In recent years, the use of fish oil and cod liver oil has become more popular to treat a number of health conditions. As the use of these supplements has increased, a debate about their effectiveness has come to light: cod liver oil vs fish oil. Some people claim that there are not significant differences between these types of supplements, but the truth is that there are noticeable differences, including:
When cod liver oil is produced, it is made strictly of oils extracted from the liver of cod fish. On the other hand, fish oil may be derived from many different types of fish, and other parts of the fish may be used to produce the oil. For example, cod liver oil capsules contain only the extract of oil from the cod liver, but fish oil capsules may contain extracts from the tissue of any portion of a fish.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The reason that many people use these supplements is for the omega-3 fatty acid benefits that are available in fish. The truth is that both cod liver oil and fish oil contain two main types of omega-3′s: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The levels of these fatty acids are comparable between the supplements.
Additional Nutritional Benefits
The real difference in the nutritional benefits between cod liver oil vs fish oil is the fact that cod liver oil has a higher amount of micro nutrients and other vitamins. When cod liver oil supplements are used, high levels of vitamins A and D are available, and these vitamins are not present in fish oil because the vitamins are available only in the fish liver. Additionally, fermented cod liver oil has a high number of nutrients that are not available when fish oil is produced through the cooking and heating processes.
Because most people stay indoors for a majority of the day, a lack of vitamin D is a common health condition. Having sufficient levels of vitamin D is essential for a number of health functions, including bone health, the immune system, cancer prevention, and mood stabilization. Cod liver oil is one of the best sources of vitamin D, which makes it a better choice than fish oil in this regard.
Pollutants and Contaminants
Because of the pollution in the oceans, contaminants and pollutants are a big concern with any fish product. It has been found that some sources of cod liver oil may actually be higher in contaminants, simply because of the fact that the liver is primarily responsible for the filtering of the fish. Some brands of fish oil claim to have extremely low contaminant levels because of the source of the fish that is being used, but these contamination problems can be overcome by using a high quality cod liver oil. There are specific brands available that test thoroughly for toxins, heavy metals, and any other contaminants. So, the important thing is to research the brand of cod liver oil before making the purchase.
Which is Better: Cod Liver Oil vs. Fish Oil
As you can see, there are some distinct differences between cod liver oil and fish oil. If you want the best supplement possible, then it is better to use a high quality cod liver oil supplement because of the additional nutrients and health benefits that are available. Be sure to research the product first, and find a brand that produces the cod liver oil through fermentation in order to get the maximum amount of nutrition available.