Doctor’s Orders: Your Family Needs Fermented Cod Liver Oil

by Dr. David Levi ND

fermented cod liver oil

By Dr. David Levi ND

I first came across fermented cod liver oil when I became frustrated with my 6 year old son’s dental health. I took him to a conventional dentist and all they had to offer was anesthetics and drilling. I knew something deeper was wrong because my 4 other kids didn’t have as much tooth decay as him.

I did a lot of research and saw how there was a connection between his teeth and the overall health of his body. He was lacking in some serious nutrients that were causing his body to leech these important nutrients from his teeth.

I finally came to the conclusion that fermented cod liver oil was something I needed to try.My wife was so excited when I introduced this supplement into our home. She always wanted to find something that was simple to give our entire family (ages 6 to 6 months old) and that she knew had everything they needed, especially the most the important nutrients, such as omega 3 fatty acids and adequate quantities of bio-available (easily absorbed) forms of natural vitamin A and D, which she knew we could not get from any one food.

As a naturopathic doctor I like to individualize my recommendations to my patients, but I believe this supplement has such a foundational role that I end up recommending it to everyone because clinical research reveals over and over again that as a nation we are chronically deficient in everything that fermented cod liver oil has to offer.

Why Fermented Cod Liver Oil and NOT Regular Cod Liver Oil or Fish Oil

Nearly all manufacturers of cod liver oil and fish oil supplements on the market use high heat to extract the therapeutic oils. It is by far the most efficient way to do it taking only a few hours to accomplish. But this process destroys the naturally occurring vitamin A and D content and denatures the delicate omega 3 fatty acids.

The manufacturers then usually re-add the vitamin A and D, typically in synthetic form, therefore making these vitamins much less bio-available and sometimes toxic.

Fermenting the cod livers does not cause these problems.  It requires 6 to 12 months to delicately render the fish oil using traditional fermentation methods which not only preserves the natural nutrient content and delicate fatty acids but actually makes them much more bio-available to our bodies.

Fermented cod liver oil not only is great to help prevent infectious disease (yes, your children will get sick far less often and recover much more quickly!), but is also excellent for preventing the array of chronic degenerative diseases that plague our society: depression, cancer, heart-disease, auto-immune disorders etc.

Here is an extended listed of the benefits of fermented cod liver oil (FCLO):

  • Promotes healthy cholesterol levels (HDL/LDL ratios)
  • Prevents the formation of atherosclerotic plaque
  • Is a systemic anti-inflammatory
  • Reduces symptoms from arthritis (rheumatoid and osteoarthritis)
  • Promotes mental health (prevents degenerative mental diseases)
  • Supports tooth and bone health
  • Promotes healthy hormone balance
  • Supports the health of hair, skin, and nails
  • Reduces inflammatory skin conditions (acne, eczema, etc.)
  • Helps manage ADHD symptoms
  • Helps manage inflammatory lung conditions (asthma)
  • Can help stabilize mood disorders (bi-polar, depression, etc.).

Fermented Cod Liver Oil Recommended Dosage

In the video below, my wife does a demonstration of administering 2 mL (little less than 1/2 a teaspoon) to our children, which is the bare minimum you would want to give your family daily.

Here are the dosages I would recommend (see graphic above for easy pinning to Pinterest)

Children (3 months to 12 years): 1/8 – 1/2 tsp or 1-4 capsules (0.625 – 2.5 ml)
Adults and children 12+ years: 1/2 – 1 tsp or 5-10 capsules (2.5 – 5 ml)
Pregnant and nursing women: 1 – 2 tsp or 10-20 capsules (5-10 ml)

Click here for sources of fermented cod liver oil in both liquid or capsule form.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil for those with Sensitive Throat Issues

Keep in mind that sometimes the fermented cod liver oil can cause a slight burning sensation in the throat, which is due to the beneficial lactic acid from the fermentation.

This sensation will go away quite quickly and even be prevented entirely if you chase it down with something that has fat in it like milk or a smoothie (which we like to use with our family).

