Important Update on Cod Liver Oil
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Important Update on Cod Liver Oil

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An independent analysis of Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil suggests that it may not live up to its claims. But is the analysis sound? Get the nitty gritty details and my recommendations.

best cod liver oil
One of the best ways to get a daily dosage of cod liver oil is in capsule form. obewon/iStock/Thinkstock

As many of you know, I’ve long been an advocate of cod liver oil. In addition to being a good source of long-chain omega-3 fats like EPA and DHA, it’s rich in vitamins A and D, which are difficult to obtain elsewhere in the diet.

For several years I’ve recommended Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO) from Green Pasture. I took this product myself, and my wife took it throughout her pregnancy and while she nursed our daughter, Sylvie. I recommended it to my patients, readers, podcast listeners, and friends and family.

About a year ago, I received an email from a new company called Rosita Real Foods regarding a new cod liver oil product (called Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil, or EVCLO) that they were bringing to market. Leading up to the launch of their product, they sent out a series of emails explaining how it is manufactured, processed, tested, and produced.

I was impressed by their transparency: they provided test results for fatty acids, vitamins, dioxins & PCBs, rancidity, and oxidation by-products on their website, along with a list of institutions that performed the testing as well as the dates of the tests.

As soon as the EVCLO product became available, I ordered some. I noticed right away that it smelled, looked, and tasted fresh. This, together with Rosita’s transparency and third-party testing, was enough to convince me to switch over to EVCLO and begin recommending it to my tribe.

Independent Analysis of Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Last weekend I received an email from Kaayla Daniel, a nutritionist who has been involved with the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) for many years. She had grown increasingly suspicious of the Green Pasture product recently, and she requested that the WAPF conduct independent analysis of it to determine whether it lived up to its claims. The WAPF voted not to conduct this testing, so Kaayla took matters into her own hands.

My take on the recent report on Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

The result is a 110-page report with test data from multiple independent laboratories both in the United States and abroad with expertise in testing marine oils and nutrient levels. You can read the full report for free here. But in short, these were the conclusions from her report:

  • One of the three batches of FCLO that were tested was found to be rancid, based on free fatty acid values.
  • Levels of vitamins D, A, and K are lower than Green Pasture claims on its website.
  • DNA testing of the livers purportedly used to make FCLO suggests that it is not made from cod, but from Alaskan pollock. Oils from Alaskan pollock liver have a different nutritional and fatty acid profile than those from cod livers (which explains the next finding).
  • While all other cod liver oil products contain more DHA than EPA, FCLO contains more EPA than DHA. This EPA-to-DHA ratio is consistent with what you would find in Alaskan pollock liver oil.

Kaayla’s report certainly raises a number of issues that deserve attention. However, I do have some concerns about the data she presents. They arose out of research I did over the weekend, as well as discussions with colleagues in the fields of biochemistry, nutritional science, and lipid science.

Are the Fat-Soluble Vitamin Tests Results Reliable?

Testing for fat-soluble vitamin levels is incredibly complex and not yet standardized. I am concerned that the approach to quantifying them in Kaayla’s report was oversimplified. This is based on communications I’ve had with Dr. Chris Masterjohn, a nutritional scientist and an expert in fat-soluble vitamins.

Chris has noted that there are likely at least half a dozen (if not more) vitamin D compounds in cod liver oil, and it may be that the preponderance of biological activity comes from compounds other than vitamin D3 or D2. (This is the case with cow’s milk, where most of the vitamin D activity comes from 25(OH)D and very little comes from vitamin D.)

In fact, one vitamin D expert has remarked that a scientist could spend an entire career simply characterizing the factors responsible for the vitamin D activity in cod liver oil. Clearly there’s a lot more to this than comes across in Kaayla’s report.

