My family has been taking cod liver oil for a couple years. About 6 months ago, we upgraded to the fermented version. Our fermented cod liver oil has quickly become our most important supplement. Well, actually, our ONLY daily supplement. Yep, that’s right. Along with a real food diet, fermented cod liver oil provides all the vitamins and nutrients we need to stay healthy and keep colds & flu far away. Here are the health benefits of fermented cod liver oil.
What is Different About Fermented Cod Liver Oil?
So what’s the difference between “regular” cod liver oil and fermented cod liver oil?
- Extracted without heat
- All natural product
- Fermented for 6-12 month
- Processed & refined at a high temperature
- Synthetic vitamins are added
- Extraction less than 1 day
Fermented cod liver oil is extracted without heat and is processed with lacto-fermentation over a 6-12 month period. The result is thousands of naturally occurring micro nutrients. The “regular” cod liver oil is rendered and process at high temperatures. The high temperatures break up the molecular structure of the oil and destroy many of the natural vitamins and nutrients. Synthetic vitamins are then added back to the product during processing.
Health Benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D is very important in every life stage (including in the womb – so pregnant mamas, take your fermented cod liver oil!). Vitamin D reduces your risk of heart disease, multiple sclerosis & other autoimmune diseases, skin cancer and common colds & the flu. We need vitamin D to help our bodies absorb calcium, which promotes strong bones.
- Vitamin A -Vitamin A is beneficial to our vision, immune system, and is an excellent antioxidant.
- EPA & DHA – EPA (an anti-infammatory) and DHA (vital for brain and nervous system development & function) are important omega-3 fatty acids. Since fermented cod liver oil is full of DHA which is important for brain development, this is a very important supplement for pregnant & nursing mothers and young children. It’s also important to continue taking DHA as we age to maintain brain function.
- Wrinkle Prevention & Sun Protection – Not only is it full of vitamins and omega 3, it is the best sun protection around! Yep, a supplement that keeps sun damage far away. A sunburn is inflammation of the skin caused by UV rays. Fermented cod liver oil is anti-inflammatory, thus stopping sun damage before it starts. Read more here.
What About Mercury & Other Metals?
Fish does contain mercury. But if you have good intestinal flora, you are protected when ingested. However, you are not protected when absorbed through the skin or from mercury tooth fillings (source). Learn more about intestinal flora and gut health here. There is evidence that selenium (a trace mineral in fermented cod liver oil) protects our bodies from mercury. As long as there is more selenium than mercury, we are protected. Cod has more selenium than mercury. The selenium binds to the mercury and acts as a natural chelator (source). Furthermore, mercury is stored in the protein of fish, not the fats. Fermented cod liver oil is from the fat.
How Much Should I Take?
- Children 3 months to 12 years: 1/2 teaspoon
- Children and adults: 1 teaspoon or 10 capsules
- Pregnant and nursing women: 2 teaspoons or 20 capsules
Fermented Cod Liver Oil Flavors
There are currently 6 flavors of fermented cod liver oil (2 capsules and 4 liquids). I personally like the cinnamon tingle best and my son (he’s 18 months old) likes the Oslo orange. If you can’t stand the flavor or texture, you can get the capsules. But as you can see from the recommended dosage above, you have to take a lot of capsules to get the full dose. It is much more economical to go with the liquid form. The unflavored liquid is thicker and congeals in the fridge.
How To Get My Kids To Take Fermented Cod Liver Oil
My son has been taking fermented cod liver oil since he was a few months old. He has always liked the Oslo orange flavor. I mixed it in his bottle everyday and he did great. Now I mix it in his sippy cup of milk everyday. He’s now 18 months old. I’m not sure if he even notices the orange flavor or if he likes it. The only problem with this method is that it is an oil and will float to the top. I just make sure he finishes his glass. If he doesn’t finish it, I put his sippy cup in the fridge for later.
Another method is to spread the liquid on bread or toast. My son will eat the cinnamon tingle this way…..sometimes. He will also eat the Oslo orange this way if I top it with a little bit of honey (local & raw of course!). But since I don’t have any trouble getting him to drink it with his milk, I don’t give do this option very often.
The flavored liquids come with a medicine syringe. So if you kids will take it that way, that’s the easiest way (shown below with Oslo orange). My son fights that. Or you can spoon feed (shown below with the unflavored liquid).
I highly recommend The Omega-3 Effect book by Dr. William Sears.
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Source: Weston A. Price