How to Administer Fermented Cod Liver Oil to Your Family

More Information about Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Fermented Cod Liver Oil: Myths and Truths of an Ancient Superfood

How Kinesiology (Muscle Testing) Can Help You Select the Best Cod Liver Oil Brand for Your Family

Fermented Cod Liver Oil 101 (plus Video How-to)

How to Best Swallow Fermented Cod Liver Oil

About the Author

Dr. David LeviDr. David A. Levi is a Naturopathic Doctor who practices what he preaches both as a physician and a father of 6 children. He is a firm believer in the body’s innate ability to heal itself with the support of what nature already has to offer.

Dr. Levi completed over 1,200 hours of in-residence clinical training at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine. He went on to complete a 2 year internship at Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo’s (Author of NY Time Bestseller Eat Right 4 Your Type) clinic in Brooklyn, NY. He currently sees clients at his private office in Boca Raton, FL.

You can also connect with him via Facebook.


Comments (132)

  1. I have researched and researched (with what little free time I have – ha!) for which kind is the best for my kiddos. I have a 2.5 year old who is extremely picky (won’t eat vegetables, but eats kimchi, sauerkraut, drinks kombucha and kefir) and a 6 month old. Obviously, they can’t take the capsules yet. However, the liquid FCLO does not include the butter oil, correct? Would it be okay if I give them both the liquid with a syringe (I’m sure the 6 month old will get used to the flavor) and have my toddler drink milk or juice following it or do I HAVE to have the butter oil, too. What kind was Dr. Levi’s family taking in the video? Thank you!

  2. Have you seen this article? What are your thoughts about it?

    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist August 23, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      I’ve seen Dr. Daniel’s report. I will post a response from my perspective soon. For the record, our family will continue to take fermented cod liver oil as we have for the past 10 years with excellent results. I am in serious doubt of the objectivity of the report due to the refusal to name lab sources or full disclosure of the funding of the report other than Dr. Ron Schmid who appears to have an ax to grind and blames his FCLO habit of 2-3 TABLESPOONS per day (which is insane) for years and years. And prior to taking FCLO for years, he took regular cod liver oil in the same insanely high amounts for a number of years. This is the fault of the individual, not the product. The product was clearly abused … more is not always better especially with a potent product like FCLO. 1 TEASPOON per day is the recommended dosage. He took 9X that amount for, by his own admission, more than a decade.

  3. Someone mentioned that the butter oil is a raw milk product? Wouldn’t this be a concern for pregnant women due to possible listeria contamination?

  4. I thought that heating process for the conventional extraction does not harm vitamin A and vitamin D as they were not heat labile!!!!
    I thought that the heat process could be more harmful to the polyunsaturated fish oil rather than the vitamins.

  5. Sarah Joy Kurien via Facebook August 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Not only does it boost immunity, but I know it keeps my daughters eczema away, heals/prevents cavities, improves brain function, and keeps allergies at bay. It’s my one spoon must have for family health!!

  6. Christine Forte Roberts via Facebook August 28, 2014 at 8:37 am

    I use a syringe to measure out 1/2 tsp doses into a silicone mold of tiny squares, which I then refrigerate. They pop out easily and it’s no worse than swallowing a (large) pill…I chase it with a big spoonful of coconut oil…not a bit of aftertaste.

  7. Kara Hanegraaf via Facebook August 28, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I can’t get my kids to try take it:( I’ve tried mixing with orange juice, honey, maple syrup. I tried having them hold their nose, chose with water or juice. I’m not going to force them to take it but I am hoping they learn by example at this point. I wish they would take it though.

  8. Jenna Harper via Facebook August 28, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Iv read comments about keeling it in the fridge ? What is the usual consistency ? Is it a gel or liquid ? When u out it in the fridge, how would you be able to scoop it out of a bottle ?

  9. Kelly Conley Henkel via Facebook August 28, 2014 at 4:52 am

    My kids ask for Cinnamon tingle. Keeping it in the fridge helps. It’s less fishy when it’s cold.

  10. Patricia Smit via Facebook August 28, 2014 at 4:43 am

    Put the butteroil-CLO-combo in the fridge. It then gets stiff and easy to scoop. Place the ‘desired’ ( 😉 ) amount on your tongue and immediately swollow it down with a beverage of choice. Hardly any aftertaste this way!

