How to Take Cod Liver Oil, Dosage and Recommended Brands
Taking cod liver oil daily is a valuable way to supplement your body with important omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin A and vitamin D.
This page has how and when to take cod liver oil, a recommended dosage for regular use and where to buy good cod liver oil online.
When Should You Take Cod Liver Oil?
If you get a lot of sunlight exposure for vitamin D or are already using high doses of vitamin A, you may want to take cod liver oil every second or third day as it is relatively high in these nutrients.
Many people have good results taking cod liver oil more frequently in the winter months, when they are getting less sun exposure for vitamin D, and less frequently in the summer.
Personally, I alternate taking this cod liver oil and fish oil, having cod liver oil 4 to 5 times a week in winter with fish oil on the other days. In summer I cut back to 2 or 3 times a week with cod liver oil and have fish oil more frequently.
This is works well for me and I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my health since taking cod liver oil. I’ve also intrigued most of my close friends and family in it enough to have made many of them converts too.
Cod liver oil is best taken with food, particularly vegetables high in carotenoids like carrots, since they are fat soluble. Though any main meal, like with breakfast, lunch or dinner is a good time to take your cod liver oil.
Cod Liver Oil Dosage
Cod liver oils are not all the same and some cheaper versions can have inferior nutrients, be lower in omega-3s and have the wrong balance of vitamin A to vitamin D. Given this, it’s very important to use a high quality cod liver oil.
The recommended dosage for cod liver oil is usually 1 or 2 teaspoons a day, or a corresponding number of capsules. Importantly, when you read the nutritional information, your cod liver oil dosage should provide at least 1 gram of combined EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
Personally, I’m looking for around 2 grams of omega-3s a day from my cod liver oil. At the same time, you probably don’t want to go too high in Vitamin A.
This is not a problem with a quality brand like Carlson’s cod liver oil, which is high in DHA, EPA and Vitamin D, while having only a moderate amount of Vitamin A.
With regards to vitamin D, a good cod liver oil should have at least 400 IU of Vitamin D per dose. It’s also important to consider is the ratio of vitamin A to vitamin D.
Many people who have spent a lot of time looking into these two vitamins believe the ratio should be least 10 to 1 of vitamin A to vitamin D and that a ratio of 5 to 1 or lower may be even better.
So, with this in mind, if the cod liver oil you’re looking at has around 4000 IU of vitamin A per dose, you’d be looking for at least 400 IU of vitamin D. Cod liver oil with very high vitamin A, without the vitamin D to work with it, is probably worth avoiding.
Finally, a good cod liver oil will usually have some natural source vitamin E to prevent oxidation. If you’re using the oil itself, rather than cod liver capsules, you’ll probably appreciate some lemon oil or similar flavor added to improve the taste. The one I take tastes mildly of lemon and is not fishy at all.
Cod liver oil should ideally come in a dark bottle for liquid and be stored in a cool, dark place and refrigerated once opened. Use it within a couple of months of opening. That shouldn’t be a problem if you’re using it properly and, if you’ve never had cod liver oil before, I’d be surprised if you don’t notice a difference in your health and energy before too long.
Where to Buy the Best Cod Liver Oil
Carlson’s cod liver oil is the cod liver oil I take personally. I decided on it due the quality of the extraction process and the sheer weight of positive feedback people have given about this product online.
The natural lemon flavored cod liver oil actually tastes quite nice, with no fishiness at all. I think the liquid is generally better value, but some people do like capsules and it may be easier to get a more precise dose with them.
If you prefer capsules, there is the Carlson’s Super 1000mg softgels, which work out at around 4 cents each and have a beneficial vitamin A to vitamin D ratio of around 2 to 1.
You’d probably want to take several of these at a time, but they would be good for someone who wants to increase their vitamin D and omega-3 intake without too much vitamin A.
Other Recommended Cod Liver Oil Brands
Amazon also have the Sonne’s brand that sell their Old Fashioned cod liver oil. This unflavored oil is one of the only cod liver oils available that is sourced without the use of chemicals or heat and left as close as possible to it’s natural state.
Another highly rated natural cod liver oil is Garden of Life’s Olde World Icelandic Cod Liver Oil in mint flavored liquid. There are many positive reviews for this cod liver oil and it is particularly high in omega-3s.
Have you found any other good places to buy cod liver oil online or any other good brands that you’ve tried? I’d be interested to hear your opinion on what you think is the best cold liver oil to take.
Photo 1: Emuishere Pelicula / Photo 2: David McCreath / Photo 3: vinodvv aka vcube
Infographic from Healthspan