This may explain why Dave Wetzel, the owner of Green Pasture, has been attempting to quantify the fat-soluble vitamin content of FCLO for many years but has never been entirely successful. It seems that there are many different vitamin-D-like or vitamin-K-like compounds in FCLO (and other cod liver oils) that cannot be easily measured with current analytical methods. Measuring the biological activity of vitamin D compounds by feeding the substance in question to rats may be a better method of determining vitamin D content than quantifying the levels of D2 and D3. (Green Pasture did this kind of testing in 2009, and the results indicated that FCLO contained roughly 400 IU of vitamin D per tsp, which is in line with what you would expect for cod liver oil.)

Is FCLO Really Rancid?

If FCLO were truly rancid, we would expect to see very low levels of EPA and DHA in the oil. Once fatty acids (like EPA and DHA) undergo peroxidation, they cannot be regenerated from their peroxides. However, on page 102 of Kaayla’s report, the lab results show that FCLO has approximately 315 mg/tsp of DHA and 685 mg/tsp of EPA, for a total EPA/DHA content of 1,000 mg. According to Rosita’s website, EVCLO has approximately 1,200 mg of EPA/DHA combined. So, while the batch of FCLO tested in Kaayla’s report contained less EPA/DHA than EVCLO, it still contained a substantial amount—which would not be expected if the oil were rancid as claimed.

The claim that FCLO is rancid was based on high levels of free fatty acids found in the oil. Kaayla suggests that this is an accurate way to determine rancidity in marine oils. However, according to most lipid scientists, hydrolysis of triglycerides and other esterified lipids into free fatty acids is completely unrelated to oxidation and is therefore not an accurate measure of rancidity.

Instead, TOTOX, anisidine, MDA, and TBA/TBARS are better indicators of whether an oil is rancid. In Kaayla’s report, FCLO received good scores from all of the labs on TOTOX, and all but one lab (which was not able to obtain a result at all) on anisidine. Two of the labs reported normal TBA values. One lab reported a TBARS value that was high, and another reported an MDA value that was 10 times higher in FCLO than in other cod liver oils.

These results are somewhat mixed. The majority suggest that FCLO is not rancid, while two of the test results suggest that it is. I think more investigation is needed on this before any firm conclusions are drawn.

Variability in Test Results from Lab to Lab

There was significant variability in test results from lab to lab and test to test. The samples Kaayla sent in for testing had manufacture dates ranging from 2012 to 2014. It’s conceivable that Green Pasture changed its production methods during that period of time, which could explain the variation in the results.

Another possibility—and one that is likely—is that the variability is at least in part explained by different methodologies and techniques used by different labs. Unfortunately, this is difficult to verify and investigate further because Kaayla was not able to name the labs in her report (due to legal agreements).

Though this seems to be common practice in this field, I feel that the omission of the names of the labs that performed the analysis weakens the reliability of the findings. Given the known complexities involved in this kind of testing, as well as the variability between labs, it’s unfortunate that we can’t ascertain which lab did which tests. This isn’t a criticism of Kaayla, because I imagine it was beyond her control, but I do see it as a downside.

Summary and Recommendations

Kaayla’s report does raise some concerns, but clearly there is a lot more to it than initially meets the eye. Rather than viewing her report as the final word, I hope that it’s the spark for an informed and forthright investigation into the issues that she has raised.

Green Pasture has issued a preliminary response here. Interestingly, it makes some of the same points I have made in this article (that biological activity may be a better measure of vitamin D content than quantifying D2 or D3 levels, and that free fatty acids are not an accurate measure of rancidity in marine oils). They are also working on a more detailed response, which I look forward to reading.

One of the lingering issues that Kaayla raised in her report is the finding that the livers used to make FCLO were not from cod, but from Alaskan pollock. I certainly hope Green Pasture addresses this in their upcoming response.

Frankly, I feel that I don’t have the information I need to make a clear decision about whether to continue recommending FCLO. I am in touch with several people with expertise in marine oils, lipid science, and nutritional biochemistry in an attempt to better understand the implications of Kaayla’s report. I will report back to you as I learn more.

In the meantime, I do feel confident in recommending EVCLO from Rosita Real Foods. As mentioned above, they are transparent about their manufacturing process, they post independent lab results (including the names of the labs that performed the tests) on their website, and their product smells, tastes, and looks fresh. They also have an extensive FAQ with answers to many questions about their product and process.

