As I mentioned in a post a couple weeks ago, I purchased a bottle of Carlson Laboratories – Norwegian Cod Liver Oil. Well a few days ago it arrived, and I’m excited about adding some omega-3 goodness to my daily intake. A question I initially had was how much of this cod liver oil should I be taking? The bottle says that I should take 1 teaspoon a day with food. 1 teaspoon is 1 serving, and 1 serving has the following properties:
- 45 calories
- 5 grams total fat
- 1 gram saturated fat
- 20mg cholesterol
- 1000IU vitamin A
- 400IU vitamin D
- 500mg DHA (take 10 minutes and read this)
- 460mg EPA
- 46mg ALA
So am I following the bottle’s recommended intake? Hell no! While 1 teaspoon a day may be adequate for the average grain eater, us paleoists know that the more omega-3s we have the better. In fact, Loren Cordain has published research showing that our cavemen, back in the day, consumed an average of 5-6 grams of omega-3 a day. That is about 2 tablespoons, considerably more than 1 teaspoon. In another article, Cordain says:
Because they ate wild game, including organ meats and brains, our Paleolithic ancestors consumed higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and lower amounts of omega-6. They also had high vitamin D levels as a result of the sun exposure they received from living outside. Both of these nutrients have powerful health benefits. To maintain adequate omega-3 intake and vitamin D levels, most modern humans will need to supplement with fish or krill oil, and vitamin D. Many people take cod liver oil because it contains both omega-3 and vitamin D…
A lot of people ask why they should take cod liver oil as opposed to regular fish oil. Most of the time, a high quality fish oil supplement, such as Carlson Laboratories Very Finest Fish Oil, will have more EPA and DHA per serving than cod liver oil. What it lacks, however, are significant amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D. It is for this reason I purchased the cod liver oil instead. Unfortunately, after I received my bottle, I stumbled across the above-quoted Cordain paper, where the end of that quote says:
Many people take cod liver oil because it contains both omega-3 and vitamin D; however, it also contains pre-formed vitamin A that antagonizes the action of vitamin D. A very powerful and important commentary was recently published in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology examining this issue. We will present a more detailed review in a future issue, and we recommend getting your supplemental omega-3 from fish or krill oil, and NOT from cod liver oil.
Now, I do not believe Cordain is saying cod liver oil is bad for you, just that fish oil is preferable. With that said, I plan to wait till I have exhausted my bottle of cod liver oil. Now that I’ve been taking the cod liver oil for a few days, I must say it goes down very smoothly. The lemon flavoring covers up any sort of “fishy” taste, and burps are minimal. What I have been doing is taking 1 tablespoon in the morning, and 1 tablespoon at night. I keep my bottle in the refrigerator where the chill gives the oil an almost syrupy consistency. As I said, it goes down super smooth and tastes good. Once my bottle is done, I will probably switch over to the Finest Fish Oil for a round. As I come across more info about why Cordain is against cod liver oil, I will post it.
Are you taking an omega-3 supplement? Leave a comment and let me know what you are taking and how you like it. Have a great day!