Cod Liver Oil: Benefits, Dosage, Possible Side Effects and Best Cod Liver Oil Supplements

It sounds disgusting and in its purest form, it actually is. However, cod liver oil has been generating a lot of noise of late, for the simple reason that it can prompt multiple health benefits.

cod liver oil for men

We’ll now take a look at the substance in complete detail to see how it can transform your body and just generally make you a much healthier person.



What is cod live oil?

what is cod liver oil

Let’s start with an analysis on exactly what cod liver oil is. Hopefully, the name has given plenty away here, with the substance being oil that can be sought from the Atlantic cod.

The reason it is creating such a furore is because of the huge amount of omega 3 fatty acids (of both EPA and DHA) it contains, as well as its vitamin A and vitamin D make-up.

In terms of the specifics, these components can be broken down into the following per 100g.

  • Vitamin A – 100,000 IU
  • Vitamin D – 10,000 IU
  • Saturated fatty acids – 22.608 g
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids – 46.711 g
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids – 22.541 g


Due to the high amount of fatty acids that cod liver oil contains, the substance is able to prevent blood from clotting as quickly.

This can prompt a whole host of benefits, many of which we will progress into in the next section, as well as helping to reduce any pain or swelling in problematic areas.


What are the health benefits?

health benefits of cod liver oil

We’ve already mulled over all of the main nutrients that cod liver oil contains, but when it comes to specific health benefits there are even more reasons to turn to it.

Some of the possible benefits include:

  • Improvement in arthritis symptoms – This benefit is actually associated with a study, with one German trial showing that patients who consumed 1g of cod liver oil every day for three months experienced less arthritis-related pain. This isn’t the only study though, with a separate one by a Welsh university concluding that cod liver oil reduced cartilage damage which is linked to the same problem.
  • Heal wounds – This time a study found that those people who applied a topical substance, comprised of 25% cod liver oil, improved the speed at which their wounds healed.
  • Prevention of coronary artery disease – Next on the list is the suggestion that cod liver oil can prevent you from becoming susceptible to coronary artery disease. A study in a medical journal found that participants who ingested 1.5g of cod liver oil experienced a regression of coronary artery problems.
  • Effective for kidney disease (if you suffer from type 2 diabetes) – Type 2 diabetes is becoming more and more common, with the knock on effect being that more people are also suffering from kidney disease. As cod liver oil can reduce the amount of protein that is contained in the urine, it’s understood that it can lower the risk of kidney disease.
  • High cholesterol levels – There have been some reports that cod liver oil can aid people who suffer from high cholesterol levels. It’s understood that these ailments can generally improve if the cholesterol disease is hereditary.


As well as the above, there are also mild suspicions that cod liver oil can assist with a number of other ailments.

Depression, irregular heartbeats, infertility, glaucoma and ear infections all fall into this category, although more research is required before experts are willing to confirm this for sure.


Are there any risks associated with it?

side effects of cod liver oil

The most obvious side effect that is associated with cod liver oil is bad breath, which stands to reason when you consider the source of the substance.

However, there are suspicions that it can cause other issues if care is not taken to regulate the amount that you consume.

There have been reports of it prompting belching, nosebleeds and heartburn, although experts are under the impression that these risks are manageable if you take cod liver oil alongside meals.

If you opt to consume high doses of the substance, this is where problems can occur. It has been found that it can prevent blood from clotting, which can increase the likelihood of bleeds.

There is also the small environmental risks that accompany any fish-substance. It goes without saying that fishes are subject to all sorts of toxins, with mercury and dioxins being just two of umpteen contaminants.

Therefore, if you consume large amounts of fish, you are immediately increasing the chances of your body coming into contact with these toxins. It’s for this reason that you should also be wary of how you acquire your cod liver oil.


Is there anyone that should not consume cod liver oil?

contraindication of cod liver oil

While there’s no doubt that cod liver oil is natural, which is obviously a good start, we’ve already addressed that there can be side effects if you consume excess amounts of this substance.

As well as this, there are certain people who should not consume it. These include:

  • Pregnant and breast-feeding women – In fairness, this is still quite a cloudy area. No research has been concluded which shows that cod liver oil is dangerous for pregnant or breast-feeding women, but at the same time there is not enough known about the substance which suggests it’s safe for them.
  • People suffering from high blood pressure – It has been found that cod liver oil can lower blood pressure and if you are already taking medication to lower this, it could pose a problem.
  • People who take blood clotting medication – One of the properties of cod liver oil is that it can slow down blood clotting. Obviously, if you are already using medication that can do this, there is an increased chance of problems such as bruising and bleeding.


What is the recommended dosage of cod liver oil?

cod liver oil dosage

We touched upon the importance of dosage a couple of sections ago, but in terms of more specific amounts experts have devised several guidelines.

For example, if you are merely looking to lower your triglycerides, you should look to consume around 20 mL of cod liver oil per day. Similarly, you should look towards this amount if you are trying to lower your blood pressure.

If you are someone who is looking to take advantage of cod liver oil for its supposed cholesterol-lowering qualities, try to consume around 30 mL per day.


