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Last updated: 02/22/2020

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Strengthening your body’s immune system is critical to a healthy lifestyle. Do you often catch a cold? Do you ever feel weak? If the answer is yes, cod liver oil supplements may be of great help to you and your health. Don’t worry. That nasty liquid your parents forced you to drink as a child is gone. Now, cod liver oil comes in new administration forms and various tasty flavors, with the same great benefits.

Cod liver oil is easy to digest, and it contains minerals, fatty acids and vitamins A, E and D. High levels of vitamin D make it an excellent remedy against diseases like rickets. Keep reading to find out more about the amazing benefits of this superfood.

Key Facts

  • Cod liver oil is a good source of essential vitamins like vitamins A and D. Omega-3, phosphorus and iodine are also present in the oil.
  • Cod liver oil is recommended for general strengthening of the body, preventing childhood diseases and treating malnutrition.
  • Avoid excessive intake of cod liver oil because vitamins A and D can be harmful in excess.

Our Selection: The Best Cod Liver Oil Supplements on the U.S. Market

We have made a list of the best cod liver oil supplements available on the Australian market. This section will support you in your search for the right product for you or your loved ones. You will also be able to choose which method of ingestion best suits you, as well as opt for completely natural dietary supplements.

The Best Additive-Free Cod Liver Oil

Nordic Natural’s Arctic Cod Liver Oil is crafted from wild-caught, omega-rich fish in the cleanest arctic waters. This product is gluten- and dairy-free, and has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. There are no other fish oils or synthetic additives put in. It’s also produced in the true triglyceride form for best absorption and superior results for your brain, immune system and heart.

Nordic Natural’s Cod Liver Oil comes in Orange, Lemon, Strawberry and Unflavored, so you don’t need to worry about the taste. Take it on its own or add it to your favorite drinks or meals. This is a great option for anyone who doesn’t like to swallow pills. Pick from 8 Fl Oz or 16 Fl Oz bottles.

The Best Cod Liver Oil Softgels

If you just can’t bear the taste of cod liver oil, check out these amazing softgels from NOW Foods, which has been a leader in the natural foods industry since 1968. Take one softgel each day with a meal to ensure that you’re getting the daily recommend value of essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A and D-3.

This product is packaged in the US and tested to guarantee that there aren’t harmful levels of contaminants like mercury and heavy metals. Each $25.00 bottle comes with 99 softgels: a great value for a great product. No wonder it’s Amazon’s Choice for best softgels too!

The Best Quality Cod Liver Oil

Dr. Martin’s premium cod liver oil supplements are made from 100% natural, never-frozen Norwegian fish. The company constantly checks raw materials for purity and the presence of any harmful substances to ensure their products are safe, clean and non-toxic.

Each capsule in this 100-count bottle contains 415mg of cod liver oil in addition to 37mg of EPA and 36mg of DHA, which are essential fatty acids. Take one capsule each day to support cardiovascular health, joint pain and immune support. This product is also especially helpful for skin problems like Eczema and Acne.

The Best Tasting Cod Liver Oil

Carlson’s Cod Liver oil in lemon flavor has won multiple awards for its taste and high quality. One teaspoon will give you 1,100mg of omega-3s, including EPA and DHA, as well as a good dose of Vitamins A and D3.

This product is sourced from the best Arctic cod, right off the coast of Norway, using sustainable methods that you can trust. Carlson bottles its cod liver oil with a touch of antioxidants and gives it a nitrogen flush to remove oxygen, thereby preventing oxidation. Freshness, purity and potency are all guaranteed.

Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Should Know About Cod Liver Oil

Before buying a cod liver oil supplement, you’ll want to ask yourself why you feel you need it or which of its beneficial properties interests you. This section will go through some of the most commonly asked questions from buyers like you.

happy kids playing on the grass

Cod liver oil offers many benefits for children.
(Source: Stylephotographs: 65997866/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is cod liver oil?

Cod liver oil is dietary supplement that’s derived from the liver of a cod fish. It’s a significant source of essential vitamins as well as omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).

People rarely get sufficient amounts of these nutrients that play a major role in our cardiovascular, immune, hormonal, neurological and reproductive health.

Cod liver was first used medically for the treatment of rheumatism in 1789, and later to cure rickets in 1824. The early 20th century saw more widespread use of cod liver oil for children, to prevent rickets and other illnesses that can be caused by a vitamin D deficiency.

Why is cod liver oil important for humans?

The combined effect of vitamins A and D supports bone growth and maintenance. Cod liver oil’s high concentration of essential fatty acids and vitamin D also boosts cognitive performance in children and the elderly. Here are a few more benefits of cod liver oil:

  • The omega-3 and vitamin D in cod liver oil support hair growth. Daily use can strengthen your hair, and make it shinier and more flexible.
  • Cod liver oil affects skin health by helping to prevent skin aging, prevent acne and alleviate damage from the sun.
  • Cod liver oil promotes mobility and helps you avoid age-related stiffness of the joints by helping preserve healthy bones.
  • Cod liver oil can help you lower blood pressure and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

The below table summarizes the various health benefits of cod liver oil:

Condition Benefits
High blood pressure Lowers blood pressure
Autoimmune diseases Strengthens the immune system
High cholesterol Lowers cholesterol levels
Dry hair and skin Promotes hair and skin vitality
Difficulty with muscle building Strengthens muscles

What are the possible side effects of cod liver oil?

