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The Cod Liver Oil Thread

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
Every time I hop on MDC & cruise through the H&H, Nutrition & TF forums, I see multiple new threads about cod liver oil. Some are about which brand to buy, some are about dosages. I used to read & respond to the threads I saw, but there are just too many now. I'm not an expert on cod liver oil & I'm not a health care practitioner. But I do try to keep up to date with the news about cod liver oil. I'll share some recent articles about CLO manufacturing & quality as well as what I give my own family.
*Please feel free to add to this information or correct me if I'm on the wrong path.

I thought it would be beneficial to have a thread dedicated to cod liver oil so people can find the latest information easily. I thought about posting this in the Traditional Foods forum, but there tend to be more CLO threads here in H&H.

This is an article written on April 30, 2009 by David Wetzel from Green Pasture's (manufacturer of Blue Ice CLO):

Update on Cod Liver Oil Manufacture

In this article, Dave explains the four categories of cod liver oil manufacturing. I can't post the whole article, so I'll post a couple of snippets.

Quote:
To summarize my findings, all the factories were engaged in industrial processing of cod liver oil, which involved alkali refining, bleaching, winterization and deodorization. Each of these steps, especially the deodorization, removes some of the precious fat-soluble vitamins, especially vitamin D. The resulting products can be divided into four categories.
Quote:
With only one factory still engaging in the relatively expensive process of adding natural vitamins back into processed cod liver oil, it was easy to see the handwriting on the wall. The odds that this factory would soon fall in with the others and start adding synthetic vitamins instead of natural ones were great.
*snip*
As predicted, the factory in question ceased using natural vitamins early this year. When my current stock runs out, this relatively natural high-vitamin cod liver oil will no longer be available.
Quote:
Fortunately, I had anticipated this eventuality several years ago when I began contemplating manufacturing cod liver oil myself. I wanted to produce a cod liver oil that contained only natural vitamins and, if possible, do it without the industrial alkali and deodorizing treatments. I also wanted to produce cod liver oil in the traditional way, which is by fermentation.
The entire article is worth a read - be sure to read the side bars at the bottom as well. Towards the end, there's a bit about the manufacturing process of fish oils & krill oils.
post #2 of 97
Thread Starter 
This page links to (currently) eleven different articles about cod liver oil from the Weston A. Price Foundation.

The articles are as follows:

A Response to Dr. Joe Mercola on Cod Liver Oil 2009-Apr-30 by Sally Fallon Morell

Cod Liver Oil Basics and Recommendations 2009-Feb-08 by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD

Cod Liver Oil Manufacturing 2006-Feb-28 by David Wetzel

Cod Liver Oil: Setting the Record Straight 2009-May-01 by Weston A Price Foundation *this article includes links to info about vitamins A & D*

Cod Liver Oil: The Number One Superfood 2002-Jun-29 by Krispin Sullivan, CN

December 2008 Update 2 on Cod Liver Oil 2008-Dec-14 by Sally Fallon

December 2008 Update on Cod Liver Oil 2008-Nov-30 by Sally Fallon

Fermented Cod Liver Oil Available from Chapter Leaders 2009-Aug-23 by WAPF Webmaster

The Cod Liver Oil Debate 2009-Apr-30 by Chris Masterjohn **great article**

The Yin and Yang of Cod Liver Oil 2006-Apr-26 by Leslie McGee, RN, LAc

Update on Cod Liver Oil Manufacture 2009-Apr-30 by David Wetzel *article in first post*
post #3 of 97
Thread Starter 
From Cod Liver Oil Basics and Recommendations by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD 2009-Feb-08

Quote:
The high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil is sold as a food so does not contain vitamin levels on the label. However, after numerous tests, the approximate values of A and D have been ascertained at 1900 IU vitamin A per mL and 390 IU vitamin D per mL. Thus 1 teaspoon of high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil contains 9500 IU vitamin A and 1950 IU vitamin D, a ratio of about 5:1.
Based on these values, the dosage for the high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil is provided as follows:

* Children age 3 months to 12 years: 1/2 teaspoon or 2.5 mL, providing 4650 IU vitamin A and 975 IU vitamin D.

