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The Absolute BEST Cod Liver Oils
What is the BEST cod liver oil? 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.
Cod Liver Oil has REAL Vitamin A
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.
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.
Cod Liver Oil has REAL Vitamin D
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
Recently (4/2023), it’s been hard to get NutraPro, so I’ve been looking at the other CLOs that Perfect offers. Dropi is a great brand that I’ve heard good things about for the last few years. So while NutraPro is unavailable (not sure if or when it’ll be back in stock), I’ve been recommending Dropi more.
There are quite a few options on Perfect for Dropi- capsules, plain liquid, or flavored liquids. You can see all the options here.
Dropi is truly of amazing quality, and to be honest we’re enjoying the taste more than we did the Nutrapro (we got the Mandarin flavor!).
- No heat, no fermentation, no solvents
- Cold-pressed fresh with each day’s catch
- Available in liquid and capsules
- No artificial ingredients
- No synthetic vitamins (many CLO brands use synthetics so it’s important to be reading labels!)
- Trace amount of rosemary and natural tocopherol added as an antioxidant to maximize shelf life
- Fished sustainably and responsibly
- Gluten-free and Non-GMO
- For the liquid, one bottle will give you 34 servings of 1 teaspoon.
- Each teaspoon has 125% DV of vitamin A and 66% vitamin D, which is a good ratio of A:D. And of course, you have EPA and DHA!
- 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: Dropi and Rosita’s. 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.
Earthley Cod Liver Oil
Earthley also has 2 options now for cod liver oil: liquid form or their vitamin D cream.
1) Earthley’s Liquid CLO
Earthley’s cod liver oil is incredibly pure and has no additives at all- it’s 100% cod liver oil. Check it out here.
Each 1/2 tsp. dose contains approximately:
- 100 IU Vitamin D
- 1750 IU Vitamin A
- 300 mg EPA
- 400 mg DHA
2) Vitamin D Cream
This cream is a unique way to get in some vitamins D, A, and K2. If oral vitamin D sources are hard for you to digest and utilize, this cream can be a HUGE game changer. Check it out here!
One teaspoon of vitamin D cream has about:
- 150 IU vitamin D
- 1500 IU vitamin A
- Trace amounts of vitamin E
- Trace amounts of vitamin K2
Completely confused about supplementing Vitamin D. Cod liver oil – many people say has too much Vit A in it. And is the Vitamin D added to it, or naturally occurring? Then there are Vitamin D supplements with K2 or 3 added? I am constantly low in Vitamin D from Oct to Apr and need to supplement. It seems like people promoting and explaining using Vitamins sound like they are persuaded they are giving correct info, but people do contradict each other. Someone has to be wrong so how do you decide who?
I go with what nutritional science tells us. We don’t consume large amounts of vitamin D naturally, ever. we need vitamin A to utilize D correctly and we need a healthy gut and liver and healthy kidneys to utilize vitamin D correctly. I do have a vitamin D article too that explains the best way to approach a deficiency, and you need to be looking at 2 levels to truly determine what’s going on-
Hi Kristin! I’m so glad you are back on FB – I just found this out the other day – I was one of your first followers when you started years ago. My son is in college now and has been taking Vit D pills but ran out and is asking for more. I am not sure what to order. He’s in a dorm room without a kitchen, so I don’t think liquid is going to be a good option for him right now, and he’s super picky, so he’ll probably not take it b/c of the taste. I’m sure he won’t do the cream, only b/c it smells like fish – and well, he’s in college, the last thing he wants is to smell like fish. Is there good Cod Liver in a pill/capsule form? I was looking on Amazon and saw Fish Egg supplements from Ancestral Supplements and other than the cost, they look like they could be winner – any experience with them or this company? Thanks a million!
Hey Christy! It’s so good to see your name, I’m glad you found me again 🙂
So I believe Dropi is the best option for capsules- Rosita’s has them but they are so much more expensive than other brands. Capsules just don’t have AS much of the nutrients per serving as the straight liquid dose. I have seen the Ancestral brand, and originally was going to start recommending them but the price is a huge deterrent (plus, one of our group members contacted them recently and they were lied to when asked if some of their items have synthetics- some do, and they say they don’t).