My Mother Made Me Take Cod Liver Oil And I Lived To Tell About It.

(third in a series of three Old Wives Tales)

“UGH! That’s nasty!”  Children of all generations have probably uttered those remarks after a teaspoon of cod liver oil. My mother made me and my siblings drink it. And it wasn’t flavored way back then. Nowadays you can get it lemon, strawberry or orange flavored. Still smells and tastes sorta bad. But boy oh boy, is it good for you!

I would have never dreamed that I’d be putting my kids through that horrid childhood rite of passage: taking cod liver oil. My mother swears it’s good for you; and as it turns out, it IS really good for you.  Thanks to the recommendation from my wonderful Defeat Autism Now doctor, Eric Sletten, MD., I am passing along this tradition to another generation of children that take cod liver oil. Why?

Oh, let me tell you all the wonderful benefits of cod liver oil. (no, taste is not one of them!)

  • Cod Live Oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Our brain’s neurons are comprised of 60-70% fat; so it needs the good fats, like Omega fatty acids, not trans fats.
  • Our bodies cannot produce Omega fatty acids, so we must get them through our diet and supplementation.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are utilized by our eyes, brain, heart, joints, digestive system and many other tissues and systems.
  • Cod liver oil is high in vitamins A and D. Vitamin A assists in bone and tooth formation, as well as nerve and eye functions. Vitamin D boosts our immune system as well as regulating our calcium and phosphorus levels to keep our bones healthy.
  • Omega-3 improves your ability to concentrate as well as your energy level.
  • Through it’s anti-inflammatory effects, cod liver oil is a promising treatment for arthritis sufferers.
  • The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils keep platelets in the blood from sticking together, which reduces blood clotting and lowers the risk for heart attacks. They may also provide protection by reducing inflammation in the blood vessels.
  • Omega-3s help with mood disorders, such as depression.
  • When combined with the mineral selenium, cod liver oil may prevent middle ear infections in children. Research has shown that children with middle ear infections are deficient in three things: selenium, vitamin A and EPA, which is an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid.

Now you may not realize that cod liver oil is also available in soft gels. They are easy to swallow and the taste and smell is disguised by the citrus flavor in the gel cap.  There are many varieties of omega-3 supplements on the market today. For my family, we take one high in DHAs and EPAs.

DHA is a major structural component for our nerves and brains. It assists with brain and eye development, which is why it’s recommended during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

I have to admit, my mother is pretty happy that I am heeding her advice. She may not have had the same reasons for giving me cod liver oil as I do for my sons, but the benefit is the same. After all these years, I am going to be passing along my mother’s “old wives tales” to my children and future generations. And happy to say, you too can take cod liver oil, and live to tell about.

Read the first in the series of “Old Wives Tales” here:


8 Responses

  1. I’ve been taking cod liver oil too and we gave it to our son when he was only a year old, but stopped when we discovered that he was allergic to fish (but he’s allergic / sensitive to almost everything). Any thoughts on this — can children take cod liver oil if they are allergic to fish?

    • Well, I think it would depend if it’s an IgG or IgE response. Did he test as a true IgE allergic response or a reaction to fish like IgG? Shellfish allergies can be pretty severe, so I wouldn’t want to risk that. But I’ve heard about Krill Oil, so I wonder how that would be?
      The best and most safest option to get EFAs is through Flax Seed. You can get it ground, whole, or oil in capsules. I buy the ground Flax Seed and add it to my muffin recipes, breaded fish/chicken, etc.

  2. Regarding fish allergies, our son had a very high IgG response to cod. We switched to krill oil (since he had no reaction to shrimp on the allergy test) with good results. It seems to have worked well as his labwork shows his blood lipids have improved with no sign of allergic reactions.

    The downside is it’s krill oil, not krill “liver” oil (not sure krills even have livers) so you don’t get much vitamin A. Vitamin A is concentrated in the liver of animals so you get much more vitamin A in fish liver oil than you do in plain fish oil.

  3. Thanks for your reponse. It’s a true IgE response, so it’s probably wise if we avoid it as we’ve been doing. We have been giving him a teaspoon of flax seed oil every morning, so I think we’re on the right track.

  4. We started seeing Dr. Sletten this past september. I am so happy with him. Because of him my son is talking! He doesn’t have autism but has sensory processing disorder. I would love to chat with someone else going down this road. Send me an email if you are interested.


  5. […] the third post in the series of “Old Wives Tales” here:… Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailMorePrintRedditDiggStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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