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The Health Benefits of Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil


By Ben Kim, D.C.

One of the best additions that my wife and I have made to our diets over the past few years has been cod liver oil.

Why has cod liver oil become a permanent part of our healthy food plan?

It is one of the most reliable and concentrated food sources of four nutrients that are essential to human health: DHA, EPA, vitamin A, and vitamin D. These four nutrients are needed for:

  • Healthy skin

  • Strong bones and teeth

  • Healthy joints

  • A healthy cardiovascular system

  • A healthy nervous system and prevention of depression and other mood disorders

  • A healthy digestive tract



Carlson Cod Liver Oil
Lemon Flavoured
16.8 oz. (500 ml)

Carlson's Lemon Flavoured Cod Liver Oil

1 Bottle - 500 ml (Large Size)
$32.95 USD, plus S&H

DHA is a fatty acid that is essential to the health of your nervous system and eyes.

It is vital to preventing depression. If you suffer from intermittent or chronic depression, you want to get DHA through your diet every day.

If you're pregnant or you plan on getting pregnant, it's best that you eat foods with DHA on a regular basis in order to support proper development of your babys nervous system and prevent depression during pregnancy and after your baby arrives. I am convinced that the vast majority of cases of post partum depression can be avoided just by ensuring adequate intake of DHA.

EPA is a fatty acid that promotes a healthy cardiovascular system and decreases inflammation throughout your body. Its anti-inflammatory properties make EPA especially helpful to people who suffer with arthritis. EPA is also closely linked with your emotional health, with many studies showing that it plays a strong role in preventing depression.

Vitamin A is necessary for proper vision, healthy skin, and strong mucosal linings, including the lining of your digestive tract. Many skin and digestive disorders cannot fully heal without adequate vitamin A intake.

Vitamin D is needed to reduce risk of virtually every type of cancer.

Vitamin D is essential to maintaining strong bones and teeth. It enhances the strength and efficiency of your immune system, and decreases your risk of developing autoimmune conditions. Vitamin D helps your body regulate its blood sugar levels, playing an important role in preventing type 2 diabetes. Finally, vitamin D is one of several nutrients that are necessary for preventing high blood pressure.

My family uses a lemon flavoured variety of cod liver oil made by Carlson Labs. For the past twenty years, Carlson has been providing exceptionally high quality cod liver oil by using only cod that are harvested from clean arctic waters off the coast of northern Norway. These cold ocean waters contain the ideal nutrients for the growth of healthy cod, rich in the nutrients mentioned above.

During the fishing season, cod are gathered and brought to the fishery every day, where workers immediately remove the liver oil from the liver tissues. Many other types of cod liver oil are not made on a daily basis because they come from cod that are caught by large boats which are out on the ocean for 1-2 weeks, making it impossible to make as fresh a product. This is an important point, as the freshness and nutritional content of cod liver oil depends largely on how quickly the oil is removed from the liver tissue.


Carlson Cod Liver Oil
Lemon Flavoured
16.8 oz. (500 ml)

Carlson's Lemon Flavoured Cod Liver Oil

1 Bottle - 500 ml (Large Size)
$32.95 USD, plus S&H



Carlson uses a special steam extraction process that produces a super high quality oil that doesnt have a bad taste or smell like some other varieties. As soon as the oil is produced, it is put into 2.5 ton containers that have nitrogen pumped into them. Nitrogen is necessary to remove any oxygen in the containers, another important step that is taken to maximize freshness, as oxygen can damage the valuable fatty acids in cod liver oil.

Ultimately, purified cod liver oil that is rich in nutrients and naturally occurring antioxidants is bottled in Norway and nitrogen-sealed, which ensures that there is no air in the oil or bottle. Many other providers of cod liver oil have it shipped to the U.S. in large drums, to be bottled later to save on costs. Having the cod liver oil bottled in Norway is yet another step that is taken to ensure freshness and reduce the risk of the fatty acids in cod liver oil going rancid during storage or shipping.

I appreciate that Carlson Cod Liver Oil is regularly tested using AOAC international protocols for purity and potency by an independent, FDA-registered laboratory. These tests regularly confirm that Carlson Cod Liver Oil is free of detectable levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, PCBs and 28 other contaminants.

If you are anxious about the taste, not to worry. Carlson Cod Liver Oil has a natural lemon flavour added to it, which makes it totally fine to take before or during your meals. We prefer to take it right before lunch or dinner in order to facilitate optimal assimilation of the healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins in the foods that we eat.

Please note: For most people, a safe dosage of cod liver oil is approximately one teaspoon per 50 pounds of body weight per day.

Here's a look at what two teaspoons of Carlson cod liver oil will provide you each day:

Nutrients in Two Teaspoons of Carlson Cod Liver Oil

DHA (DocosaHexaenoic Acid) 1000 to 1180 mg
EPA (EicosaPentaenoic Acid) 680 to 1000 mg
ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) 80 to 100 mg
Vitamin A 1600 IU
Vitamin D 800 IU
Vitamin E (natural d-alpha tocopherol and mixed tocopherols) 20 IU

If you're regularly on the go or on the road and you prefer gel capsules to this pure liquid form, I recommend:

Carlson Cod Liver Oil, 300 Soft Gel Capsules



If you are looking for a reliable source of omega-3 fatty acids without vitamin D or vitamin A, I recommend Carlson Fish Oil.


Carlson Fish Oil

Order Now


Carlson Fish Oil

1 Large Bottle
(16.8 ounces, 500 ml) of Lemon Flavored Carlson Fish Oil

$32.97 USD
(plus S&H)

 




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Copyright 1997-2007 by Ben Kim

The contents of this website are the opinions of Dr. Ben Kim unless otherwise noted. The information on this website is not intended as personalized medical advice and is not intended to replace the relationship that you have with your primary care provider. Any decisions you make with regard to your daily choices and medical treatments should be made with the help of a qualified health care provider.