How Concerned Should You Be If You’ve Been Taking Green Pasture FCLO?

Kaayla’s report identifies some issues that deserve further attention, including lower-than-reported levels of vitamins A, D, and K, possible rancidity, and a different ratio of EPA to DHA than would typically be found in cod liver oil.

However, it’s worth pointing out that I have numerous patients whose health noticeably improved after taking FCLO. I’ve heard similar reports from hundreds of readers and podcast listeners, as well as from women who went through my Healthy Baby Code program. In fact, my wife would count herself among this group, and if you search around on the internet, you’ll find testimonials from many people with similar stories.

So, while I do think this report warrants more investigation, I don’t think it is cause for panic. I will continue to investigate this issue and update you when new information becomes available.

Dr. Chris Masterjohn, a nutritional scientist with expertise in fat-soluble vitamins, published his preliminary thoughts on Kaayla’s report. It’s worth reading.

Now I’d like to hear from you. What has your experience been with FCLO? Have you tried EVCLO? Did you notice a difference in how you felt after switching? Let us know in the comments section.

476 Comments

Join the conversation

  1. I have been taking Fermented Cod Liver since 2009 and in 2010 added taking Fermented Skate Liver. Since August 2010, I have been taking between 3 and 4 teaspoons daily of the FCLO / FSLO! I am almost 67 years old and am in perfect health. I eat a high saturated fat diet including rib steaks at least 3 times a week, fatty shoulder pork chops, 29 pounds of butter a year, a 1 quart of raw milk a day, some grain but really limited. I attribute my good health and extreme amount of energy to the FCLO / FSLO made by Green Pasture Products. I have been selling Green Pasture Products for 5 years and hope to be full time in this business by the end of next winter! I have done almost 2500 ‘taste tests’ at shows in 5 years and most (90 percent) of the taste testers say, ‘This taste pretty good!’ Certainly not rancid! Weston A Price Foundation including founding and current president Sally Fallol Morell deserve a standing applause, as far as I am considered, both in this matter and in general health and nutritional information the Foundation stands for. Best To ALL -JOHN DELMOLINO / Traditional Health First / Amherst MA

  2. My doctor guided me away from FCLO due the the Aldehydes that are out off with FCLO and guided me to another brand which has been around since the 1920s. Can someone comment on the Aldehyhe factor and its toxicity??

    • Chris Masterjohn’s recent response covers this topic. Link above.

      “WAPF sent samples to Dr. Martin Grootveld of the Leicester School of Pharmacy, who performed more sophisticated NMR-based techniques to analyze the oil for a range of peroxides and aldehydes, finding none detectable.”

  3. Just received this. A very good view on the subject.

    An expose’ on a fermented fish oil product
    “A Summary of Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s New Report on Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil

    by Ron Schmid, ND

    (page 1 of 1) Articles Home
    Kaayla T. Daniel PhD, author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food, Vice President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and 2005 winner of the Foundation’s Integrity in Science award, has just published an e-report titled Hook, Line and Stinker! The Truth About Fermented Cod Liver Oil. We carried Green Pasture FCLO and Butter Oil for many years until I read Dr. Daniel’s report. I have prepared this summary of her report so that our customers may learn why we no longer carry these products.

    To download the full report, please go to Dr. Daniel’s website, http://www.drkaaladaniel.com .

    Summary of Dr. Daniel’s Report: Green Pasture brand “fermented cod liver oil” (FCLO) has been promoted by the producer and the Weston A. Price Foundation as the only true “traditional” cod liver oil and the “high vitamin” cod liver oil recommended by Dr. Weston Price. Dr. Daniel had concerns about many of the claims and brought them to the attention of Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Foundation, and requested testing. Morell and the Board declined. Dr. Daniel on her own had extensive testing done at world renowned marine lipid laboratories. The following are some of her conclusions.

