Why Cod Liver Oil?
By Karen McElroy
Everyone knows the benefits of fish oil supplements these days. Indeed the omega 3 fats are very important for health and often quite deficient in our diet. We no longer consume as much seafood and much of our meat supplies are grain fed or factory farmed. While we often focus on fish when we think about getting extra omega 3 fats, it is important to know that grassfed meat and freerange meats are also a rich source of omega 3. Indeed, there is no comparison to grain fed feedlot cattle or battery farmed chickens, that contain very little of these important fats.
Fish and seafood products however, also contain extra goodies not easily found in livestock. Traditional sacred foods in many cultures around the world, often include seafood products such as cod liver oil, seaweeds and fish roe. These have historically been prized for their nutritional content and ability to confer good health. Indeed many of us may remember taking cod liver oil as children, as the benefits of this product for growing healthy kids has been known by grandmothers down through the ages.
While today cod liver oil has been surpassed by omega 3 fish oil supplements, cod liver oil offers many extra benefits not found in fish oils. In particular, cod liver oil offers high amounts of both vitamin A and vitamin D that are very important for many body functions. These include boosting immunity, supporting skin structure and mucous membranes, enhancing fertility, preventing cancer as well as strengthening bones and teeth.
Both vitamin A and D are highly available when taken in a natural form such as Cod Liver oil, rather than from synthetic versions. Unfortunately however, most modern cod liver oil products have been altered and no longer contain the optimal amount of vitamin A and D that naturally occurs. The vitamins are stripped out of the cod liver oil and then added back in at a specified ratio.
Fortunately, there are still one or two companies who produce Cod Liver Oil that is entirely natural and contains the optimal amount of these vitamins. One such company is Green Pasture products in the USA. Green Pasture also go one step further in producing their wonderful products, as they also ferment the cod liver oil which confers additional benefits such as other nutrients like vitamin K. I have been importing and recommending their nutrient dense products to my patients for many years for specific conditions or just to promote good health.
The history of cod liver manufacture is quite interesting, and Green Pasture aims to follow traditional practices in production.
Fermenting the livers of fish to extract the oil is an old world practice that may go back as far as biblical times. During the 1850s, around the beginning of the industrial food revolution, cod liver oil manufacturing changed from its historical sacred roots to an industrialized food. The journey of cod liver oil has really been shared by many sacred foods, with modern industrialised approaches to agriculture depleting the nutrition pool of many foods in our diet.
Green Pasture also produce high vitamin butter oil, a product first discovered and promoted by dentist Weston A Price in the 1930’s. Weston A Price travelled around the world and researched how certain nutrients and traditional diets conferred health and how a modern nutrient poor diet promoted disease.
Noosa Holistic Health offers a selection of the Green Pasture cod liver oil products that provide an excellent way of incorporating nutrient dense vitamins into your diet. To learn more about the best natural supplements and other super foods for promoting optimal health, consider having a personalised naturopathic consultation, where we can meet your individual needs and design an effective and easy to follow wellness program.
By Karen McElroy
Naturopath & Medical Herbalist