Tricks to Choosing the BEST Cod Liver Oil.
What is the difference between Cod Liver and Fish Oil?
Cod Liver oil IS a fish oil, it just happens to be coming from cod, in particular, their livers. Fish oils (that are not cod liver) will contain higher amount of EPA.
Cod Liver has higher DHA levels and is the active form of omega 3. Cod Liver Oil Contains natural and active forms of vitamin A and D which what makes it the most AMAZING super food for assisting in safely correcting deficiencies related to either of these crucial vitamins.
Cod Liver is my ‘go to’ treatment for a vast array of illness, but the one thing I find it the best for is assisting the nutritional status of children with ASD/Autism and ADHD.
Why is Cod Liver Oil so important for overall health?
The essential fatty acids EPA and DHA are found in the structure of the lipid bi-layer of our cells. This layer around the cell is a universal component of all of our cell membranes. Essential fatty acids such as cod liver oil enhance cell structure and assist with cell fluidity and function therefore allowing better transport of essential nutrients into cells.
Cod liver oil regulates inflammation via several different pathways. Most chronic disease states have functioning levels of chronic inflammation.
The Importance of the right omega 3 balance.
Having omega 3 fats in our diet is crucial. We are a nation in a omega three depleted state….
Western diets most often have ratios with much higher omega 6 to omega 3 fat ratio. This less than ideal ratio is a driving force behind ongoing inflammatory illness therefore leading to a chronic disease process.
Ideal ratio 1:1 for ideal anti inflammatory action. For a more detailed article on these ratios please read Essential Oils are not called ‘essential’ for nothing!
How does Cod Liver Oil help?
The DHA is the Cold Liver Oil is excellent for the eyes and brain. DHA plus EPA are excellent fatty acid used to assist in maintaining the health of the the heart, bones and immune system
EPA works to resolve inflammation to make sure it is not ongoing. Inflammation is a sign that the body is fixing something that is damaged, the inflammatory process performs a very important part of healing through cell mediation (arachidonic acid cascade). In disease states and sick bodies though, that process can continue going in a destructive and perpetual loop. Cod Liver Oil can assist in regulating this inflammatory process.
The human body requires DHA for early childhood brain development and for development and function of the nervous system.
Studies have shown significant improvement of behaviour in the following disorders when supplemented with DHA
- Oppositional defiant disorder
- Cognitive problems
I have seen excellent results using Cod Liver Oil in my clinic, especially with children with autism. There is better concentration, less hyperactivity, better overall health and better sleep patterns.
In a western world with the number of children being diagnosed with neurological conditions climbing way too high, it is important to ensure that these essential fats are being consumed in the diet.
How to choose the right Cod Liver Oil
It’s a jungle out there…..or a rather large ocean….
All of us at one point or another has spent a small fortune on a supplement only to find out later that it wasn’t the right one, had something in it that was nasty or we had been mislead by labelling.
So how do you choose the right oil?
These oils can get pretty expensive so it’s always best to do your research. Here I will show you a few things to look out for before laying down the cash.
Finding the right fish!
TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) allows ALL Gadidae family species to be used for cod liver oil, this means any cod liver oil sold in Australia may have been from fish within that family, but these fish may not been from the Arctic Regions.
Not all Gadidae spp are called COD……
And not all spp called COD are Gadidae spp…..
It can be confusing, but there are a few simple things to remember to ensure that you choose the right cod liver oil supplement.
One of the most important things is to source ARCTIC COD, especially if you are looking at delivering key nutrients. The cod that congregate within the arctic region tend to have the highest levels of DHA, vitamin A and Vitamin D. The vitamin A&D are concentrated relative to the environment, the temperature, the conditions, the metabolic state and the diet. These factors all contribute to the final outcome of nutrients in the fish.
The waters in the arctic region tend to be the purest therefore minimising the risk of contamination.
Processing and purifying the oil can strip out some of the nutrients so by choosing a healthy fish source you can be confident that there will be nice amounts of nutrients left in the fish after this. Only the mature from highly purified regions make a perfect food supplement
So we already know that Cod Liver oil is an amazing whole food supplement giving us a beautiful balance of natural vitamin A as well as Vitamin D.
But, there are a few things to watch out for when reading labels and a couple of small tricks that can get you picking the perfect one.
If you read the above label closely you will see that there is a static amount of vitamin A and it is at a high level.
When choosing an oil, the amounts of vitamin A should be under 2500 IU (tsp) approximately and the number should be variable and give you a range (220-930IU).
The vitamin levels in the fish vary due to the change of seasons, catch to catch and other factors. The below label demonstrates a natural whole food fish supplement due to the varying levels, no fortified vitamins added to the label.
Cod Liver Oil should always have a higher level of DHA to EPA listed on the bottle.
Whether you choose a capsule or a liquid is up to personal choice. I always prescribe liquid as the dose is more easily met.
With a great cod liver oil, taste should not be an issue. My personal choice and the one I give to my children is the NORDIC NATURALS cod liver oil. The taste is great and it is from a pure source with no added nasties.
Heidi Dahlenburg is a Registered Nurse and Naturopathic Clinician with 19 years in Professional Health Care. With a passion for preventative health, Heidi is continually immersed in studying and keeping up to date with the latest research on important health matter. Spending 13 years in the hospital system pushed Heidi to begin speaking and writing on the topic of preventative health, patient education and integrative healthcare.
Always seek the advice of you doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.