  11. Thenielle Tan-Monteras via Facebook August 28, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Is it safe to take 2 tsp of FCLO with butter oil when I’m already taking a prenatal multivitamin with 5,000 IU of vitamin A and 400 IU of vitamin D?

    • IMO dont even bother with those multivitamins.. Theyre not real vitamins, theyre synthetic and incomplete.. Take for example Vitamin A. On your Vitamin ingredients itll probably say palmitate or retinoic acid.. but “Vitamin A” is a whole slew of these ingredients, no just the one. Ascorbic acid isnt vitamin C, etc etc

  12. Sarah Hillman via Facebook August 28, 2014 at 1:45 am

    How do you guys get past the taste? I gag and almost throw up every time. Any suggestions for giving it to kids?

  13. Nichole Jordon Pearson via Facebook August 28, 2014 at 1:15 am

    I have two unopened bottles in my cupboard that are a few years old. No dates…anyone know how long it’s good for??

  14. Nichole Jordon Pearson via Facebook August 28, 2014 at 1:15 am

    I have two unopened bottles in my cupboard that are a few years old. No dates…anyone know how long it’s good for??

  15. Pingback: Five Moderately Easy Things You Can Do to Make Your Family’s Life Healthier | Russian Moms Social Club

  16. Was wondering if it’s essential to take this in the summer during the sunny days? We’ve taken it all winter long and have had virtually no common health issues.

  17. Loved watching the video of the kids taking the cod liver oil! 😉 My little girl is not yet two and she LOVES the stuff. It cracks me up. She will actually open our refrigerator, get out the bottle and bring it to me asking for it. She’s much braver than momma. I chase mine with a BIG glass of raw milk. Lol. 😉

    Jacquelyn @ LittleOwlCrunchyMomma

  18. Why does the bottle say 2 caps is a serving when you are stating that it’s 5-10 caps?
    It’s a lot of money already when you have a big family and with caps it’s a whole lot more.
    My kids can’t get down the oil with out caps.

    • You have a very valid complaint. The 2 capsule recommendation is really just a maintenance dose. To benefit from a therapeutic dose you’d have to take much more. Personally, I am not a fan of the capsules. I recommend you experiment with different ways to administer the liquid oil to your children. It is more affordable and more easily absorbed.

  19. Sarah,

    Your recommendations….if one take’s the combo capsules w/the FCLO and the butter oil do you have to double your recommendation?


    • The cost can be a stumbling block for many. If you can take it consistently and give it to your children regularly, the health benefits are priceless. I’ve seen some communities order in bulk to get discounts.

  20. Dakota Summerton via Facebook April 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I took this brand before getting pregnant but now I’m on pregnancy safe DHA could I switch back and use this as a replacement?

    • I’ve seen dozens of pregnant women (including my wife) take up to 4 tubes of Fermented Cod Liver Oil per day and not only were their baby’s extremely healthy upon birth, but the pregnancies and deliveries went very well.

  21. Jessica M Baker via Facebook April 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Athena Lutz… this is what we take and give our kids. You can get liquid or gel, so no capsules to swallow.

  22. Pingback: Why You Should Be Using Fermented Cod Liver Oil

    • Kristen Sawberger April 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      I am wondering about this myself, as I have taken FCLO before and it gave me horrible diarrhea. And I was taking the minimum amount. Once I stopped taking the FCLO, the diarrhea disappeared. Does anyone know of any other brand of Cod Liver Oils that are beneficial beside the FCLO?

      • Me, my wife, and my six children have been taking FCLO for over 3 years and I’ve recommended it to 100’s of patients and I’ve never heard of any negative side effects. I’ve only heard of benefits. The only complaint I have ever heard is some throat irritation from the naturally occurring enzymes from the fermentation process, but that is just temporary.

        • So Dr. Levi, you’re basically negating Kristen’s experience because it didn’t match yours or your patients? Did you ever stop to think that maybe she experienced diarrhea for the same reason some patients experience throat irritation?

          BTW, I’ve also had negative reactions to FCLO — histamine related I believe, but basically an overall uncomfortable “restless legs” reaction. It doesn’t happen with regular cod liver oil.

