Cod Liver Oil Vs. Fish Oil: Which Is A Better Omega-3 Supplement?

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There has been much debate in recent years whether or not people should be taking cod liver oil rather than fish oil supplements in order to get those all important omega-3 fatty acids as well as other vitamins and minerals. While some experts argue that cod liver oil is not good for your health others claim it is not only healthy but, a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals as well. Those in favor of cod liver oil even point to the fact that this oil has been around and used for thousands of years, so it must be safe. However, before deciding that cod liver oil is better than those fish oil supplements there are a few things you should know about Cod Liver oil.

Cod Liver Oil Then and Now

When people began rendering the oil from the liver of codfish, there simply wasn’t the pollution of the waters that we have today. This is important because if the waters the fish swim and eat in didn’t contain toxins then the fish was not consuming plants or other fish that carried these toxins. So of course, cod liver oil was safe to take for a decades until mercury, arsenic and other pollutants made their way into the water and the food supply of the animals that live in the water.

Now that pollution is a real problem, one needs to be concerned about cod liver oil, because it is the liver of the fish that has the most concentration of these toxins in them. Fish oil comes from oil that is rendered from the flesh of the fish, which means that fish oil contains less of these toxins even prior to purification. While these purification processes are good, the truth is that the more toxins that are in a fish or in the case of cod liver oil, in the liver of the fish, the more toxins that will remain in the purified oil. Which means in most cases, even purified cod liver oil contains more harmful toxins than does fish oil.

How Most Cod Liver Oil is processed

In addition to the higher toxin levels you will probably find in cod liver oil as opposed to fish oil, you also need to understand how cod liver oil is processed and what happens during processing. In the old days, cod liver used to be fermented in order to extract the oil. Today, companies process the oil by using extremely high heat and several chemicals to extract the oil. This process not only kills off all the natural vitamins and most of the nutrients, it also leaves behind chemicals that may not be good for your health.

In order to restore some nutritional value to the cod liver oil, manufacturers then add synthetic vitamins and minerals. Studies show that the human body has a more difficult time of absorbing synthetic vitamins and minerals and they are not as beneficial to your health as natural nutrients.

Why A High Quality Fish Oil Is Better Than Cod Liver Oil

Choosing a high quality fish oil supplement is going to be better for your health than cod liver oil and here is why.

  • Fish oil is rendered from the flesh of the fish not the liver, which contains higher concentration of toxins. The lower the levels of the toxins in the oil before purification, the lower the toxin levels will be after the purification process and you want the lowest levels of toxins humanly possible in that supplement in order to safe guard your health.
  • A high quality fish oil supplement contains no chemicals or synthetic ingredients of any kind, it is completely natural and you don’t have to worry about what the long term effects of those unnatural chemicals may be.

While cod liver oil was once safe and effective to take, that simply may not be the case any longer so why not be on the side of caution and go with fish oil supplements that are safe and effective.


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