Cod Liver Oil, A?

And D, and K!

So I bought her a bottle, t’was just for to try
And the way that she scoffed it you’d swear she was dry
I bought her another, it went just the same
Till I owned she’s got cod liver oil on the brain


A piece, perhaps a critical one, of the nutrition and health jigsaw puzzle. Understanding the interaction and conditional or optimum requirements for Vitamins A, D and K could be valuable also for dog food. I recall back in the 70s and 80s buying large cans of cod liver oil to add to the sled dog’s food. The NAS 1968 Nutrient Requirements of Mink and Foxes had a more practical approach than for dogs since the processed pet food industry already controlled that field. The document recommends dietary Min/Max limits for animal liver 1.5/7% and cod liver oil .3/.8%

Health bonus not addressed in the W-P article below, the bottle of CLO I have in front of me also contains per 5 ml, 430 mg EPA and 390 mg DHA, and “Quik-Sorb” ginger, amla and capsicum. Could increase absorption as the name implies, protect as antioxidant, reduce burping? Don’t ask me about burping, I use it on salad with olive oil and herbs for dressing.

In many countries a spoonful of cod liver oil was a daily supplement ritual for children. They usually disliked the taste. Some products were flavored with malt extract, some with black currant syrup to improve palatability. CLO can be purchased now with lemon, orange or similar added flavor.

BTW, if you are going to eat cod fillets, the best way to cook Poor Man’s Lobster is to lay Bay leaf on top when you steam or poach the fish, then eat with melted butter.


North Atlantic Cod

Looks somewhat like walleye aka perch pike or pickerel, but the freshwater cod around here are called lawyers aka burbot, loche, lingcod, mariah.

cod-liver-oilcod-liver-oil-vitamin-a    Selected excerpts:

>In order for vitamin D to activate the expression of its target genes, it must bind to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and then combine with the retinoid X receptor (RXR), which is activated by a particular form of vitamin A called 9-cis retinoic acid. Researchers from Spain recently showed that vitamin D can only effectively activate target genes when its partner receptor is activated by vitamin A.

WAPF Response: A dose of 1000 IU vitamin D daily is adequate to avoid problems with vitamin A in adults. If the ratio of A to D in cod liver oil is 10 to 1, then it is easy to obtain a safe amount of vitamin A along with an adequate amount of vitamin D.

WAPF Response: As stated earlier, vitamin A can be toxic when vitamin D is absent. Vitamin A does not antagonize vitamin D—both are needed for optimal assimilation. It would be amazing if vitamins A and D were antagonistic since they are so often found in the same foods.

Our primary message is that vitamin A levels are far too low in the modern American diet compared to primitive diets. Primitive peoples consumed very high levels of vitamin A from organ meats, insects, fish eggs, fish heads, liver and fish liver oils, as well as from butterfat and egg yolks from grassfed animals. Since most of our animals are raised in confinement today, and many of the vitamin A-rich foods are unacceptable to modern palates, we recommend taking cod liver oil on a daily basis. We have never recommended taking a multivitamin. Likewise, we have never stated that vitamin A is “not at all” toxic.

We have thoroughly explored this topic and shown that plant foods are a very poor source of vitamin A for humans, especially for babies and children, diabetics, and those suffering from thyroid and digestive disorders.

WOUND HEALING: The combination of zinc oxide and cod liver oil was found to be superior to the formulations containing only one active ingredient. This combination was also found to be most efficient in accelerating wound healing when it is retarded by repeated dexamethasone treatment (Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2006 Sep;113(9):331-4).

HIP FRACTURE: Multivitamin or cod liver oil supplementation was associated with a significantly lower risk of any fracture. “We found no evidence to support any skeletal harm associated with increased serum indices of retinol exposure or modest retinol supplementation in this population” (J Bone Miner Res. 2005 Jun;20(6):913-20).

UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS IN CHILDREN: Children supplemented with cod liver oil had a decrease in upper respiratory tract infections and pediatric visits over time (Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2004 Nov;113(11):891-901).

“The Big Vitamin D Mistake(s)” A statistical error underestimated the qty Vit D needed to achieve target blood levels; In Finland, the recommendation for daily vitamin D supplementation was gradually reduced from 4000-5000 IU in 1964 to 400 IU in 1992. Concomitantly, T1D increased by 350% in those aged 1-4 years, 100% in those aged 5-9 years, and 50% in those aged 10-14 years [1]

Solid dots are MK-7:K vitamin

While Donald Rumsfeld’s list of permutations of known and unknown was probably to BS the Press and the Public, it remains a tautology, true by definition. What are unknown knowns? What you think you know that is false? Or what you don’t know that you should know? Or would the later be known unknowns? The fact is that the level of unknown and potentially misleading variables, simplifications and assumptions, the uncertainties in any human population study is staggering. Add to that proxies! For example, the blood level of Vitamin D is not the actual performance you want to determine and calculate inverse probabilities/causes. Those performance dependent variables would be health effects, survival, presence or absence of diseases… blood levels do not correlate perfectly or 100% predictably with all health parameters. There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. You can’t predict how any intervention will affect any single person.