    Flavors, odors and colors are indicative of rancidity – extreme rancidity – and that’s what the data show. Several lab managers said FCLO was the most rancid oil they’d ever tested. A massive body of research shows rancid polyunsaturated fatty acids can contribute to heart disease, cancer and other ills.
    Levels of fat-soluble vitamins reported by the labs utilized for this testing are significantly lower than those reported on the Weston Price Foundation and Green Pasture web sites. Levels of vitamin D are strikingly low, in contrast with the high levels reported by Green Pasture, which has reported especially high levels of vitamin D2. The world’s leading vitamin D researcher states that he has never found vitamin D2 in cod liver oil. Interestingly, a number of doctors and other health care professionals have reported severe vitamin D deficiencies among some patients who have been taking daily doses of FCLO for months or even years.
    Green Pasture claims stupendous amounts of vitamin K and significant amounts of Coenzyme Q10 in FCLO. The world’s leading vitamin K research center found extremely low levels of vitamin K; another lab showed nearly undetectable levels of Coenzyme Q10.
    The ratio of EPA to DHA for Arctic cod should be about 6 to 10. Testing at the two labs sent samples of FCLO to show the ratio of EPA to DHA to be approximately 2 to 1. These numbers do not match Arctic cod, and in fact are similar to what one would expect from Alaskan pollock.
    According to the Green Pasture website, the “cod livers” in the Green Pasture Cattle Lick product are left over from the manufacture of FCLO. Dr. Daniel had DNA testing done on the product. The lab reports that the liver is “100 percent Alaskan pollock.” While pollock is a member of the cod family, it is a cheap product with a very different nutritional profile than codfish, and is commonly substituted in “cod liver oils” coming out of China and other countries. It is a favorite of Big Food, which turns it into fish sticks, fried fish, and other fishy substances found in processed, packaged and fast foods. The livers are primarily sold for use in pet food. So much for truth in labeling.
    FCLO was tested for trans fats. The lab showed 3.22 percent trans fats, of which Dr. Gjermund Vogt, a leading authority on fish oils, says: “No authentic raw or mildly processed cod liver oil will contain trans fats [indicating] that another oil has been added to this oil.” The evidence indicates that the most likely explanation is that a heat damaged vegetable oil has been added.
    Joan Grinzi, Executive Director of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, says: “It’s taken us over a year to thoroughly search the archives. We can now state that Dr. Price never mentioned fermented cod liver oil and never recommended a product like it.” FCLO is neither a true “traditional” cod liver oil nor the “high vitamin cod liver oil” recommended by Dr. Price.
    Dr. Price pointed out the danger of rancidity in the cod liver oils of his day, and he cited other researchers from the 1920s and 1930s who had “called attention to the importance of considering the toxic substances in cod liver oils as possible explanation for differences in the results obtained by different workers in vitamin studies.” Clinicians observed “severe and striking” effects, most notably “serious structural damage” to the heart and kidneys.
    Green Pasture Butter Oil showed very good levels of Vitamin K2. So too did grass-fed ghee – which costs about one-seventh as much. Green Pasture claims its butter oil is from the “milk of cows that graze on select grasses of the Northern Great Plains.” In fact, evidence indicates that for several years the company has imported its butter in large canisters from Argentina, which visitors to Green Pasture have reported sit around and heat up in his solar facility. Many butter oil connoisseurs have commented that the product has gone downhill over the past several years, with “off flavors” and an “odd texture.”
    Lab testing of the butter oil showed a Peroxide Value of 3.6 meq/kg. The value should be no higher than 0.6 meq/kg. Acid Value tested at 3.0 mg-KOH/g. The value should be no higher than 0.796 mg KOH/g. Both of these tests show significant primary-stage rancidity.”

