The Facts About Cod Liver Oil

A great deal of confusion exists about cod liver oil, vitamin A and vitamin D. “Modern cod liver oil does not supply vitamins A and D in healthy ratios to each other,” one popular web site states, while pointing out that most brands of cod liver oil are highly processed and contain synthetic vitamins, and that most manufacturers remove much of the vitamin A and vitamin D from the oil. This site then goes on to condemn all cod liver oil and recommend against using any as a supplement. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Cod Liver Oil contains all of the naturally occurring vitamins A and D, in their natural ten to one ratio, and no synthetic vitamins. This is the quality cod liver oil used to complement traditional diets throughout the world for centuries. Traditional diets centered on foods rich in vitamins A and D – liver and other organ meats, seafood and the fats of grass-fed animals. People spent much time outdoors in the sun. Yet still these people used fish liver oils as an essential part of their diets.

Extensive evidence shows that natural vitamin A in foods such as cod liver oil is not toxic except in cases where vitamin D is deficient. Avoid cod liver oil that contains low levels of vitamin D in relationship to vitamin A. The natural ratio is about ten to one, yet in some brands the ratio is as high as one hundred to one.

You may wonder why. The answer is that most manufacturers have bowed to the misinformation the medical and drug industries have spread about the toxicity of vitamins A and D.

The so-called experts refuse to recognize that research has shown it is the synthetic and not the natural forms of these vitamins that are highly toxic. A study in theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition(December, 2003) demonstrated that synthetic, water-based forms of vitamin A were at least ten times more toxic than oil-based forms. Other studies have shown the toxicity of synthetic forms of vitamin D.

A vast amount of literature demonstrates the safety of modest doses of natural vitamins A and D, in their proper ten to one ratio, as supplied in traditional cod liver oil. Weston Price found that healthy primitive people consumed at least ten times more vitamins A and D than modern diets supply.

To summarize: natural, old-fashioned fermented cod liver oil is a wonderful food that everyone may benefit from. That said, it is important to balance fermented cod liver oil, butter oil and vitamin K2.

See my recommended doses of these oils. Fats from fish or grass-fed domestic animals are rich in nutrients essential for health and reproduction – these are the foods that were most emphasized in traditional cultures, especially for pregnant women and young children. Do not let politically correct nutrition, marketing hype, fear of cholesterol, and ignorance in high places scare you away from traditional cod liver oil and other marvelous, animal-fat rich foods.