FCLO Winners and a report on the lecture by Dave Wetzel of Green Pasture
I’m pleased to announce the three winners of the Fermented Cod Liver Oil Gift Certificate Giveaway. I so wish that I could have given some to each one of you who entered.
Michelle W. , Marna, and Jen G.
You each should have received an e-mail from me and I will need to hear back from you to get you those gift certificates.
I hope that those of you who didn’t win will be inspired to go ahead and invest in this super food anyhow. I’m going to share below what I learned about this incredible oil from the founder and owner of Green Pasture this weekend at the Weston A Price Foundation Regional Conference. I plan to share other gems in later blog posts.
Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil
This past weekend I attended the Weston A Price Foundations Regional Conference here in St. Louis. I was very lucky to have it here in my city and not need to travel to it. That certainly made it much easier to attend. One of the speakers was Dave Wetzel who founded Green Pasture products. His began his company making High Vitamin Butter Oil and he continues to be the only source for this very important raw fat. Dr Price used this butter oil in conjunction with Cod Liver Oil in the treatment of dental caries and many other diseases. Before Dave figured out how to make butter oil in 2000 there was no source for it available anywhere and hadn’t been since Dr Price’s time. Dave was selling it along with a high vitamin cod liver oil because Dr Price always gave the two together. He became more interested in learning about cod liver oil and so he decided to go on a trip and tour the cod liver oil plants in Norway. He managed to see all but one of the plants in Norway and the one in Iceland before he returned to the United States. Dave was very disappointed to discover how mechanized these plants are. The large ones had row upon row of 10,000 gallon tanks of cod liver oil. All of the oil is extracted in one of two ways. Molecular Distillation requires heating the oil to 374 degrees or it is processed with another method at a somewhat lower temperature. The oil goes through a 5 step process including deodorization and vitamins A and D are put back in (they are largely destroyed by the deodorization process). These vitamins are added at the levels that a manufacturer specifies for their particular product. All mills in Norway use synthetic vitamins for this part of the process at this point in time. There are 3,000 natural forms of Vitamin D and 160 forms of Natural vitamin A. A wide range of those are available in raw cod liver oil. Not so processed cod liver oil. In Dave’s opinion there is little if any difference between the different brands of cod liver oil sourced from Norway or Iceland as far as safety and healthfulness. The only difference is how much vitamin A and D3 are put back in.
Dave came back to the United States very disappointed and disillusioned about the Cod Liver Oil available at that time. But being the entrepreneur that he is he decided to go ahead and try to make it the traditional way himself. He had some old texts that explained the basic process but no real good guidance so he decided he would just have to experiment. No one (as far as he could determine) had been making it this way since the mid 1800′s so it wasn’t like he could interview someone with experience. It took some work to locate a source of Cod livers and once he did he needed to make a good sized order to make it worth anyone’s while. His very first order was for 10,000 lbs of cod livers. It takes 6 months to fully ferment cod livers to make traditional cod liver oil. He realized while the process was happening that he seemed to be getting something good. He also realized that if he wanted to keep this up he was going to have to order more cod livers before this first batch was even done so he placed another order, for 80,000 cod livers. That is faith in your dream and it paid off for all of us!
Once his first batch of the Fermented Cod Liver Oil was finished he wanted to get it analyzed to see what it contained and how pure it was. Since this oil contained the full spectrum of vitamin D (not just D2 and D3 that are commonly sold as supplements) determining exactly how much was problematic. Also vitamin D is a bit of a misnomer. D is actually a hormone. This resulting oil seemed to have a wide sampling of the natural vitamin D’s (remember there are approximately 3,000). And the best he can determine between all the tests he had run is that it contains a lot of vitamin D. There are many different ways to test for vitamin D levels in a substance and none of them agreed. But the most trustworthy test, if not the most detailed test was the oldest type of vitamin D test. In this test you feed the substance you want to test to rats and after 30 days you measure their bones. The more vitamin D the thicker their bones will be. It doesn’t give you a precise level of vitamin D but it does tell you if there is plenty. The rats don’t lie! Suffice to say based on that test there is plenty of vitamin D in traditional fermented cod liver oil.
In addition to Vitamin D there is lots of Vitamin A. Vitamin’s A and D seem to work synergisticly together and prevent toxicity of A and improve absorption of each other. Another nutrient group that is plentiful is Quinines. You may be wondering what quinines are. I certainly was and so I asked him. It is a subset of nutrients that includes vitamin E, vitamin K2 (there are 10 of these), CoQ10 (there are actually CoQ1-9 as well), and others. Those mentioned plus quite a few lesser known quinines have been found in the FCLO. After testing for total Quinines and some specific ones he decided to not test for the levels of each of them since testing is expensive and just knowing that they are there is enough. Remember, Fermented Cod Liver Oil is a whole food. It is not a processed food that has nutrients removed, destroyed or added. It is simply what you get from fermenting cod livers and has been uses a a super food since biblical times. We don’t fully understand or can identify all nutrients but we know that they work together in the body for health and often isolated various nutrients from their natural source can cause the opposite of what is expected.
