We have learned how beneficial fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) is for our health, what to look for in FCLO (and the best brand of FCLO), now let's take a look at the differences between FCLO, regular CLO, and regular fish oil.
Why Fermented Cod Liver Oil, Not Regular Fish Oil or Other Supplements?
The health benefits of taking fish oil are widely known, with omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA as the selling point of fish oils. While it's true that fish oil can be a good supplement, not all fish oils are created equal. Many brands of fish oils and vitamin supplements we see today are synthetic and/or highly processed. Synthetic vitamins are unnatural and not as well-absorbed by the body. I was looking at the fish oil I used to consume the other day and I was surprised to find soy as one of the ingredients (it was from a reputable brand too!). Not only soy contains anti-nutrients, it is also one of the most genetically modified food (Always check food labels!). This is a good read why regular fish oil is not recommended. As Dave Wetzel said it in his interview with Kitchen Stewardship: "Why take the fish oil? Fermented cod liver oil is fish oil, just from the liver, not the skin." (The interview also discusses about fermentation, nutrition, dosage, etc. It's a good overview of FCLO coming from someone who knows it best.)
"Cod liver oil is very good for you, more than you ever knew. Research studies ranging from 1918-2001 give cod liver oil an A+ rating. This marvelous golden oil contains large amounts of elongated omega-3 fatty acids, preformed vitamin A and the sunlight vitamin D, essential nutrients that are hard to obtain in sufficient amounts in the modern diet. Samples may also naturally contain small amounts of the important bone- and blood-maintainer vitamin K." (source)
Properly fermented cod liver oil is extracted naturally without heat or unnatural processes such as deodorization, bleaching, and winterization. ANd in its original form FCLO is not considered a supplement, it's food (oil from the liver) in its most whole and natural form. But as with any industrialized supplements, many brands of cod liver oil are also highly processed with synthetic vitamins added back simply because all the natural nutrients are destroyed during processing. It takes six to twelve months to ferment cod liver oil, while industrialized method of extracting cod liver oil takes only one day, that is why we don't see manufacturers make CLO through fermentation anymore, simply because they take too long to produce (which means less business for them).
Cod liver oil, especially fermented cod liver oil contains all naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, not just omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. It is also rich in natural vitamin A, D, and the important bone- and blood-maintainer vitamin K that are vital for optimal body functions and boosting our immune system. Fermenting cod liver oil not only retains all its nutrients, but enhances it. It's so nutritious and full of a variety of vitamins that you generally do not need to take extra supplements (other fish oils, omega-3, DHA, EPA, vitamin A, and D supplements).
If you are already consuming regular fish oil or cod liver oil, chances are you already know the health benefits of consuming fish oil. It's a matter of finding the right kind of fish oil so that our body gets the maximum benefits (and value for money). Our modern diet is already so lacking in nutrients from eating meat from barn/farm-raised animals, rancid vegetable oils, refined grains and sugar, and highly processed foods ladened with soy, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, it's the more important that we "supplement" our bodies with FCLO.
|Fermented Cod Liver Oil|
What is the Difference between Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Regular Cod Liver Oil?
(Some quotes are taken from Green Pasture's blog)
"Fish oils have historically been fermented for extraction; back in the Roman empire days, Viking era and all the way up to the Mid 1850′s. Rendering (processing with heat) was introduced during the mid 1850′s as a more efficient fish liver processing method. The livers yielded a much higher total oil volume and the process could be accomplished in several hours rather than several months. What they did not understand is the effects that heat had on the nutrients (their science was not ready to address this question). As with all industrial models, the focus was on: profitability, speed or turns and, marketability (taste). It takes 6 months to 1 year to make fermented cod liver oil. This is why it is no longer made."
People often link fermentation to putrefaction (rotting process), but they are not the same. In fact, they are completely a different process. Fermentation is safe, the same process used to make yogurt, tempeh, miso, kimchi, sourdough, etc.
Why fermented CLO is better than regular CLO:
1. Retention of All Natural Nutrients. Fermented fish liver oils are extracted without heat but rather a natural lacto-fermentation. Organ tissues are selected exclusively as the source of the fermented fish oils (compared to industrial model fish oils) as this is where the nutrients are located. There is much more to fish oil nutrients than EPA and DHA. It is only because of the heavy industrialization of this industry that this field of products has nothing else to discuss but Omega 3, EPA and DHA. These nutrients will occur naturally in all fish oils including the FCLO. I think the real story is in the thousands of micro nutrients that are provided in a fermented fish oil.
2. Rich in Pigments. Fermented liver oils are a deep rich pigment. Pigments are nutrients.
3. High in Quinones. The oils have a 8-9mg/g total quinone count. Butter oil is in the 23-25 mg/g range. These figures are very high! The complex of the quinones is completely different between the fish liver oils and the butter oil. Even the quinone complex between the different fish oils is unique (variety is complete nutrition). Quinones consist of nutrients such as vitamin K’s, vitamin E’s, CoQ enzymes and other known and unknown nutrients/components.
4. Better Assimilation of Vitamin A. Lacto-fermentation transforms natural vitamin A into different metabolites that are easily absorbed into our bodies (just as in your gut if your gut is working properly). I have found reference to at least 15 different natural forms of Vitamin A that nature provides. Not just the 2-3 that are commonly discussed.
5. Rich in Natural Vitamin D. There are over 3000 derivatives of vitamin D. Many are natural and others are produced in laboratories. Not much of the vitamin D topic is understood or discussed in mainstream science. Current discussions are just scratching the surface of the topic. Reminder, vitamin D is more accurately categorized as a hormone, not a vitamin.
6. More Economical (Value of Money). Substantially more nutrients (including A/D) per ml or teaspoon compared to other brands.
Next, we will discuss about cost, taste, and other considerations of getting FCLO.
Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Green Pasture nor am I paid to write a review about their products. I'm just a very satisfied consumer and believe in the effectiveness of Green Pasture FCLO. All opinions are completely my own.