Guide to Cod Liver Oil

bottle of carlson cod liver oil


What is cod liver oil and why is it good for you?

Long before fish oil and flax seed oils became popular nutritional supplements, cod liver oils were one of the first healthy oils to be used by used in many households around the world.

Cod liver oil is an excellent source of the vitamins A and D. It also contains the omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Due to this unique combination of active ingredients, cod liver oil can offer the following health benefits:

  • Support the healthy development of your brain and nervous system.

  • Decrease your risk of blood clots.

  • Help regulate your blood pressure.

  • Help your body fight against infections.

  • Reduce your risk for heart attacks and strokes.

The vitamin A in cod liver oil can help your eyes adjust to different light conditions. 

Vitamin A also plays a role in maintaining normal moisture levels in your eyes, skin and mucous membranes, which helps trap germs before they enter your body.

Some of the health benefits of vitamin D is it helps build stronger bones and helps reduce the risk for Multiple Sclerosis and boosts your immune system.

The following information details more specific health benefits of cod liver oil.


Specific Health Benefits with Cod Liver Oil


mother giving cod liver oil to child

Constipation – In the good ol’ days, Mothers used to give this oil to treat constipation.  It was believed that the oil would help lubricate the stomach which would make it easier for food to migrate through the digestive tract. Does this home remedy really work? You may be surprised to learn the answer to this common home remedy!

Colitis & Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Recent research shows there may be a place for this healthy oil in treating irritable bowel diseases. Animal studies show it may help reduce the progression of colitis and lessen inflammation. Additional studies found cod liver oils may reduce free radical damage in the bowel. 

Effects of Cod Liver Oil on Cancer Prevention – The active ingredients in cod liver oils may help reduce the risk for certain cancers.  Chinese researchers report that children taking cod liver oil showed lower rates of leukemia. Other studies claim that deficiencies in vitamin A can increase your risk for lung tumors, and Norwegian researchers found people who smoked cigarettes showed lower rates of lung cancer when they increased their intake of vitamin A.

bottle of carlson cod liver oil capsules

Treating Ear Infections – Researchers at Columbia University found children at risk for ear infections reduced the number of days needed for antibiotics when taking a mixture of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A and selenium.

Enhances Heart Health – Scientists at the University of Norway claim that a daily dose of liver oil can improve HDL cholesterol and reduce the risk for blood clots and strokes.

Joint Pain and Arthritis –  A recent study showed 2000 mg. of cod liver oil a day reduces joint pain. A number of studies show the fatty acids in cod liver oils reduce the enzymes that destroy joint cartilage. 


Should You Take Cod Liver Oil during Pregnancy? Since this oil contains a natural source of vitamin A, there are concerns that excessive levels may increase the risk for birth defects. However, a recent study from The National Institute of Child Health and Development found no risk for birth defects from moderate use of vitamin A.

Studies indicate that the omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oils are vital for optimal development of the nervous and vision systems of the fetus. Additional studies have shown a reduced risk for allergies and asthma when pregnant mothers increased their intake of omega 3 fatty acids.



Guides to Buying Cod Liver Oils and Product Reviews

bottle of nordic naturals cod liver oil


Side Effects – Is this oil safe to use? Studies show there is an increased risk for bleeding and the possibility of consuming too much vitamin A and D. Some natural health advocates recommend only taking cod liver oil during the Winter months when sun exposure is limited.

What are Benefits of Giving Cod Liver Oils to Dogs? One of the main benefits is a healthier and thicker fur coat, as well as stronger nails. While many dog foods can come fortified with omega 3 fatty acids, you may need to supplement to ensure your pet is getting enough of these healthy fatty acids.

Buyer’s Guide to Cod Liver Oil Soft Gel and Capsules – We take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of using cod liver oil capsules vs bottled liquids.

Consumer’s Guide to Lemon Flavored Cod Oils – This is one of the most popular forms of cod liver oil. We look at how the flavors are created, omega 3 concentrations and review of popular products.

Carlson Labs Product Review – A personal review of Carlson Labs cod liver oils at how they’re made, analysis of ingredients and product range.

Twinlab Norwegian Cod Liver Oils –  Product review of the product line and comparison of their Emulsified and Regular cod liver oils.

Guide to Buying the Best Cod Liver Oils – Cod liver oil is available in different concentrations and dosages. This guide will help you choose the best products based on a number of important criteria.


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Author Details
Author Details
Kevin is a full-time blogger with a passion for functional, whole food nutrition. A former Registered Respiratory Therapist with over 25 years experience in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, he also has additional training as a Certified Natural Products Advisor. He enjoys a vibrant lifestyle that includes healthy foods, workouts focusing on core strength with flexibility and longboarding to stay fit and agile.