  23. It is a bit expensive but it’s always better to pay more for a high-quality product that’s actually going to work. I’m just wondering if I can handle the taste, I’ll have to look into the cinnamon flavor.

      • Yes on the cinnamon! We went back to capsules after using the cinnamon oil, which did not have the syringe and tasted bitter and stung our mouths. It was so messy, but we saw the Oslo Orange w/syringe and thought it was so much less expensive than taking all the capsules. We were surprised that it was pretty neutral tasting, must be the citrus oils. Not bad, not bad at all!

        Love the video of your children happily taking it and quickly drinking and eating after. The music made me want to get up and dance too! 😉

  24. Lisa Wendling Huntoon via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Any suggestions on how to take it if pregnant? After I take the liquid, my stomach hurts for hours.

      • FLCO may be a “small price to pay”, but for many families, the high cost makes it impossible to take regularly. If it comes down to having FLCO, or paying the APS bill, I have a hard time believing that anyone would give up electricity to be able to afford the oil. I have definitely noticed positive benefits from taking it, but simply can’t afford it on a regular basis. It’s pretentious to assume that all people have the money for FLCO, no matter how good the health improvements are.

        • Nathan Flounders July 14, 2014 at 3:53 pm

          Money is an issue for some people in the United States, but not for people who can afford computers, internet, television, etc…It’s just a matter of priority. I often hear people say “I can’t afford organic food”, but proceed to buy Doritos and soda.

          • thank you someone finally said it. Set your priorities. If you don’t have your health you have nothing.

  25. Talitha Boshoff via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    My integrated endocrinologist (who loves supplements) has just cautioned me against cod liver oil. Apart from the high vitamin A content, new studies have revealed that few fish species are not contaminated with mercury lately.

    • High vitamin A is a concern when synthetic versions are used, but it’s very hard to get too much from natural sources.

  26. Is this product safe for someone with a mild-moderate shrimp allergy? I would love to try this for my son who has adhd, but have been reluctant due to his allergy.

    • My husband is allergic to shrimp and has been taking fermented cod liver oil for over a year. There is no shrimp in it and should be no problem. It has never bothered him at all.

  27. I brought our bottle of FCLO in to our naturolpath along with some other supplements we take to have them tested using kinesiology (muscle testing). It tested neutral for my son, meaning he would benefit from it nutrient wise. It actually tested harmful for me. Next time we go I plan on bring a bottle of Nordic Naturals, and seeing how that tests. I am curious if anyone else out there has taken FCLO in for testing.

    • Ive taken both the plain and cinnamon tingle in for testing to 2 different muscle testers. The first, she said it didn’t test good for anybody anywhere. I was shocked. The second time was a different tester and I only tested cinnamon and only for my son with issues. She said it didn’t test for him but likely because his body wasn’t digesting fats well right then. I need to take it back and retest. I continue to give the normal doses to my family anyway because it just seems right to me in my spirit. It also makes a noticeable difference in one son’s throat clearing tic, though I haven’t tested that son for it.
      I am concerned about the fukushima radiation now in regards to this FCLO and how long it would actually take for the contamination to reach the fish being used for Blue Ice FCLO. If not already then at some point it will obviously be contaminated and then what do we use.

    • Stephen Blackbourn April 22, 2014 at 4:21 am

      I always keep mine in the fridge.

      I also use a wine bottle stopper with vacuum pump to extract the air in the bottle after each opening. Before I did this I found that the oil started to taste rancid by the time it was around 2/3 used.

  28. I have been giving my toddler over 1tsp for tooth decay since last fall. He has not even had a runny nose all fall/winter. I’m now taking 1.5 tsp of the FCLO and butter oil every day since I’m pregnant. Ladies, remember that fish oil supplements may lengthen the gestation of your baby, so be prepared to go past 40 weeks! I’m in this one for the long haul.

  29. Lux Louisa via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Sometimes ‘the best’ is too expensive for some of us. I wish we could all afford everything like this that we are told we “need.”

