23 December 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Choosing the Right Cod Liver Oil

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If you are planning to start using cod liver oil on a regular basis, there are a few things that you need to understand before you buy the first cod liver oil supplement that you find at the grocery store. There are a number of different options, and it is important that you are buying the right type of oil in order to be sure that you are getting all of the benefits of cod liver oil that are available.

Benefits of Cod Liver Oil

When you are using pure, unrefined cod liver oil you are getting numerous nutrients including vitamins A, D and E. There are also thousands of other micronutrients included in fermented cod liver oil, and when all of the nutrients are consumed together it can be very beneficial for a number of health conditions.

People have reported improvements to their health as a result of fermented cod liver oil, and some of those health conditions that can be helped include: heart disease risk, cancer, inflammation, arthritis, hypertension, insulin resistance, bone health, stroke, obesity, diabetes, mental diseases, allergies, asthma, memory, depression, autism, and bipolar.

Fermentation vs. Heat

The main factor that you want to consider when you are buying cod liver oil is the way the oil was produced. Traditionally, cod liver oil was created by allowing the cod livers to ferment over a period of a year. But, recently manufacturers have made the process faster by subjecting the cod livers to high levels of heat and a refining process that extracts the oil.

At first glance, most people don’t realize that there is much of a difference between fermentation and modern refining methods. But, the truth is that the production method greatly affects the nutritional content in the oil, because the high levels of heat strip the oil of the natural vitamins that were available.

When the oil has been stripped of these precious vitamins, the manufacturers often add synthetic vitamins back into the oil to replace the nutrients that were removed. Even though these synthetic vitamins have been added back in, they are not as good as the natural source of nutrients that were available before the processing. Consuming vitamins in their natural form is much better than synthetic vitamins, because natural food-based sources of vitamins have higher bioavailability.

In comparison to this heating method that removes vitamins from the oil, the fermentation process actually helps to improve the nutrients that are available in the oil. When cod liver oil is fermented, the natural vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E remain, and there are other nutrients that are able to develop as a result of the fermentation process.

Capsules vs. Liquid

Natural cod liver oil can be consumed in two forms: either in a gel capsule or in a liquid form. There is actually not a big difference between these two options, so it is up to your personal preference. The gel capsules contain the liquid cod liver oil inside, they are just packaged into a dissolvable capsule so they are easy to swallow. Some people prefer to use the capsules because they don’t like the taste of fermented cod liver oil, although many people don’t mind the taste or they choose to mix the oil into their food so that the taste is not as noticeable.

Remember that the majority of the cod liver oil brands use the modern methods to produce the oil, so many of the conventional oils that can be purchased have been stripped of some of the best health benefits that were available. So, instead of buying any bottle of cod liver oil that you find at the grocery store, take some time to find a quality brand that specifically says “fermented” on the bottle.

Want to know about choosing the right kind of cod liver oil? How does Nordic Natural’s brand compare with Green Pasture’s.

Resources:

Cod Liver Oil: The Number One Superfood, Weston A. Price Foundation

Update of Cod Liver Oil Manufacture, Weston A. Price Foundation

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