Cod liver oil is an oil extracted from cod livers. It was once a popular nutrititonal supplement for children, as it the
cooked livers to extract the oil, while, fish oils are extracted from the cooked whole body tissues of fatty fish. Though
cod liver oil and fish oils are similar, cod liver oil contains much  more vitamins A and D per unit weight than regular fish
oil. A high quality cod liver oil is pale-yellow, thin, oily liquid with fishy taste. Cod liver oil is a drug as well as food since
it is recognized in the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Cod liver oil cotains, in each g, not less than 255 ug of
vitamin A and not less than 2.125 ug of vitamin D. Cod liver oil may be flavored by the addition of less than 1% of a
suitable flavor or a mixture of flavors.

Cod liver oil benefits on arthritis has been demonstrated in several studies. Maternal intake of cod liver oil early in
pregnancy was associated with a higher birthweight. Higher birthweight always indicates a lower risk of diseases later
in life. The amount of vitamin D activity in a teaspoon of cod liver oil was sufficient to prevent rickets in infants. A study
of 545 childhood-onset type 1 diabetes and 1668 population control subjects in Norway shows the use of cod liver oil
in the first year of life associated with a significantly lower risk of type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D was reported to help ward
off many types of cancer. Lipid disorders and increased oxidative stress may exacerbate some complications of
diabetes mellitus. Some ingredients in cod liver oil may help protect the cells from the destructive effect of increased
lipids and lipid peroxidation products.  [For details: Cod Liver Oil Benefits]

Side effects of cod liver oil can be serious, especially compared with NSAIDs. Cod liver oil has been demonstrated to
have blood pressure lowering activities in animal studies. Another serious side effect can be related to gastric erosion.
[For details: Cod Liver Oil Side Effects]

                                                 Cod liver oil Vs Fish oil

                                              Cod Liver Oil Vs Fish Oil
                                              Composition Comparison

You may have heard news reports about fish oil supplements containing the environmental chemical pollutants  PCBs.  
Many news reports aired on TV and in the newspapers mentioning NOW Foods salmon oil and cod liver oil.  This is the
result of a lawsuit filed by the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation and two individuals against NOW and 7 other
defendants. They claim that NOW Foods are in violation of a law in the state of California (Proposition 65) that requires
manufacturers to provide a warning label on products containing substances that could cause cancer and / or
reproductive harm. This lawsuit claims that three of NOW Foods' fish oil products (Shark Liver Oil, Salmon Oil, and
Double Strength Cod Liver Oil) exceed the limits that require a warning label under California's Proposition 65 law. It is
important to note that all of fish oil products are manufactured using processes that reduce potential contaminants that
are common to fish including PCBs, heavy metals, mercury, and dioxins. [X8] Thus, one should read the product label
of cod liver oil or fish oil carefully and compare their compositions and price before purchasing them.