    • Interesting and worth repeating from the above “Joan Grinzi, Executive Director of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, says: “It’s taken us over a year to thoroughly search the archives. We can now state that Dr. Price never mentioned fermented cod liver oil and never recommended a product like it.” FCLO is neither a true “traditional” cod liver oil nor the “high vitamin cod liver oil” recommended by Dr. Price.
      Dr. Price pointed out the danger of rancidity in the cod liver oils of his day, and he cited other researchers from the 1920s and 1930s who had “called attention to the importance of considering the toxic substances in cod liver oils as possible explanation for differences in the results obtained by different workers in vitamin studies.” Clinicians observed “severe and striking” effects, most notably “serious structural damage” to the heart and kidneys.” Roy Schmid also states ”
      Joan Grinzi, Executive Director of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, says: “It’s taken us over a year to thoroughly search the archives. We can now state that Dr. Price never mentioned fermented cod liver oil and never recommended a product like it.” FCLO is neither a true “traditional” cod liver oil nor the “high vitamin cod liver oil” recommended by Dr. Price.
      Dr. Price pointed out the danger of rancidity in the cod liver oils of his day, and he cited other researchers from the 1920s and 1930s who had “called attention to the importance of considering the toxic substances in cod liver oils as possible explanation for differences in the results obtained by different workers in vitamin studies.” Clinicians observed “severe and striking” effects, most notably “serious structural damage” to the heart and kidneys.”

    • He should rename his blog ‘the Sympathetic Nutritionist’. Just how many bottles of free FCLO did he actually choose to receive from Dave? Tens of thousands of dollars is my guess.

    • After reading both reports, I find Kaayla’s report very straightforward, well thought out and supported scientifically while I thought Dr. Masterjohn’s response was weak in its science, scattered and full of excuses. Bad science is bad science. Just admit that Dr. Kaayla Daniel is right and move on. There is no such thing as fermented cod liver oil, it is rotten cod liver oil and that’s it.

      • Call it rotten or not, but as people previously stated, a whole lot of cultures have been eating fermented fish. If fermented fish was so bad would it have spread successfully to so many cultures.

        You need to address this before preaching that fermented fish oil is rotten and bad.

        So far you have not been very convincing nor scientifically in this matter.

        • Well I really think that Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s paper addressed the issue quite thoroughly, it is up to the company to prove her wrong, they are the ones selling it. I have no issues with fermented fish, this is fish oil, a very different thing.

  4. There are now over 300 comments on this topic. It is interesting to peruse the thread. The comments on effectiveness are interesting, ranging from “it seems to work” to “didn’t notice anything bad” to “it caused me to throw up”. If a product is good for you, you should be able to feel the difference, that’s why supplements were used in the first place.
    Maybe that’s why there are 15000 fish oil studies out there, half of them say it’s good and half say it isn’t (more of these recently). If a supplement is really good, you should feel the difference within 2 weeks of starting and you shouldn’t need 15000 studies, the difference should be big enough to show positive results consistently, so you need a fraction of that many studies.

  5. I’ve been taking a heaping teaspoon of blended CLO/Butter Oil from Green Pastures. I haven’t had a problem, and have no way of knowing if it’s been beneficial to me or not. I assumed it was a good thing! What I find most disturbing is Dr. Ron Schmidt’s account of his heart failure, and his belief that it was the FCLO that caused it. (Apparently the WPF has severed all ties with him over this.) It’s true he was taking more than the recommended dose, but I was overdoing it somewhat to; he himself told me a heaping teaspoon was fine. Chris, do you have any thoughts about this? Actually, I’m not sure I want to take CLO at all now!

    • Dr. Ron has said that he took 1-3 TABLESPOONS of regular cod liver oil a day for over 20 years (I don’t remember the exact number), and only in the last 6 years of that period was he taking FCLO. It was during that period that his symptoms developed. However, it seems likely to me (correct me if I’m wrong, Chris), that the underlying disease process was developing over the entire period of his overconsumption of cod liver oil. No one recommends taking that much CLO on a daily basis for years. You CAN get too much of a good thing. Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids are BOTH necessary in the diet. An imbalance in either direction has health consequences, as Dr. Ron found out.

    • Dr. Ron Schmidt said that he took two to three tablespoons of cod liver oil for thirty-one plus years. Green Pasture’s FCLO has only been available since 2007.

