habit did not continue into adult life or the next generation in my family – until now.

Cod Liver Oil is more of a lost food than a supplement, especially when made the traditional way – fermented.  Cod Liver Oil contains essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins, which are vital for the normal functioning of every tissue in the human body some of which include:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA/DHA:are vital for brain and eyes especially in during development, and also help with blood flow and pressure.
    • EPA is especially important brain function
    • DHA is used in building brain structure
  • Cholesterol:  a critical component to cell membranes, needed by our brain and nervous system to build and function; necessary for myelin synthesis; hormone production, adrenal support; immune system functioning and a major building block for vitamin D.
  • Vitamin A: essential for the immune system, bone growth, night vision, cellular growth, testicular and ovarian function.  In people with digestive issues absorption and conversion of carotenoids into vitamin A is less than 5% at best.
  • Vitamin D: major building block for cholesterol, and it is essential for the absorption and utilization of calcium and potassium, required for skeletal growth; blood sugar control, the immune system, mental health and cancer prevention and more.

The Weston A. Price foundation helps to spread the knowledge of this Sacred Food and has a wonderful document on Cod Liver Oil Basics and Recommendations

Care must be taken in the choice of cod liver oil. Most brands contain synthetic vitamins A and D and many have the wrong ratio of A to D. This lends itself to much of the controversy about the use of this supplement.

Cod liver oil was traditionally manufactured by filling a wooden barrel with fresh cod livers and seawater and allowing the mixture to ferment for up to a year before removing the oil.   The difference between regular and fermented cod liver oil is that the fermented has a deeper and broader range of nutrients, including CoQ10 and the proper ratios of Vitamins A to D.  A recommended brand is Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver oil available through this GAPS Practitioner.