The Case for Cod Liver Oil

I used to think that cod liver oil was just something that mothers used to force their children to swallow so they didn’t get rickets. I never even considered it might be good for other things — that is until my awesome nutritionist recommended I start taking it. It turns out there’s actually a lot of evidence that we — especially the ladies — should be taking it religiously. I’ve started using it every morning about a year ago, and now I am addicted. It’s made me healthier, more attractive, and even a little less bitchy!

So what exactly is it? It’s oil made from the livers of cod (duh), and it’s actually quite similar to fish oil. But what cod liver oil has that fish oil does not is high levels of Vitamins A and D, two things which most Americans do not get enough of. We can blame our processed diets and our tendency to sit inside all day (which keeps us from being out in the sun where we soak up Vitamin D). So, basically cod liver oil gives you a healthy dose of A & D and also a fair amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, which we also desperately need.

What does this mean for you? Studies have show that it can boost your immune system and help prevent scary things like heart disease and diabetes. It can also improve your energy levels and help stave off depression. Those are all great, but here are the three reasons why I take it every day:

1) I look more glowing! I notice my skin is clearer and more supple, and even my hair is a bit shinier.

2) My stomach is a lot happier. Somehow it just seems to calm my whole digestive system down, which was a pleasant and totally unexpected side effect.

3) It makes periods a lot less agonizing. Seriously. Vitamins A & D both affect your reproductive system, so when you’re deficient, all kinds of things can go wrong — like painful cramps, PMS, fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome, and even infertility. I am not lying to you when I say that I have found cod liver oil (plus, in my case, extra Vitamin D supplements in the winter) to be nothing short of a miracle in this department.

I promise you that it doesn’t taste bad at all. I get the kind that has a slight lemon flavor and it pretty much tastes like olive oil, not offensive in the least. The key is to get a high-quality brand. Many manufacturers use chemicals that remove most of the vitamins from the oil, which is no good. What you want is naturally-produced brand that is also free of contaminants (because fish can have all kinds of nasty stuff in them). I recommend Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil (l use the lemon, but it also comes in orange and natural flavors). You can buy it at Whole Foods and a lot of health food stores.

It’s super easy to take. Most sources say a dose of one teaspoon will do the trick, so you just keep a little bottle of it in your fridge and swallow a spoonful of it every morning. I also haven’t noticed any of the burping/bad breath side effects that fish oil capsules sometime cause, so that’s an extra bonus.

I rest my case. Now I urge you all to GO OUT AND TAKE IT!!!

Please note: If you have health problems or are pregnant, check with your doctor before taking any kind of supplement. Also, no one is giving me any money to say any of this.