This nutritional powerhouse contains more vitamin D and A per gram than any other food

18 January 2016 
By: Katrina

Cod liver oil - the original fish oil

For some of us (of a certain age), the words cod liver oil conjure instant memories of a seasonal family ritual. Each year, as the cool breezes of winter approached, our mothers would reach for a particular bottle from the medicine shelf. Dutifully (or sometimes not), we’d line up and open wide for our daily dose of cod liver oil—the panacea for all manner of winter ills.

This once popular and effective family practice eventually fell from favour. Today, the family fish oil is more likely to take the form of jars of glistening capsules and colourful gummy bears, scooped from supermarket shelves.

But not all fish oils are the same ...

A nutritional powerhouse

Cod liver oil is not just any fish oil.

A spoonful of this humble home remedy contains more vitamin D and A per gram than any other food, including beef liver.

It is also rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentanoic acid (EPA)—which helps the body make prostaglandins, or tissue hormones, that are important for managing inflammation—and docosahexaeonic acid (DHA), which is crucial for healthy brain, nervous system and visual function.

Cod liver oil differs from other fish oils in that, as its name suggests, it is an essential oil extracted only from the fresh livers of cod. Fish oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the flesh of a range of deep sea, oily fish species, including cod, tuna, and herring. While fish oil is high in EPA and DHA (see above), it lacks the high levels of Vitamin A and D that are found in such rich concentrations in cod liver oil.

Traditional remedies usually become traditions for an excellent reason—because they work. Cod liver oil’s longstanding reputation as an effective home remedy for strengthening immunity, reducing inflammation and improving disease resistance can be attributed to this extraordinary nutrient density.

Reviving a healthy tradition

A renewed interest in cod liver oil has seen the development of a range of pure, high-quality products that make the benefits of this nutrient-rich food more accessible than ever before.

Nutrition pioneer, Dr Weston A Price, was a passionate advocate of the benefits of cod liver oil, which he prescribed in combination with pure, high-vitamin butter oil. Through his extensive research into the benefits of cod liver oil and butter oil, Dr Price discovered a vitamin-like activator, dubbed the ‘X-factor’—a nutrient complex that makes fat-soluble vitamins and dietary minerals more useable within the body.

A fresh approach to cod liver oil

Stories of those childhood doses of cod liver oil are often accompanied by vivid descriptions of its strong, unpleasant taste. But contemporary cod liver oil products, created using gentle, innovative and sustainable methods, have made that experience a thing of the past.

GPA Wholefoods supplies a wide range of pure, high quality cod liver oil, fermented cod liver oil and butter oil products, designed to provide optimum nutrient benefit in a choice of easy-to use and mildly-flavoured forms.

1. Virgin cod liver oil and butter oil

  • Nutrapro Virgin Cod Liver Oil A pristine, cold-processed virgin cod liver oil. Almost taste-free, this oil is perfect for children and babies, or for people who are unable to tolerate fermented cod liver oils. Product options include pure cod liver oil with nothing added, or cod liver oil with a fresh hint of lemon or peppermint (or both!)
  • Nutrapro Grass-fed Butter Oil This pure, high vitamin butter oil is produced from lush, grass-fed dairy cream, minimally processed to ensure maximum nutrients and to preserve its delicious aroma, rich golden colour and delectable creamy flavour.​

2. Fermented cod liver oil

Highly recommended by the Weston A Price Foundation, fermented cod liver oil is a powerhouse nutrient that provides abundant amounts of fat-soluble vitamins A and D and the omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.

Fermented cod liver oil is manufactured from the fresh livers of wild-caught Arctic cod. Extracted through a careful, six-month process of lacto-fermentation and cold-processing, this oil is naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins A and D, and important cofactors that enhance the uptake and utilisation of these fat-soluble vitamins. Fermented cod liver oil is available in a generous choice of forms and flavours:

3. Skate liver oils

Skate liver oil, made from wild-caught Arctic skate, is rich in Vitamins A, D, E and K and contains a very similar fat-soluble vitamin profile to cod liver oil.

Skate oil is also a more sustainable source of many of the nutrient compounds found in shark liver oil, including chondroitin, squalene and alkoglycerols, which are associated with inflammation reduction, anti-tumor activity and immune system modulation.

I hope this overview helps you in your goal of staying well-nourished.  

You can go here to find out more about the benefits of cod liver oil, and to browse the NutraPro and Green Pastures range of virgin and fermented cod liver oil and butter oil products.

Stay nourished,




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