23 December 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Cod Liver Oil Dosage: How Much do I Need?

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Recently, it has been discovered that high levels of certain vitamins may cause toxicity in humans, and awareness has resulted in many people being concerned about their dosage of daily supplements. Cod liver oil dosage has been questioned by some professionals since cod liver oil has a high amount of vitamin A. This article will help you to understand the safe dosages that can be used with cod liver oil, as well as the reason why this supplement is safer to use compared with other supplement options available at the grocery store.

Vitamin A Toxicity

Vitamin A toxicity may occur when high levels of synthetic vitamins are ingested, because these synthetic vitamins have low bioavailability– which may result in the body storing the vitamins instead of using them. In addition to vitamin A, other synthetic nutrients can also cause toxicity, and this has made some doctors caution against the use of supplements that provide high amounts of those vitamins.

The problem lies in the fact that the difference between synthetic vitamins and naturally occurring vitamins is not distinguished– so many medical professionals treat the vitamins the same way, regardless of the source of the vitamins. But, the truth is that when a person is using naturally occurring forms on nutrients, toxicity is rare. So, even though cod liver oil contains high amounts of vitamin A, there is no need to be concerned about toxicity occurring as long as you are using a quality, fermented cod liver oil.

Quality vs. Quantity

Conventional cod liver oil is produced through a refining process, which decreases the amount of micro-nutrients that are available. The lower nutrient density might make some people think that they can simply take a larger quantity in order to get the health results that they are looking for. But, simply taking more is not as beneficial as taking a higher quality oil, because of the nutrients that are missing in the lower quality oil.

Instead of mistakenly thinking that larger amounts of conventional oil are sufficient, it is better to buy a high quality fermented cod liver oil that will provide a wide-range of nutritional benefits. Some of the nutritional benefits that can be gained from a high quality cod liver oil include the prevention of: heart disease, high cholesterol, vision problems, diabetes, osteoarthritis, cancer, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease, just to name a few.

How Much Should I Take?

When you purchase your cod liver oil, the bottle will have dosage instructions that should be followed. The brand that we suggest is Green Pasture’s Cod Liver Oil, and the dosage recommendations are:

  • Adults: 1/2- 1 teaspoon twice per day, (1-2 teaspoons total per day)
  • Children, 40 pounds or more: 1/2 teaspoon per day
  • Children, at least 25 pounds: 1/4 teaspoon per day

It is safe for children to take cod liver oil, and there are many health benefits for children who weigh at least 25 pounds. It is not a good idea to give the cod liver oil to babies, but as the get a little bigger it can be given by adding it to their food or drink.

The Weston A. Price Foundation makes these recommendations about cod liver oil dosages:

  • 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.

They suggest that children under the age of 3 months should not be given cod liver oil

Finding the Right Dosage for You

As you look around online, and at various cod liver oil brands that are available, you will see that there is quite a wide range of dosage suggestions. The best option is to start with a lower dosage and increase the dose over time. As with any supplement, be careful about how much cod liver oil is consumed each day, and follow the directions on the bottle that you are using.

Resources:

Cod Liver Oil Basics, Weston A. Price Foundation

Cod Liver Oil, WebMD.com

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