* Children over 12 years and adults: 1 teaspoon or 10 capsules, providing 9500 IU vitamin A and 1950 IU vitamin D.

* Pregnant and nursing women: 2 teaspoon or 20 capsules, providing 19,000 IU vitamin A and 3900 IU vitamin D.
Quote:
As of Spring, 2009, we recommend the following brands of cod liver oil:

In the United States

BEST (Available Online/Mail Order):

* Green Pasture Products: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil, (402) 858-4818, greenpasture.org
* Dr. Ron's Ultra-Pure: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil, 1-877-472-8701, drrons.com
* Radiant Life: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Premier High-Vitamin Cod Liver Oil, (888) 593-8333, 4radiantlife.com
* Health Alert: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil (831) 372-2103 or toll-free 888-525-5955, healthalertstore.com
* Wolf River Naturals: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil, wolfrivernaturals.com
* Natural Health Advocates: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil, 888-257-8775, building-health.com/
* Traditional Cook: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil, traditionalcook.com/specialtyproducts.shtml
* See our list of local chapter leaders who sell fermented cod liver oil.
*I only included the "Best" category above, in the "Good" category were Nordic Naturals & Carlson's. Thereare also listing of where to buy in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada & Hong Kong in the article.
post #4 of 97
Thread Starter 
To be clear, all of the WAPF recommended brands of Fermented CLO listed above originate from Green Pasture's, they're just relabeled. Blue Ice is Green Pastures' own brand name.

We had a discussion in the TF forum about the changes taking place at the source of CLO & a member contacted Dave (Green Pastures). Dave joined MDC to respond to our questions:

Quote:
Hello, i have not been a member of this board in the past but was asked to post a note to clear up synthetic Vs non-Synthetic clo.

I could put out a paper on this subject but my guess is you would not want to read it and my #3 daughter is waiting for me to take her to Basketball.

In short, we have never bought/sold anything synthetic or man made nutrients. and it is true that the last mill in Norway is going the way as all other industrial mills in offering clo that has synthetic nutrients or close to no nutrients. the story is too long for a post.

here is a note i put to a dustributor on the subject and i asked her to assist by making a post to help clear up. i'm not sure if it was posted so i am sending direct.

hope this helps

Dave
Green Pasture Products

no product I have bought/sold has any synthetics. the mill in norway announced they were going the same way as the rest of the industry so we no longer buy the non-fermented

this is a blessing in disguise. the fermented is a true sacred food where the industrial processed clo is nothing but a forgery. in my opinion the clo's on the market should not be allowed the name cod liver oil because all it is is highly industrialized fish oil that is obtained from the liver of cod fish. the industrialization of this oil as made the oils no different than industrialized fish oil. except there is a small amount of vitamin A left. and the mills might add synthetic A or D to standardize the produce

real cod liver oil has thousands of nutrients, vitamins, mineral, hormones, quinones ect.... cod liver oil is beyond a few highly heated fatty acids and mostly naked synthetic vitamins (without the co-factors).

norways change has given the ability for people to take a good hard look at the difference between industrialized clo and the sacred food clo. there is a difference, a big difference.

I compare the difference between a industrialized clo and the sacred food clo as the same as between industrialized milk and real sacred milk from cows on pasture and fresh.

I hope this helps, post as you wish

dave

ps, if you do email me direct i do answer all emails RECVD and yes i am to the point and direct. 100's of emails/contacts per day makes it difficult to do justice in a elaborate, typed out communication. for discussion best to call if you can get me at my desk. for simple/direct questions then please email. i try to keep the blog filled with inforamtion that is imporatnt to the current topic. I post many answers to the most common questions through the articles and other posts on the blog.
post #5 of 97
Thread Starter 
This is the thread where we discussed the changes of CLO in the Traditional Foods forum.

We talked briefly about dosing & I have yet to settle on dosages for my family.
We finished our bottle of Blue Ice HVCLO (high vitamin cod liver oil) yesterday & today we'll open our cinnamon flavored fermented CLO. I'm going to start by giving each of the kids 1ml & myself 2ml. I'll stick with that for a few days & will start taking 3ml myself. I might move the kids (at least the older two) up to 2ml in the future, especially with winter approaching which means less sun which equals less vitamin D plus the germy season.