[A1] Rajakumar K et al Reemerging nutritional rickets: a historical perspective. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2005 Apr; 159(4):335-41.
[A2} Barker ME et al, Serum retinoids and beta caroteneas predictors of hip and other fractures in elderly women. J Bone Miner Res.
2005 Jun;20(6):913-20 Epub 2005 Jan 24. [1] Effect of cod liver oil on symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Adv. Ther. 2002
Mar-Apr.19(2):101-7. Study Preparation. [2] Formation of genotoxic dicarbonyl compounds in dietary oils upon oxidation, Lipids.
2004 May;39(5):481-6. [3] Curtis CL et al Biological basis for the benefit of nutraceutical supplementation e.g. cod liver oil in
arthritis. Drug Discov Today. 2004 April 1;9(7):336. [4] Effect of cod liver oil on symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, Adv Ther. 2002
Mar-Apr; 19*2):101-7.[5] Relationship between dietary intake of cod liver oil in early pregnancy and birthweight. BJOG.2005 April;
112(4):424-9.[6] Maternal supplementation with very-long-chain n-3 acids during pregnancy and lactation augments children's IQ at
4 years of age. Helland et al, University of Oslo, Norway, Pediatrics, 2003 Jan; 111(1):e39-44].[6] Differential effects of fish oil and
folic acid supplementation during pregnancy in rats on cognitive performance and serum glucose in their offspring. Joshi et al,
Agharkar Research Institute, India. Nutrition. 2004 May;20(5):465-72.][7] Use of cod liver oil during pregnancy assoicated with lower
risk of childhood-onset type 1 diabetes in the offspring. Stene et al, National Institute of Public Health, Norway. Diabetologia 2000
Sep;43(9):1093-8.][8] Nutritional supplements as adjunctive therapy for children with chronic/recurrent sinusitis: pilot research.
Linday et al, Iona College, USA, Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2004 Jun;68(6):785-93  [9] Effect of daily cod liver oil and
multivitamin-mineral supplement with selenium on upper respiratory tract pediatric visits by young, inner-city, Latino children:
randomized pediatric sites. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2004 Nov;113(11):891-901.[10] Whiting SJ et al, Dietary recommendations for
vitamin D: a critical need for functional end points to establish an estimated average requirement. J. Nutr. 2005
Feb;135(2):304-9.[11] .Rajakumar K. et al, Reemerging nutritional rickets: a historical perspective. Arch pediatr Adolesc med. 2005
Apri., 159(4):335-41.[12] Use of cod liver oil during the first year of life is assoicated with lower risk of childhood-onset type 1
diabetes: a large, population-based, case-control study. Stene et al, Ulleval University Hospital, Norway. Am J Clin Nutr: 2004 May;
79(5):889-90; author reply 890.][13]Vitamin D has anti-cancer properties. May 23 2005.[14] [Effect of cod liver oil
on tissue antioxidant pathways in normal and streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Hunkar et al. Cell Biochem Funct. 2002
Dec;20(4)297-302.]  [15] [Can vitamin D supplementation reduce the risk of fracture in the elderly? A randomized controlled trial.
Meyer et al, J Bone Miner Res. 2002 Apr,17(4):709-15.[16]  [Does dietary supplementation of cod liver mitigate musculoskeletal
pain? Erksen et al, University of Oslo, Norway. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Oct;50(10):689-93.  [17] Long-term effect of eicosapentaenoic
acid ethyl (EPA-E) on albuminuria of non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. Shimizu et al, Gunma University, Japan. Diabetes Res
Clin Pract. 1995 Apr;28(1):35-40.][18][Effect of fish oil and sunflower oil supplementations on gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity in
rat. Abdel-Gayoum et al, Al-Arab Medical University, Libya, Hum Exp Toxicol. 1995 Nov;14(11):884-8]. [19] Effects of dietary lipids
on daunomycin-induced nephropathy in mice: comparison between cod liver oil and soybean oil. Lipids 2002. April;
37(4):359-66.[20]  [Fish oil improves endothelium-dependent coronary vasodilation in heart transplant recipients. Fleischhauer et al,
Stanford University, California. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1993 Mar 15;21(4):992-9].[21] [Cod liver oil alters platelet-arterial wall response
to injury in pigs. Lam et al, Mayo Clinic, Minn. Circ Res. 1992 Oct,71(4):769-7 [22] J Allergy Cli Imm Dec., 2003;112(6):1178-84.
RECOMMENDED RESEARCH ARTICLES [1] Relationship between dietary intake of cod liver oil in early pregnancy and birthweight.
Olafsdottir AS et al, BJOG. 2005 Apr;112(4):424-9. [2] On call I was impressed by your July 2004 article on fish oil, and I'm thinking
of taking it. I remember that my mother gave me a spoonful of cod liver oil every day. Would it be a good thing for me to have
today? Simon HB. Harv Mens Health Watch. 2005 Jan;9(6):8. [3] Cod and the consumptive: abrief history of cod-liver oil in the
treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. Grad R. , Pharm. Hist. 2004; 46(3):106-20. [5] Effect of daily cod liver oil and a
multivitamin-mineral supplement with selenium on upper respiratory tract pediatric visits by young, inner-city, Latino children:
randomized pediatric sites. Linday LA et al, Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2004 Nov;113(11):891-901. [6] Polychlorinated biphenyls,
hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorocyclohexane isomers, and pesticide organochlorine residues in cod-liver oil dietary supplements.
Storelli MM et al, J. Food Prot. 2004 Aug;67(8):1767-91. [7] Predictors for cod-liver oil supplement use--the Norwegian Women and
Cancer Study. Brustad M. et al, Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 jan;58(1):128-36.[X1] Ziemlanski S et al, Effect of dietary fats on experimental
hypertension. Ann Nutr Metab. 1985;29(4):223-31. [X2] Lorenz R et al, Platelet function, thromboxane formation and blood pressure
control during supplementation of the Western diet with cod liver oil. Circulation. 1983 Mar;67(3):504-11. [X3] Hermida RC et al,
Administration time-dependent effects of aspirin on blood pressure in untreated hypertensive patients. Hypertension. 2003
Jun;41(6):1259-67. Epub 2003 May 5. [X4] Hirschowitz BI et al, Atypical and aggressive upper gastrointestinal ulceration associated
with aspirin abuse. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2002 May-Jun;34(5):523-8. [X5] Lanza FL  A review of gastric ulcer and gastroduodenal
injury in normal volunteers receiving aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl.
1989;163:24-31. [X7] Olafsson SO Dietary cod liver oil decreases arachidonic acid in rat gastric mucosa and increases stress-induced
gastric erosions. Lipids. 2000 Jun;35(6):601-5. [X8]
NOW Foods Response to Fish Oil and PCB Concerns March 16, 2010  
cod liver oil side effects   cod liver oil Vs fish oil         November 5, 2011                     
Manufacturing processes Comparison (Cod Liver Oil Vs. Fish Oil Capsules)
Raw materials (Cod Liver Oil Vs. Fish Oil Capsules)
Cod liver used for cod liver oil
Types of Omega-3 (Cod Liver Oil Vs. Fish Oil Capsules)
Compositions (Cod Liver Oil Vs Fish Oil Capsules)
Contaminants (Cod Liver Oil Vs Fish Oil Capsules)
More contaminants may be present in cod liver
oil, however it is really dependent on the
manufacturing / purification process.
Side Effects Comparison (Cod Liver Oil Vs Fish Oil Capsules)
Excessive amount of vitamins A and D will offer
side effects
  Nows Food
Salmon Oil

1,000 mg salmon oil
concentrate per softgel

Serving Size 2 Softgels
Amount Per Serving
Carlson Norwegian
Cod Liver Oil Lightly

1000 mg

Serving Size: 1 Softgel
Nordic Naturals Arctic
Cod Liver Oil 1000 mg

Serving Size 3 Soft Gels
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
2 g
1 g
3.0 g
Saturated Fat
0.5 g
Not listed
0.6 g
Trans Fat
0 g
Not listed
0 g
9 mg
4 mg
7.5 mg
Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids
400 mg
230 mg
756 mg
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
240 mg
85 mg
246 mg
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
160 mg
100 mg
375 mg
Vitamin A / D / E
Not listed
150 /80/2 IU
Fish Oil vs Cod Liver Oil
Stevia side effects
Discuss with your doctor before taking any alternative medicine. This article is for
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