Fermented cod liver oil has been a hot topic since celebrities such as Dr. Oz have touted cod liver oil’s benefits. The theory holds that fermentation is a process that better preserves the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids in the oil and overall makes it a more effective supplement.
Fermented cod liver oil has a lot of positives. Along with the omega 3′s found in fish oils, it is also high in Vitamins A and D. You probably recall that Vitamin A is helpful both for vision and skin health, while Vitamin D is important in calcium absorption and bone health.
In addition, fermented cod liver oil is endorsed by the Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit charity “dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet.”
It would seem that this is a great supplement both for your own health and for your baby’s, but there is reason for skepticism. Let’s take a closer look.
The Weston A. Price Foundation
As we mentioned above, fermented cod liver oil is recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation. In particular, they recommend the Green Pastures brand. While this endorsement sounds great at first glance, there is reason for concern. Further research into the foundation reveals that it has been heavily criticized by the CDC and FDA, and several MDs have written articles and essays dismantling the foundation’s policies and recommendations.
Vitamin A Content
Vitamin A is often touted as one of the strengths of fermented cod liver oil, but you might recall that Vitamin A isn’t always so great during pregnancy. To recap, Vitamin A can inhibit normal fetal development, leading to congenital defects.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
While fish oil supplements (and the omega 3 fatty acids they contain) serve to improve cardiovascular health, fermented cod liver oil has been associated with a five-fold INCREASE in the risk of gestational hypertension (increased blood pressure due to pregnancy). While the study did not control for the effects of mercury, neither cause is a good thing.
Perhaps you believe this to simply be a conspiracy against natural foods. While we believe you should be free to make your own health decisions, we do implore you to take into account a critical review of the facts, especially when your unborn child’s health is at stake. Still, we believe in autonomy and we would rather you get your nutrition from a reputable source at the least, so here is a link if you’re still interested in purchasing fermented cod liver oil.
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