Fish Oil vs. Cod-Liver Oil

Many people today are getting extra omega-3 fatty acids in their diet with fish oil. Omega-3s have decreased in our diets today largely because of vegetable oils and corn-feeding of our livestock. From beef to chicken and now, even our farm-raised fish, unless a person chooses to get their food from a farm co-op that pastures their animals, foods that used to have a balance of omega-3 to -6 fatty acids are now overabundant in omega-6. In fact, because of today’s foods, omega-6 fatty acids can dominate omega-3 fatty acids by as much as between 20 to 1 or 30 to 1! (Another important reason to purchase pastured foods.)

An overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids can sometimes be a factor in inflammation as it may cause an imbalance in the production of important hormones called prostaglandins. Because of this, many people turn to omega-3-rich fish oil supplements like salmon oil. These are beneficial, but when you take a high quality cod-liver oil you will not only get the omega-3 fatty acids, but you will also get both vitamins A and D, which are critical to nutrient absorption. Dr. Weston A. Price’s research of healthy populations worldwide found that these cultures consumed 10 times the amount of vitamin A and D compared to diets of his patients in the US–in the 1930s! So that figure now would be much higher today considering how depleted our food supply has become.

Unfortunately, commercial cod liver oil is not the  always the best choice, as the natural vitamin A and D has been removed in processing and a synthetic version of these vitamins is put back. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends fermented cod liver oil from as an excellent choice for this supplement. It is the only cod liver oil in the world that is  made in a traditional way. It is also much more dense in vitamin A and D than commercial brands so the dose is much smaller.

Cod liver oil has been recorded as being an elixir for good health by cultures all over the world as far back as in the Roman empire. Even your great-grandmother took cod liver oil! So take your cod liver oil!! And while you are at it, take it with high-vitamin butter oil, which was Dr. Price’s prescription for healing (also available at

For more information on building health and healing with nutrient-dense foods see Performance without Pain and our new e-book on healing acid reflux.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

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