Cod liver oil may seem like an ancient topic and bring back memories of our grandparents or parents forcing it into our mouths.  All for good reason. Cod liver oil has been around since the late 1700’s and began its regular appearance in the 1930’s.  Cod liver was the go to for prevention of rickets and rheumatism. All before all the explosion of supplements into the market.

Currently we are in a time  where we are so overwhelmed with supplements and the quality and how much and which ones to take.  So many choices. But we are so biochemically different that our needs are also different.  But Cod liver oil is beneficial for almost everyone. It is a food source so is always a great reason to grab this addition to your diet.

Keeping it simple.

 Cod liver oil is simple, good old fashion nutrition.


Cod liver oil is extracted from the livers of cod.  This is the key difference between it and fish oil.  Fish oil has the omega fatty acids but it lacks in comparison as it is extracted from the flesh of the fish.

Why take Cod Liver oil?

Cod liver oil is loaded with vitamins A and D in addition the omega 3 fatty acids. Vitamins A and D are stored in the liver, therefore the cod liver is a great food source for these vitamins over fish oil.  Over time we have learned the importance of vitamin A and D and omega 3 fatty acids and how the health benefits are far greater than for rickets and joint health.

Vitamin D is essential for bone growth and health.  It is essential for absorption of calcium and phosphorous which is critical for health bones and teeth and over all strength.  Studies have shown Vitamin D improves immunity and cellular communication and is important for cancer prevention. Vitamin D is also shown to help cognitive health and brain function.

Cod liver oil is the best food source for vitamin D.

Vitamin A is also critical for bone growth and cellular growth.  It is a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation which is key for overall immunity.  It is important for eye health, cardiovascular health  and reproductive health.

Vitamin A and D work naturally together.  Because they are naturally found together and a food source the risk of taking too much is very low.  Both of these are fat soluble and work together to further the cellular functions within the body.  When taken separately and in a synthetic form is when you need to monitor how much and the source.

We all have to come to learn the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and the importance on our neurological development and health.  They are highly anti-inflammatory so thereby keeping things in check and immune function working properly.  EPA and DHA have been shown to improve cardiac health and raise the HDL (good cholesterol). Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids must be taken in the right ratio. Most get an abundance of omega-6 fatty acids so the high level of omega-3’s found in cod liver oil is a great supplement.

Cod liver oil is one the highest natural food sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Cod liver oil supplies a whooping 4500 IU of vitamin A and 450IU of vitamin D per tsp.  I prefer the liquid as you can alter your dose depending on your requirement and age.  Many come in flavors so it is not that fishy taste.  You can also of course find capsules as well.  Please check the dosage per brand as it may differ.

I supplement my families diet with cod liver oil daily during the winter.  The kids actually like it! I increased dosage for my son during his cancer treatments as well.  Because it is a food source it is easy and simple. The risks of over supplementing are quite low in comparison to synthetic isolate vitamins.

There are no really dangers of cod liver oil but please check with your health care provider before taking especially if you have current health condition.

Cod liver oil is good for:


cellular function and bone growth

joints and arthritis.

lowering inflammation overall.

cardiovascular health.

increasing HDL.

emotional health and neurological development.

cancer prevention.

reproductive health.

Nutritional information of 1 tsp of cod liver oil:

  • 45 cal
  • 4500 IU of vitamin A
  • 450 IU of vitamin D
  • 1.017 g of saturated fats
  • 2.012 g of monounsaturated fats
  • 1.014 g of polyunsaturated fats
  • 26 mg of cholesterol