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Is Cod Liver Oil Healthy

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg December 03, 2016

 Is Cod Liver Oil Really Healthy?

In this short blog, we’re going to talk about cod liver oil and what it can do for the health.

I’m sure your grandmother recommended it because cod liver oil was a great ancient remedy for all kinds of things.

But do you know why?

Well, cod liver has something unique that you cannot find in any other food-- a perfect balance of vitamins A and D. They are two very special vitamins that support the immune system.


Vitamin D and A: Fat-soluble Vitamins You Really Need

Vitamins A and D are different from other vitamins in that they are fat-soluble, meaning they can penetrate the cell membrane through a process called diffusion, and, go right into the center of our cells and manipulate our DNA. So they almost act as a kind of pre-hormone and they’re very powerful.

Cod liver oil is a great source of vitamins A and D because most of these fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver. So cod liver, (liver from grass-fed animals)... liver is a great source.

Other foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins are butter from grass-fed animals, wild-caught fish, salmon, and egg yolks—basically the fats you can find in unprocessed fatty foods like these, and they will provide these kinds of vitamins.

In winter months, the reason you’ll want to take cod liver oil is that you don’t get enough sun, and you need that extra vitamin D from somewhere that is a good source, because we need good D and we get this from sunlight.

And cod liver is an easy way to replenish that D we’re not getting from the sun. If you’re a primarily indoors kind of person, this would be good for you all year.

If you are one of those people that always have a fall or winter bout of the flu, if you take cod liver oil, you won’t get the flu this year!

By the way, almost every single person I know who gets a flu shot ends up getting the flu. So, I don’t get these flu shots anymore because the process of injecting people with viruses seems to create problems with the flu vaccine, I mean. I’m not talking about other vaccines.

Another good thing about getting your immunity from cod liver oil is that these fat-soluble vitamins will also give you calcium-metabolizing vitamins. That’s because calcium in other minerals mobilizes with the fat-soluble vitamins and they are more powerful when they work together.

An important little story here, for all you dieters out there:

I had two separate patients who came in and they were on an extremely low-fat diets, and one person lost teeth, the other lost hair. You need these vitamins to mobilize proteins and minerals to keep your teeth intact.

So, taking a good quality cod liver oil daily can be a great thing for helping you get fat-soluble vitamins that are crucial for the hair, skin, teeth, and organs, especially during the winter and when on a low-fat diet. 


The Problem with Plants

The problem is when you get these vitamins from a plant source, you’re not going to get the quality or the amount of these vitamins you need, because all the plant sources of vitamin A, for example, are actually a pre-vitamin A, and this type of pre-vitamin A has to be converted in the body into real vitamin A, and it only converts at a rate of 4 %. This is why you really need the animal source of these fat-soluble vitamins.

The problem with traditional cod liver oil is that it’s highly processed. They heat it over 400 degrees for six hours, and, consequently, they kill everything that’s good in it, because those essential fatty acids are very delicate and are easily destroyed by heat.

You want a really high quality cod liver, so I’m giving you a link to unprocessed, raw, extra-virgin cod liver oil. It’s worth the extra money because the way it’s processed is like 'very, very unprocessed.'

Some people ask about Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Well, I’m not against it. But then, from what I understand, you cannot ferment oil. You cannot ferment fats, only carbohydrates.

If you want to support your immune system through the winter months, go with high quality cod liver oil and take a teaspoon a day.

As always, I’d love to hear your comments and questions.


Discover the benefits of cod liver oil and see more Nutrition Advice from Dr. Berg Video Blog.

Dr. Eric Berg DC

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