My only concern is that the fermented CLO might have a closer ratio of A to D, the fermented have a higher level of D than the HVCLO did. The WAPF recommends a 10:1 ratio of A to D. We've been taking additional vitamin D drops & I definitely don't want to overdo the D without upping the A because it's a very important balance. In theory, I could eat more raw liver than I do which would up my A intake, but the kids won't eat it as much as I'd like.

These were our daily dosages with the HVCLO + additional D:

I took 1 tsp Blue Ice HVCLO which supplied 10,000 IU vitamin A & 1000 IU vitamin D. I also took 5 drops of Bio-d-mulsion which supplied 2000 IU vitamin D for a total of 3000 IU vitamin D/day. I also eat raw liver almost every day which supplied more vitamin A.

Each of my children took: 1/2 tsp Blue Ice HVCLO which supplied 5000 IUs vitamin A & 500 IUs vitamin D. They also took 1-2 drops of Bio-d-mulsion which supplied 400-800 IU vitamin D for a total of 900- 1300 IU vitamin D/day. The girls would occasionally eat liver, mostly just Dd1.

I'm not including the EPA & DHA amounts because there's a wide range listed on the bottle & we eat wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring & anchovies multiple times a week, so it's not my concern.

We also take Thorne brand vitamin K2 each day (2 drops for me, 1 for each child) because it works synergistically with the A & D.

I'd love to hear what the other folks are taking/giving...
post #6 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post

I'd love to hear what the other folks are taking/giving...
I have just started back giving my DCs FCLO (additive/flavor free) after a summer break. We got a lot of sun over the summer, ie an average of 5 hours a day at peak hours most days of the week in bathing suits throughout the summer. I started them back on 2 ml daily and will increase it to 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) in a month or so. I don't do extra D, but give them Ernstite gem elixir (like a flower essence but made with the rare Earth mineral Ernstite). Ernstite helps the body to utlitze what vitamin D is absorbed via the sun. Don't ask for any info , because there isn't any anywhere except for what my DH has. But I trust him and his source explicitly!

Metasequoia thanks for starting this thread. I think it will be very helpful for people.
post #7 of 97
Thread Starter 
We're about the same on sun exposure, but I continued taking/giving the CLO & D over the summer. I admit I skipped days here & there though & was more lax than I would be in the winter months. I know my D is low, but I didn't want to put the kids through a blood draw & I feel okay about supplementing their diet even in the summer.

I looked at the A & D levels on the back of my bottle of FCLO & was thinking that 2ml would be more appropriate for the kids & 3ml more appropriate for me, according to the WAPF recommendations & the doses we were taking of HVCLO. I can't even find any info about the Ernstite stuff! Interesting though..
post #8 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
I looked at the A & D levels on the back of my bottle of FCLO & was thinking that 2ml would be more appropriate for the kids & 3ml more appropriate for me, according to the WAPF recommendations & the doses we were taking of HVCLO. I can't even find any info about the Ernstite stuff! Interesting though..
1/2 tsp seems to be the ideal "winter" dose for my kids. DH, who is a big guy found 3ml to be too much for him, gave him headaches, so he takes the same as the kids. I confess not to taking it regularly, but when I do, I take 1/2 tsp as well.

As for Ernstite, you won't find any info like this on it. My DH is the only source of the information on the web, or anywhere for that matter. The source he got the info from has only given it to him as far as I know.
post #9 of 97
Great thread! Subbing to read later:-)
post #10 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by uccomama View Post
1/2 tsp seems to be the ideal "winter" dose for my kids. DH, who is a big guy found 3ml to be too much for him, gave him headaches, so he takes the same as the kids. I confess not to taking it regularly, but when I do, I take 1/2 tsp as well.
I had typed out in my post above about someone's DH getting a headache from 3ml but deleted it because I couldn't remember who it was - funny!