The other big question that everyone has about any animal from the sea is about toxins. Mercury, PCB’s, Dioxin, and others are feared and one of the reasons molecular distilled oils are so prized. They are supposed to be free of these contaminants. The good news is that this Fermented Cod Liver Oil far exceeds both the American standards as well as the European standards for safety. His first batch tested showed less than .005mg/kg of mercury. It also showed .041 mg/kg of PCB’s. The EU standard for PCB’s is <.09. The American Standard is <10. He was well under both of those. Other toxins had similar levels showing that these oils were very safe to consume despite not being molecularly distilled or purified in any way.
What else do we want to know about fish oil. We want to know about DHA and EPA right? FCLO has 12-15% EPA and 8-10% DHA. Interestingly enough the Skate Oil is the opposite with 10% EPA and 15% DHA.
When I found out that I would have an opportunity to speak with Dave and ask him questions I asked on my facebook page for anyone with questions for Dave to send them to me and I would ask him. Some of those questions have been addressed already but I’ll get to the rest of them now.
Someone asked about the shelf life of FCLO
He has tested his oil for 24 months and it shows no signs of spoilage. He no longer adds antioxidants to the oils because of this and believes that they contain their own anti0xidant qualities to protect them. FCLO can’t grow bacteria since it is just a pure oil without any proteins or carbohydrates. The fermenting happens while the cod livers are present and then once they are removed an enzymatic process continues but the bacterial fermentation ceases.
A couple of people asked about why it is sometimes solid and sometimes liquid
This is a natural product and the result of fermentation and some batches are just going to be thicker than others. There is no significant difference in nutritional profile between the different thicknesses and it does not mean that one has gone bad. Also the thick oil that is sometimes at the bottom of the oils is simply the saturated fats that are removed from all processed oils (this is called winterizing). We know that there is nothing to fear from saturated fats and so you should go ahead and consume that part with the rest of the oil. (I personally have thrown it away in the past not knowing what it was and because I struggled to get it out of the bottle. I will not make that mistake again!) Thicker oil probably just has a bit more saturated fats.
I was asked about skin absorbtion and how effective that really is.
This issue has not been studied in modern times but in the old medical books that Dave studied he found references to topical cod liver oil healing various diseases just as well as oral cod liver oil did. It is not known if a different dose is necessary or any other modifications that may need to be made going this route.
Another question is what is the ideal way to take Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
I will give you 2 answers to this. Dr Price gave people in need of healing 1/2 tsp of blended Cod Liver Oil and High Vitamin Butter Oil 3x a day with meals. For those just seeking to maintain health he would back off to perhaps just 2 doses a day. It is not known what ratio that the FCLO and HVBO were in but it is assumed 1:1
Dave said that he thinks ideal absorption will happen if the FCLO is taken with a small amount of food. Not on an empty stomach and not with a full meal. He seemed to be of the opinion that you could take all of it at once for the day. We don’t really know why Dr Price gave it 3x a day.
One last question was about Skate oil
There really is not a lot of information about skate oil. It is not well studied. What can be said about it is similar to FCLO and yet different. It has more DHA than EPA. Also Skate oil is another historical oil that has been consumed since ancient times. It is suspected that it has a bigger impact on cartilage health than bone health because skates have no bones. FCLO seems to be very beneficial for bone health. Many people find that taking skate oil and cod liver oil together is more beneficial than taking either one separately. One good bit of information is that the skates that these livers are harvested from are not an endangered species (some skates are).
I hope that you are inspired by this information about the benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil as I was this weekend. I already knew that it was very good but now I respect it and it’s safety and power even more. I think that my family is going to try the 3x a day dosing method for a bit to see if we have greater benefits from that. I would love to hear what benefits your family has seen from taking FCLO.
One last anecdote. One of the audience members of the lecture from Dave shared that she had a problem with sensitive teeth her entire life. Then at some point she developed a bad toothache. Within a week of beginning to take the Fermented Cod Liver Oil her toothache disappeared and within a short time her tooth sensitivity also disappeared apparently for good. It has now been a year and she hopes to never have to be without FCLO again. If I recall correctly she was not taking butter oil with the FCLO but was hoping to start it to see what further health benefits she might gain. I don’t believe she shared her daily dosage of FCLO.
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Thank You! -PattyLA