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This is a question I get asked often. There are so many cod liver oils on the market, but many of these brands only use about half cod liver oil- the other half is made up with synthetic A and D! Yuck-that defeats the purpose of using cod liver oil if half of the nutrients are man-made. So let’s talk about why cod liver oil can be so amazing, and which brands are actually great.
Autoimmune disorders, leaky gut, inflammation, ATP energy production, food intolerances, and more are connected with vitamin A. Retonic acid impacts about 500 different genes!! This article is probably one of the best I have ever come across. Vitamin A is so important for our healing process, but we do need to go slow with it and support our livers!
Vitamin A is a crucial nutrient needed to heal from copper dysregulation. It is a prime part of creating ceruloplasmin. (Source-PubMed) Most A is stored in the liver so blood tests can’t be very effective in telling us our A stores. Low ceruloplasmin in the blood and low potassium on the HTMA are good indicators of an A deficiency.
Vitamin A also is key in fixing circadian rhythm. So many people deal with insomnia, daytime fatigue, and they have more energy in the evening. This happens a lot with adrenal issues, and it is a big sign that circadian rhythm is off. (source)
One of the BIGGEST lies we have been told is that beta carotene is the same as vitamin A. While beta carotene is an important nutrient, it has to go through a process to be converted into retinol. In order to make this conversion we need a healthy gut, healthy liver and gallbladder (bile flow is the KEY), and certain enzymes and nutrients (like zinc). From this study, “β-Carotene is absorbed from the intestine and is converted into vitamin A only in the presence of bile acids.” Using something like Cod liver oil that has retinol helps you get the REAL vitamin A that you need, because we cannot depend on the beta carotene converting.
There is a lot of hype about vitamin D. So many people push high doses of it without understanding that we are we are meant to get D from the sun and in small amounts from food. Period. You CANNOT bottle sunshine and I find it preposterous that this supplementing fad has continued for so long. Cod liver oil is one of the oldest and most effective ways to supplement vitamin D. We need a lot more vitamin A than vitamin D, and cod liver oil provides this balance.
We also need healthy livers to utilize both A and D. This is why liver support is so crucial for healing! We need these fat soluble vitamins, but we cannot use them properly with sluggish livers.
Vitamin D is still a truly crucial hormone. Vitamin D deficiency signs include chronic infections (including susceptibility for getting the flu), muscle weakness, diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, tooth decay, cancer, depression, and anxiety. This is why Cod liver oil can be great for those that need vitamin D, but don’t want to risk using high dose supplements (which I don’t recommend anyway- you can read why here!)
My Favorite Cod Liver Oils:
- Made from wild Norwegian Arctic cod from the purest sea water.
- Processed within 24 hours in effective and gentle manner.
- Separated from fresh cod fish livers using cold pressed purifying technologies without the use of chemicals.
- Regularly tested for freshness and purity by an independent, FDA-registered laboratory.
- Proven to be free of detectable levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, PCB’s and 28 other contaminants.
- Available unflavored or with a hint of organic peppermint oil and/or lemon oil.
- Vitamin A – approximately 2500 iu per serving
- Vitamin D- approximately 250 iu per serving
- One bottle has 95 servings- one of the BEST values you will find
- Naturally Occurring Vitamin D3 (400-500 IU per teaspoon)
- Naturally Occurring Vitamin A (3000-5000 IU per teaspoon)
- EPA (Approx. 510 mg/teaspoon)
- DHA (Approx. 700 mg/teaspoon)
- Raw and Soy Free
- Bottled Fresh in Norway
- No chemicals, solvents and mechanical devices used during the extraction process
- Oil is completely unrefined and produced under the total absence of heat
- One bottle lasts for one month at 1 teaspoon daily dose; 2 months at 1/2 teaspoon daily dose
Perfect Supplements has both of these cod liver oil brands: NutraPro and Rosita’s. They also have NutraPro’s Butter oil to help increase absorption of the CLO! Use my code SASSY for 10% off! They also offer free domestic shipping for orders over $99 and have a money back guarantee on unopened bottles of the CLO.
My third choice for CLO would be Nordic Naturals Artic (without the added D). You can usually find this one at Vitamin Shoppe easily. I’ve also seen good things about Dropi as well.
My absolute favorite is the NutraPro because it is the best value and it is pretty potent!