How old are your kids? I wonder if I should give Ds the same as I take (he's almost 3.5 y.o.) I could aim to get us all on 2.5ml/day, at least for winter. He only weighs 8 lbs less than Dd2...

Hey, did you read the summer 2009 Wise Traditions? There's a letter from a reader who had awful thyroid issues from taking a mega dose of vitamin D. Turns out a recent viral infection had caused her body to use up her stores of vitamin A so the mega dose of D threw her A to D ratio off balance & resulted in hyperthyroid symptoms including detached retina & warts as well as joint problems. This letter made me wonder if my increase in floaters 3+ years ago & sudden appearance of warts is in fact a vitamin A deficiency...
post #11 of 97
Thread Starter 
Here's that letter from the Summer 2009 Wise Traditions:

The Right Ratio

It starts with this:

Quote:
Thank you for all your information on cod liver oil, vitamins A, D and the importance of the right ratio of A to D. I want to relate what happened with me when my A to D ratio became dismantled.
*You have to scroll down about 3/4 of the page.
post #12 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
I had typed out in my post above about someone's DH getting a headache from 3ml but deleted it because I couldn't remember who it was - funny!

How old are your kids? I wonder if I should give Ds the same as I take (he's almost 3.5 y.o.) I could aim to get us all on 2.5ml/day, at least for winter. He only weighs 8 lbs less than Dd2...

Hey, did you read the summer 2009 Wise Traditions? There's a letter from a reader who had awful thyroid issues from taking a mega dose of vitamin D. Turns out a recent viral infection had caused her body to use up her stores of vitamin A so the mega dose of D threw her A to D ratio off balance & resulted in hyperthyroid symptoms including detached retina & warts as well as joint problems. This letter made me wonder if my increase in floaters 3+ years ago & sudden appearance of warts is in fact a vitamin A deficiency...
My two at home are 11 (almost 12) and 9 (exactly the same age to day as your DD1). What I would do is, start with the 2 ml see how that works then go up to 2.5 ml.

I didn't read the 2009 Wise Traditions, but I will, thanks for the link. I really do prefer to get my D from the sun which is why we do the Ernstite to maximise the conversion to D. I am still spending one to two hours in the sun in a bikini around midday and will do so until it gets too cold.
post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
Here's that letter from the Summer 2009 Wise Traditions:

The Right Ratio
Very interesting. Thanks for that.
post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
I had typed out in my post above about someone's DH getting a headache from 3ml but deleted it because I couldn't remember who it was - funny!

How old are your kids? I wonder if I should give Ds the same as I take (he's almost 3.5 y.o.) I could aim to get us all on 2.5ml/day, at least for winter. He only weighs 8 lbs less than Dd2...

Hey, did you read the summer 2009 Wise Traditions? There's a letter from a reader who had awful thyroid issues from taking a mega dose of vitamin D. Turns out a recent viral infection had caused her body to use up her stores of vitamin A so the mega dose of D threw her A to D ratio off balance & resulted in hyperthyroid symptoms including detached retina & warts as well as joint problems. This letter made me wonder if my increase in floaters 3+ years ago & sudden appearance of warts is in fact a vitamin A deficiency...
How much would 2.5ml be? Teaspoon?

I take around tablespoon daily of FCLO and 2000ius of D. Now I'm curious If those are ok as far as ratios go. I also take freeze dried liver pills a few times a week.
I give DD 1/2 tsp and about 800 ius D daily. WE use carlsons vit D drops.
post #15 of 97
I first was taking 2 tsps of Blue Ice HVCLO, but have now switched to the capsules. I'm thinking I may not be getting enough since the bottle says that 2 capsules have 3500 ius of A and 600 ius of D. The dosage on the other bottle said 2 tsps and the dosage on this one says 2 capsules. But there is no way each capsule holds an entire tsp!
post #16 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom61508 View Post
How much would 2.5ml be? Teaspoon?

I take around tablespoon daily of FCLO and 2000ius of D. Now I'm curious If those are ok as far as ratios go. I also take freeze dried liver pills a few times a week.
I give DD 1/2 tsp and about 800 ius D daily. WE use carlsons vit D drops.
2.5ml = 1/2 tsp.