  30. Mirian Wong via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm has one source ($hipping cost not worth it for me.) My Vancouver WholeFoods only has orange flavoured FCLO and no butter oil. And a neighbouring supplement store has it all. I hesitate to mention the last store as I don’t want my source seized by govt. Eastern Canada seem to have a better source supply according to Nourishing Tradition’s Facebook.

    • There isn’t much out there in terms of Fermented Cod Liver Oil, but if you take the components that Fermented Cod Liver Oil contains (Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, etc.), they all have been researched extremely thoroughly, and their benefits have been confirmed in multiple clinical trials.

  31. Mirian Wong via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    In Canada it’s VERY hard to find. I found only a couple of reliable sources but you PAY! Mail ordering may have it seized by customs or you pay a hefty duty on top of the hefty shipping cost. Buy it across the border and just categorize it as groceries, have an American friend bring it to you or ask a store that carries St. France’s product to order it in as they are the Canadian distributors. Reason for difficulty is that butter oil is a raw milk product (shhhhhh.) and FCLO works synergistically with butter oil.

    • Good to know…I’m going to try to bring some across soon. Do you know if there is a limit on how much you can bring without problems? like a ‘personal use’ limit or anything?

  32. Barbara Heimlich via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Oh my gosh!!!! Visions of growing up next to my grandparents out in the country!!!! My grandmother believe Cod liver oil fixed about everything. As kids we would run when she pulled that bottle out!!!! Of course, no one in the family ever got sick!!!! Germs were too afraid!!

  33. Nancy Gardner via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    This is kinda tmi, but does anyone get gas from taking it? I took it for a week or so and was getting lot of gas. I didn’t take it Saturday or Sunday and the gas stopped. I don’t mind taking it, but was hoping that part would just go away.

    • I don’t, but some do apparently. I just read this on their website in the FAQs. Sounds like it is related to bile production. If your body is not used to much fat, it takes time to adjust. Swedish bitters can help.

      • I had a terrible case of diarrhea every time I took it, and I made sure to take OxBile supplement with it as I have problems digesting fat. I don’t think FCLO works for everybody. Is there any other brand of Cod Liver oil that is okay to take? Perhaps one that is less expensive?

  34. I can testify that it works. I started my four children on it in January and we haven’t been sick since. Last winter we had colds that never seemed to end!

    I bought the Cinnamon Tingle and the Chocolate Gel which is a CLO/butter oil mix. My children far preferred the Cinnamon. One daughter is extremely picky and I started her out with just a tiny bit and gradually worked up to the full amount and she now takes it just fine. It’s expensive with so many children but it is so nice not to get sick! Everyone around us was dropping like flies to a very bad flu but we never got it.

  35. Karen Brett via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Sandy GiGi Risher and Jessica Risher this is the cod liver oil I mentioned on Sunday. Children used to take it everyday in the old days.

  36. Crystal Topham Coston via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Just curious, what is the reason for these dose recommendations differing from the ones on the bottle?

    • I buy it from The price is comparable to other sellers, but they have free shipping when you spend $50 or more.

  37. What is the recommended dosage if you are using the fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend? What about the coconut oil/fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend?

  38. Lisa Lemma via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I’m confused. I buy this same brand from Green Pastures & take the recommended dosage on the bottle which is 2 capsules per day (butter/cod liver oil pills)

  39. Angela Stewart Abulela via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Organ meats do not store toxins, they remove them from the blood, into the urine to be eliminated from the body. They DO store nutrients however.

  40. Barry Soetoro via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 11:04 am

    organ meats accumulate most of the toxins in animals or humans. i wouldnt eat organ meats these days…. even if its grass fed 100%

    • 100% grassfed organs are excellent to eat. We have a free-range meats butchershop…can’t see one reason the livers from our beef would any different than the ones consumed by traditional cultures in Weston Prices time.

  41. Chris Acchione via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Adults 5-10 capsules…. Based on what — male vs female? , height/weight?
    I take a teaspoon everyday but need to figure out how many capsules for my husband.

  42. Jessica M Baker via Facebook April 21, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Really? 10-20 capsules a day for pregnant and nursing women?!? I guess I need to majorly up my dose. I normally take 1 each morning and night.


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