Fermented Cod Liver Oil
If you are following GAPS or WAPF you have probably heard of fermented cod liver oil. You may still be wondering what it is and if it is worth such a high price.
Green Pasture Blue Ice Cod Liver Oil Cinnamon Tingle Liquid
Cod Liver Oil/fermented fish oil has been consumed since ancient times by many different cultures. Roman solders were given a ration of fermented fish oil as part of their wages. In fact fermenting is the traditional way that fish oil was produced until about 150 years ago. At the start of the industrial revolution it was discovered that fish oil could be produced faster and in greater abundance if the fish livers were rendered instead of waiting for fermentation to take place. This was good for producers and sellers and bad for consumers. Then about 60 years ago it was discovered that this oil could be deodorized and made virtually flavorless and shelf stable for a long time. Again good for producers and sellers (people preferred the tasteless cod liver oil for obvious reasons and so purchased more of it.) Unfortunately many of the beneficial elements of the traditional fish oil were lost in all of this processing and what had been a sacred food became something highly processed and marginally healthy (source).
In the course of the processing the vitamins are somehow removed from the fish oil and then added back at a certain level. Have you ever noticed that the label of a fish oil bottle says exactly how much vitamin A, D and other nutrients is in each capsule or ounce? Do you think things in nature are like that? With each and every fish liver having the exact same level of vitamin A? Of course not! What was a sacred food with all of the constituents found in nature balancing each other out is now a highly processed supplement with only the ingredients that are thought to be health giving and in levels that support various theories as to what is best. (My father recently went to his cupboard to examine the vitamin levels in his cod liver oil from a major brand and was shocked to discover that the recommended dosage may contain no vitamin d at all! It has vitamin D in a range of 0-20 iu per tsp of the product. ) Cod Liver Oil is famous for being high in vitamins A and D! He clearly hadn’t checked the label but just took for granted that if it said Cod Liver Oil it would have plenty of A and D.
If you have read the GAPS book you know that Dr Campbell-McBride recommends the Fermented Cod Liver Oil for gut healing. The Weston A Price Foundation recommends that everyone consume cod liver oil daily. One great thing about this fermented cod liver oil is that it is a whole food so the risks of toxicity from getting too much of any one nutrient is greatly diminished. Also it is a raw animal food and our American Diet is extremely low in these, yet all traditional cultures consumed at least some of their animal foods raw. It is also a fermented food and full of lactic acid bacteria, the consumption of which is essential for gut health and healing. There are stories that Dr Price carried a bottle of high vitamin cod liver oil with him and, along with butter oil, administered it to gravely ill people and they recovered. (I have read this story in more than one place but can’t find a source for it now so if anyone knows where it is I would appreciate it.)
Anecdotally I had the experience a few months ago of healing a sinus infection very quickly with mega doses of it. I had a cold that just lingered but it was the holiday season and I was neglecting my health figuring it would last 7-10 days like most colds do and not feeling like I had the energy to give it much attention. Then one day I woke up and realized I felt worse than I had and my sinuses were in pain. I was very unhappy to realize that I had a sinus infection! I recalled hearing that FCLO can stop a cold if you take big doses at the first sign. This wasn’t the first sign but I decided to give it a try and see what happened. It was a Saturday and I took 2 tsp with each of the 3 meals I ate that day. The next day I woke up feeling significantly better. I repeated the 2 tsp dose for 3 more meals and by supper time felt almost completely better. If I recall correctly I then backed off to my regular 1 tsp a day dose and within a couple of days all traces of my cold were gone.
Incidentally the Dr I recently brought my youngest to (Enzyme Therapy) suggested that she should begin taking her FCLO (fermented cod liver oil) on an empty stomach to better absorb it. Since I am doing this for her I have also made the switch for me and I seem to need less of it when taking it on an empty stomach so this is a money saving option for those who are concerned with saving money (who isn’t?)
As for dosage here is what the Weston A. Price Foundation says (source)
“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.”
Dr Natasha suggests in the GAPS book doubling this for those in need of gut healing. We did take double this when we first started GAPS but now are now each taking the appropriate dose for our age and situation according to this list. The WAPF further notes that some find that they get equal benefit from 1/2 of this recommended dose. I suspect that is probably more true for people who take it on an empty stomach according to what I recently learned.
Do you take Fermented Cod Liver oil? Why or Why not? Have you noticed any benefits from it? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
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