1 TBSP of fermented CLO is a lot! The liver pills should supply a good amount of A. That's my plan, to continue the extra D & make sure I'm good about consuming raw liver at least a few times a week. I have to figure out how to get it into the kids regularly...

Quote:
Originally Posted by linguistmama View Post
I first was taking 2 tsps of Blue Ice HVCLO, but have now switched to the capsules. I'm thinking I may not be getting enough since the bottle says that 2 capsules have 3500 ius of A and 600 ius of D. The dosage on the other bottle said 2 tsps and the dosage on this one says 2 capsules. But there is no way each capsule holds an entire tsp!
You have to take A LOT of capsules to match the amount of liquid - it's much more economical to buy the liquid. You could buy your own capsules & fill them because the fermented CLO comes with a dropper that would make filling a capsules pretty easy. Kind of a PITA, but more economical than buying capsule form.

Is Blue Ice HVCLO (in capsule or liquid)? I know that Dave said once his stores ran out, he'd no longer carry it. Did you have some stocked up?
post #17 of 97
Thread Starter 
And just to report our first experience with the Blue Ice fermented CLO (cinnamon flavor), I think it tastes *better* than the HVCLO! (We used to use Blue Ice cinnamon HVCLO.) I really like how easy it is to use the syringe. There's no teaspoon to wash in between each mouth anymore, just squirt the oil into everyone's mouth & rinse it out, that's it! I need to work on my aim though since the kids didn't like getting shot in the back of the throat with the oil...
post #18 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
And just to report our first experience with the Blue Ice fermented CLO (cinnamon flavor), I think it tastes *better* than the HVCLO! (We used to use Blue Ice cinnamon HVCLO.) I really like how easy it is to use the syringe. There's no teaspoon to wash in between each mouth anymore, just squirt the oil into everyone's mouth & rinse it out, that's it! I need to work on my aim though since the kids didn't like getting shot in the back of the throat with the oil...
Good to know! I switched to capsules because I thought I could get the same amount in 2 for some reason. I hated cleaning the syringe! Even the HVCLO mixed into my smoothies just fine so maybe I can get the kids to take the newer flavors. My 4yo won't touch the stuff so we're stuck with the NN strawberry flavored ones The 1yo will drink my green smoothies though
post #19 of 97
Thread Starter 
We've discussed the ratio of A to D & according to the WAPF, 10:1, in favor if A, is ideal. There was concern that the new fermented CLO ratio was higher in D & lower in A therefore not providing the ideal 10:1 ratio.

In this letter, Sally Fallon says this about the ratio:

Quote:
Over the years, the Weston A. Price Foundation has compiled extensive evidence showing that natural vitamin A in foods such as cod liver oil is not toxic EXCEPT in cases where vitamin D is deficient. That is why we recommend only certain brands of cod liver oil. It is important to AVOID cod liver oil that contains low levels of vitamin D in relationship to vitamin A; the ratio of A to D in cod liver oil should be at least 10 to 1 - unfortunately, in some commercial brands of cod liver oil the ratio is as low as 100 to 1.
So that means that it's okay to take more D than a 10:1 ratio, right? I wonder when you cross the line of "too much" D in that ratio?
post #20 of 97
Thread Starter 
Replying to myself...

Chris Materjohn says this in The Cod Liver Oil Debate:

Quote:
Does cod liver oil contain the ideal ratio of vitamins A and D? It is possible that there is an ideal dietary ratio of the two vitamins, but this is not necessarily the case. The body highly regulates its conversion of each vitamin to the active form, and is capable of storing the portion it chooses not to activate at any given time. It is more likely that there is a broad range of acceptable dietary ratios and that harm comes when one or the other vitamin is in unusually short supply.

If there is an ideal ratio, it will vary from person to person and from season to season. People with darker skin may need extra vitamin D from fatty fish or vitamin D supplements year round, and others may need extra vitamin D only in the winter. People should use recommendations as guidelines to help them experiment and find the amount of cod liver oil that works best for them, knowing that it has been a safe and valuable health-promoting food that for centuries has nourished both young and old.
Maybe I'm over-thinking this ideal ratio thing...
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