Most people don’t realize it, but the majority of cod liver oil brands on the market today are not truly whole food supplements.
While the packaging and marketing vary from company to company, they are, sadly, all basically the same!
Believe it or not, only a handful of refiners are responsible for the myriad of brands on the shelf.
Heat is the cheap (and thus favored) method for oil extraction from fish livers. This high-temperature processing essentially destroys most of the nutritional content.
Manufacturers then sneakily add it back via synthetic vitamins but don’t indicate as much on the label!
For this reason, it is very important to only use unprocessed cod liver oil tested for purity. This ensures that the oil contains the natural forms of Vitamin A and D along with intact, undamaged omega-3 fatty acids.
So which brands are best? There aren’t many, unfortunately.
After vetting the few that are not heat-treated or solvent extracted, we chose Dropi raw, virgin cod liver oil for my family.
Let me tell you why we switched when Dropi came on the market a few years ago.
Dropi Cod Liver Oil
Dropi raw, virgin cod liver oil is a niche product that is produced in Iceland.
Due to the strictness of its production guidelines, it is sometimes available only a few months of the year. Varieties include both plain and flavored (licorice, mint, and ginger) liquid and capsules.
Let me explain the reasons why our family uses Dropi.
Sourced from Clean Waters and Third Party Tested
Many areas of the world’s oceans today contain worrisome levels of pollution. Sadly, this means that the area where you source your seafood is very important.
Being wild is no longer enough in most cases!
Dropi is sourced from the clean, cold waters stretching between Iceland and Greenland. It was the first completely unprocessed cod liver oil from this area as most come from the Pacific.
I personally have grave concerns about fish oils, tuna and other seafood from the Northern Pacific. I believe the safety of these foods is at issue due to the Fukushima disaster that occurred in Japan in 2011. What isn’t widely reported is that hundreds of tons of radioactive water have been released into the Pacific since then with discussions of further massive releases in the future…if they aren’t occurring already. (1)
There is no doubt in my mind that cod liver oil from the Atlantic is a safer choice. I realize others do not share my concerns, and that is certainly their choice!
I personally would not even take cod liver oil anymore if I couldn’t get it from an Atlantic or Southern Pacific source.
The special fishing grounds for Dropi cod liver oil are protected by an industrial-free zone which prevents pollution and contamination.
To ensure unparalleled purity, regular third-party testing ensures that every batch is free of toxins.
Raw and Unprocessed
Dropi cod liver oil comes from line-fished cod that are brought directly to an Icelandic facility onshore.
Here a cold-press, non-pressure treated technique extracts the cod liver oil immediately. This ensures the freshest, least fishy tasting product possible.
Because the oil releases from the cod livers quickly and at low temperatures, the final product remains both virgin and raw.
Trace amounts of rosemary and natural vitamin E are added to the liquid before bottling. These serve as natural antioxidants to maximize shelf life.
Our family seems to do better on this type of cod liver oil. The rawness ensures little to no burping issues for one thing! In addition, it is easily swallowed without burning/irritation in the throat that sometimes occurs from lactic acid and histamines in fish liver oils extracted via fermentation.
Iceland is the first nation to achieve true and complete sustainable fishing. A fishery management system is in place throughout the country to ensure responsible fishing techniques, with a focus on careful utilization of fish populations and superior treatment of the marine ecosystem.
To meet these standards, Dropi only uses cod livers from fish that have been sustainably procured by small fishing vessels.
These standards are important to me, and I value products that are 100% traceable from fish to bottle.
Supply Issues/Where to Find
If you benefit from a truly raw, whole-food-based supplement like virgin cod liver oil, I encourage you to try some while it is available.
Dropi runs into supply issues almost every year due to its strict sustainability practices, so don’t wait until you need it, else you might find it unavailable.