Many of you have probably never heard of Fermented Cod Liver Oil and likely already wish you could get the thought out of your head. I know it doesn’t sound appealing, but after much research and self trial, I’m a big fan.
Although I love research and scientific validation of food, nutrients and supplements, today, I’m going to share my clinical appreciation of this special oil.
Fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) has been around since the days of the Vikings and Roman soldiers. And when it comes to getting it correct with supplements, looking back to what our ancestors did is almost always right on. Today, when we concentrate something and move away from traditional ways of processing, we tend to get it wrong (case in point- vitamin e and beta-carotene).
When foods are naturally fermented, they increase their nutritional value while staying true to their traditional forms. Instead of mechanically heating and extracting a fragile oil, fermenting cod liver oil, results in undamaged fats and the perfect ratio of fat-soluble vitamins.
I believe many of the tenets of Dr. Weston Price and his nutrition research. He discovered among other things that all of the healthy traditional cultures had something in common… a balanced intake of the fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids, like the ones found in FCLO.
Do you love to eat organ meats? Not many of us incorporate organ meats into our diets, but clean organ meats are a powerhouse of nutrients. When we were much closer to our wild roots, hunting and foraging for food and we had a great hunt, we would eat the precious, nutrient-dense organ meats first and if necessary, simply discard the muscle meat. This seems so contrary to what we do today. But, try to wrap your head around this. If you want healthy organs, you need to eat some healthy organ meats. I offer that fermented cod liver oil is an easy way to get much of the glandular nutrition back in your diet.
You know by now, I am far from a fat-phobic doctor. In fact I advocate a fairly high fat diet as long as the fats are traditional fats and maintain their structure well (ie. unchanged by heat, processing, etc). Many fish oil supplements go through a high-heat or pressure process which changes the structure of the fats. It’s fat exposed to excess heat (or pressure, processing) that is truly the concern regarding your health. So… it’s NOT fat; it’s excessively heated, processed fats that cause the inflammation involved in a host of conditions. This includes many of the common industrial seed oils like canola, soy and corn… these are the problem oils. By replacing industrial seed oils in the diet and adding in healthy, stable oils, including a traditional oil like fermented cod liver, you can completely change inflammation in the body.
**Get our Essential Guide to Fats and Oils that we created for our ADD:Delete:Shift program.
In my opinion, FCLO is a food, a superfood and not a concentrated nutrient. I believe essentially everyone in our culture can benefit from adding it into their diet, particularly if you have skin issues, an inflammatory health condition, want to prevent colds/flus, desire better brain function, or even have fat/weight loss goals.
On a side, there’s a component of the genetic profiles I have been interpreting, 23andMe, related to eye health. I find that many folks poorly convert beta-carotene to Vitamin A which can cause vision problems, among other things. The take-away is that genetically (and nutritionally) many people have higher Vitamin A needs. FCLO is a great way to bypass this potential genetic component.