Cod Liver Oils vs. Fish Oil: Which is Best for You

by • January 29, 2021 • Random NewsComments (0)1772

Cod liver oils and fish oils are both supplements rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are highly beneficial to our bodies. Despite their similarities, both supplements aren’t the same. They come from different sources, have slightly different benefits, and present different risks. So, which is best for you? If you want more information to guide your decision, then read on. 

Cod Liver Oils VS Fish Oil: The Difference

One of the main differences between cod liver oil and fish oil is their source. While cod liver oil capsules come specifically from the codfishes’ liver,  fish oil is simply an oil extract of the flesh of fishes like herring, anchovies, tuna, salmon, mackerel, etc. The percentage of fatty acid in both oils are different. Arctic cod liver oil has approximately 9% EPA/14% DHA, while fish oil has 18% EPA/12% DHA. Therefore, fish oil technically has double the amount of EPA in cod liver oil but a 2% difference in DHA. There’s more; cod liver oil naturally contains vitamin D and A, making it an excellent choice over fish oils for those living in climates with relatively low sunlight exposure.

Cod Liver Oils VS Fish Oil: The Benefits

Cod liver oil has the edge over fish oil as it naturally contains vitamin A and D, which contributes to its many benefits, such as…

  • Defend your body against illness 
  • Defend against infections 
  • Help eyesight 
  • Keep skin healthy 
  • Help keep muscles healthy 
  • Ensure strong and healthy bones and teeth 

On the other hand, fish oil has 50% more EPA than cod liver oil and can contribute towards;

  • Optimal brain function
  • Visual development and normal eye function
  • Supporting a healthy heart
  • Maintaing normal mental function during pregnancy
  • Maintaining a good complexion

Cod Liver Oils VS Fish Oil: Safety Concerns

Generally, both fish oils and cod liver oils are safe. However, just like all supplements, here are some associated risks that have been discovered by medical professionals of both dietary supplements.

Cod liver oil

  • It can cause belching
  • It can cause heartburn
  • It makes blood thinner, primarily when used with blood thinner medications.

Fish oil 

  • It can impair contraceptive and weight loss medications 
  • It can reduce vitamin E levels
  • Can cause nose bleeds
  • Can cause nausea
  • May cause loose stool

Cod Liver Oils Vs Fish Oil: How Much Do You Need?

While there’s no standard dosage for both supplements, you might want to talk with your doctor first. It’s also not a bad idea to adopt recommendations on bottle labels or compare EPA and DHA levels to what’s obtainable in whole fish. Ensure you check the labels to be sure of what you are purchasing, to ensure you are fuelling your body with the right levels.

Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

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