Although cod liver oil presents many benefits for the body, its use is not advised for some people. Here are some important notes about side effects:

  • Nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea in some individuals.
  • Don’t take blood-thinning medicines or foods at the same time, since cod liver oil does the same thing.
  • Never combine the cod liver oil with other medications that contain vitamins A and D, in order to avoid going over the recommended daily doses.
  • Always consult your doctor if you’re not sure about using cod liver oil.
Caroline LamMS Molecular Biology from California State University, Fullerton

“5 ml of cod liver oil contains approximately 850 to 4,000 IU of vitamin A, which is equivalent to 255-1,200 mcg of retinol/Re. This extremely high dose almost covers your daily need for this macronutrient.”

Who can benefit most from cod liver oil?

Now we know that cod liver oil has many benefits, but it is especially effective for certain people or situations. Cod liver oil’s amazing ability to ward off disease mean its consumption is particularly helpful for those who are at risk of certain illnesses:

  • People prone to mental stress
  • Athletes
  • Pregnant or lactating women
  • People with blood clotting issues
  • People with eye problems like cataracts or night blindness
  • People suffering from chronic inflammation
  • People with weakened defences
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Did you know that in the post-war era, cod liver oil had a really unpleasant taste and had to be taken in liquid form? Nowadays, it’s available in flavorless capsules or as an oil with various flavors.

What is the difference between cod liver oil and omega-3 supplements?

Cod liver oil is a natural source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best source. There are other kinds of fish oil that are similarly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but the primary difference is that cod liver oil, in particular, offers high amounts of vitamins A and D.

cod liver

Cod liver oil is a source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and D.
(Source: Geel: 92630892/ 123rf.com)

And how about the differences between fish oil and cod liver oil supplements?

Fish oil comes from fatty fish like tuna, halibut and salmon. Both cod liver oil and fish oil are taken as dietary supplements since they provide omega-3 fatty acids.

The primary difference between the two is that cod liver oil contains vitamin A.

Fish meat doesn’t have vitamin A, which is why fish oil usually has very little. But cod liver oil contains large quantities of vitamin A, particularly when it’s consumed in liquid form.

Always take both fish oil and cod liver oil supplements in moderation. High doses can raise the risk of bleeding and block proper control of blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes.

What is the recommended dosage of cod liver oil?

The daily dosage of cod liver oil usually depends on the age of the user. Always pay close attention to the product description and instructions. Here’s an idea of proper dosage:

Group Recommended dosage (ml)
Children under 12 2 ml per day
Teens age 12 to 18 5 ml per day
Women over 18 5-10 ml per day
Men over 18 10-15 ml per day

Capsules make dosing easy, as they have approximately 500 mg of cod liver oil each. The recommended capsule intake is as follows:

Group Recommended dosage
Children One capsule twice a day
Adults Two capsules twice a day

What are the signs of a cod liver oil overdose?

Someone who has overdosed on cod liver oil may show signs of discomfort like dizziness, nausea, headache, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, hair loss and extreme thirst. This is usually the result of excessive vitamin A or D intake. Always stick to the recommended dose, and speak with your doctor if any issues arise.

Shopping Criteria

There are a handful of essential factors to keep in mind when buying a cod liver oil supplement. They will help you determine which product is the best for you.

Here are the criteria you should take into account:

Quality

Not all products sold as cod liver oil are actually made up of 100% cod liver oil. Be sure to check the label to confirm the makeup of the product.

Taste

Some cod liver oils available have very tasty, easy to consume flavors. If you prefer, there are also tasteless or flavored capsules, which are often coated with gelatin.

Ingredients

It’s always a good idea to aim for high-quality products. Many supplements on the market contain less than 60 percent cod liver oil. The remainder is filled with undesirable additives, like low-quality fish or vegetable oils, artificial flavors, preservatives or artificial vitamins.

Price

Quality and price go hand in hand. A high-quality cod liver product can cost around $0.40 per 5 ml (guide value).

Summary

Cod liver oil had been missing from pharmacy shelves for decades. Now, it’s back among the nutritional supplements, and it will be a popular choice during the winter months.

We hope this article helped you understand the numerous benefits of cod liver oil. In particular, its provision of vitamins and minerals is extremely useful for raising the body’s defenses.

If you liked our guide on cod liver oil, please be sure to share it via social media and feel free to leave us a comment with your thoughts below!

(Source of featured image: Legoshyn: 68257232/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Ava has specialized in medical journalism and not only writes about the human body, but also knows her way around food supplements. She also studied sports science in college.