How is it consumed?

One of the main reasons why cod liver oil has experienced such a surge in popularity over recent years is because of the way it is consumed.

Once upon a time, you could only consume it in its raw form. This presented all sorts of taste and odour issues, which is hardly surprising because of its origin. In simple terms, it’s an extremely unpleasant substance in its original form.

However, over recent years supplements that are based around capsules have hit the market. This means that the cod liver oil is contained within the capsule and as such, all of the taste issues no longer exist. It also means that you can comfortably consume your daily dose of cod liver oil without any worries whatsoever.


What are the Best Cod liver oil supplements?

Following on from the previous section, it won’t come as a surprise to hear that cod liver oil supplements have taken the market by storm.

The nutritional power of this substance means that a lot of manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon, and developed capsule-based supplements that just make consumption so much easier.

It would be fair to say that there are currently two which are dominating the market, with these coming in the form of Seven Seas Pure Cod Liver Oil and Cod Liver Oil by Bauer Nutrition.

To educate on just what the market is comprised of, we’ll now take a look at each of these products in detail.


#1 – Seven Seas Pure Cod Liver Oil – Best Value For Money

cod liver oil seven seas

The first product that we’ll take a look at is Seven Seas Pure Cod Liver Oil. This is classed as a ‘high strength’ supplement and is regarded as the market leader by quite some distance:

  • One of the main reasons why Seven Seas Pure Cod Liver Oil is regarded so highly is because of its “all-in-one” philosophy. It has been associated with improved mobility around the joints, a healthier heart, better skin and a sharper brain.
  • It is beneficial across a number of counts because of its vitamin D and vitamin E composition. These vitamins can be a Godsend for your immune system – allowing your whole health to improve no-end.
  • It’s not just science which seems to back this product up, but past experiences too. Past users can’t believe how much sharper they feel, while some have even said that their hair feels better! It really can treat a number of common issues.
  • One of the big things that differentiates Seven Seas Pure Cod Liver Oil is how it is sourced. Most companies will simply try and cram as much cod liver oil into their supplements as possible, but Seven Seas have taken a sustainable approach. They have sought the highest quality oil, with this deriving from the Arctic Fisheries. It is the best around.
  • Another stark difference is the market it is available. Due to the gelatine-free nature of the capsules, Seven Seas Pure Cod Liver Oil is suitable for vegetarians.
  • On the subject of the capsules, they happen to be exceptionally small in comparison with similar products. It means that there are no problems swallowing – everything is simple.
  • The product contains no fewer than 120 capsules, allowing you to take advantage of cod liver oil for a prolonged period of time.
  • It might contain more capsules than most rival products, but it still happens to be one of the best value cod liver oil supplements on the market. This is represented in the price, with Seven Seas Pure Cod Liver Oil available for just £8.19.
  • We should also highlight the manufacturers, who are one of the biggest brands in the whole of the supplements industry. The fact they have been around since the 1930s shows this, with few companies managing to survive this amount of time in such a constantly-changing market.

Read our full review – OR – Buy the product here


#2 – Cod Liver Oil by Bauer Nutrition – Highest Quality, Better Ingredients and Maximum Effect

cod liver oil by bauer nutrition

The second supplement we are going to take a look at comes in the form of Cod Liver Oil by Bauer Nutrition. Suffice to say, it’s another established product by a leading brand, as we break it down:

  • Just like Seven Seas Pure Cod Liver Oil, this is a product which will fight inflammation, thin your blood and improve your brain, heart and eye health no-end.
  • In contrast to the previous product we looked at, you are out of luck if you are a vegetarian due to the gelatine that is contained within Cod Liver Oil by Bauer Nutrition.
  • Nevertheless, while it might not be a vegetarian-friendly product, it’s certainly doctor friendly. This is emphasised by the fact that Cod Liver Oil by Bauer Nutrition is trusted and verified by doctors. Few products of this nature arrive with such trust.
  • The previous product was known for its value and it could be said that Cod Liver Oil by Bauer Nutrition can’t really compete on this note. While it is by no means expensive, it is slightly pricier than Seven Seas Pure Cod Liver Oil and retails at £19.95.
  • This price also refers to a smaller number of capsules, with Cod Liver Oil by Bauer Nutrition containing 90. Nevertheless, the product will still last 90 days for you, as you only need to take one every morning.
  • We should point out the hugely generous money-back guarantee though. Cod Liver Oil by Bauer Nutrition comes with a “no fuss, 60 day guarantee”, which is ideal if you wish to see if it really does improve your health in the way that the marketing spiel suggests.
  • Just like Seven Seas are renowned for all the right reasons, so are Bauer Nutrition. They have just as much of a positive reputation, having established themselves over a decade ago.

Buy the product here

About George Allen

George Allen – Author – An AFPA Certified holistic and preventative nutrition professional. George is a well known exercise physiology and sports nutrition expert, the co-founder of
Syracuse University graduate: bachelor’s degree in nutrition/dietetics (B.S.) and a master’s degree in nutrition science with a concentration in counseling (M.A.)
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