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. Logically, I knew something deeper was wrong because my 4 other kids didn’t have as much tooth decay as him.
After much research, I realized the strong 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. Rami Nagel talks about the importance of this supplement in his book Cure Tooth Decay.
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 single 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, krill oil and fish oil supplements use high heat or chemicals 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 of the livers. This preserves the natural nutrient content and delicate fatty acids. It also 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.).
My wife administers 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:
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.
Best Taken with Butter Oil
The best way to take FCLO is with butter oil to boost nutrient absorption. If this supplement is not available, ghee from grassfed cows may be used. For those with dairy allergies, use emu oil. One quarter teaspoon per day is sufficient.
The benefits of taking these healthy fats together is based on the detailed research of Dr. Weston A. Price.
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).