    • Debbie, I had never heard of Dr. Ron before Dr. Daniels report came out last week, but apparently he had been taking TABLESPOONS every day of cod liver oil since the 1970’s and had only been taking the FCLO the last several years. Most experts agree that 1/2 to 1 TEASPOON of cod liver oil (fermented or not) is plenty for most adults and that higher amounts over extended periods of time *can* be toxic. I would certainly love to hear more about Dr. Ron’s experience about why he thinks it was specifically FCLO that caused his heart attack and not the fact he was overdosing on CLO in general.

      Sally Fallon of WAPF shares more details about their reasons for severing ties with Dr. Ron, sounds like he wasn’t playing nice: http://www.westonaprice.org/uncategorized/questions-and-answers-about-fermented-cod-liver-oil-fclo/

      I just found Dr. Ron’s personal account of his heart failure as connected to cod liver oil. He fully admits he was overdosing on cod liver oil for over 30 years, only the last 6 he was using fermented CLO. His reasoning why it was FCLO that did him in and not the previous 24 years of overdosing of CLO? Intuition…”I also had an intuition that the [fermented] cod liver oil was not helping me.” Now, I am a big believer in intuition, but I also know that it can get wonky…usually there is some good information in intuition, but I always take it with a grain of salt.

      http://www.drrons.com/cod-liver-oil-too-much-of-a-not-so-good-thing.html

      Dr. Ron seems like a good guy who really cares. I’m sure the heart attack really scared the daylights out of him. I’m convinced he believes that FCLO was not good for him, but I am not convinced that it is not good for *everyone*.

  6. This should be relevant.

    http://chriskresser.com/the-definitive-fish-oil-buyers-guide/

    The NSF has been at work since the 1940’s and appears to be an independent source of supplement and food testing.

    I learned about I first on the VitalChoice website, which says it submits its products to NSF for certification.

    I have never seen the FCLO on the Consumerlab.com website, and now I wonder whether either NSF or consumerlab was among the labs she cites in her report.

    Data from them and from IFOS would be quite helpful, since their results are available online or via symbols on consumer products.

  7. My family had been taking FCLO/butter oil blend since it came out. Before we took it, I would give my son regular cod liver oil. He almost never got sick. When we switched to the FCLO, both of my children started to get sick several times a year. Last fall, I ordered two bottles of Rosita CLO. When we finished these bottles, I bought regular Carson’s CLO and also give them a spoonful of Kerry Gold grassfed butter. My son has not been sick one time this year, and my daughter has been sick once. It may just be a coincidence, but I do think it has something to do with the CLO, and this was even before these reports came out.

  8. Any thoughts on the elevated trans fatty acid content?
    I’ve purchased the FCLO with and without the HVBO and also the SLO on several occasions. Never noticed any of them really doing me any good. The last time I bought the cinnamon tingle FCLO was over a year ago. I think it wasn’t properly mixed as there was no taste or smell of cinnamon at the top. What it did have was a bitter rancid taste. Contacted the company that sold it who said that nobody else had complained and that GP say their products are not rancid. Contacted GP and got no response. Absolutely no incentive to purchase FCLO again, and probably nothing from GP again.

    • Jim, if you read dr Kaayla’s blog article on her website she addresses this very question. They offered to pay for her flights, which on the surface appears generous, but it’s un ethical, especially if she is researching the company. Talk about a payoff by GP. Read her blog article!

      • This is why I don’t comment on blogs, actually this was the first time. I didn’t mention anything about paid flights, that is immaterial. If it is a moral hangup…how about visit and inspect the site on her own dime? That removes all doubt of impropriety, while giving her an opportunity to inspect the facility, which would give greater depth and insight to her findings. The FDA will not allow pharma companies to pay for their trips/visits; but they still visit those site and inspect them. As someone who does this kind of thing for a living, I know that while analyzing paperwork hundreds or thousands of miles away from a manufacturing facility may have some value, there is no replacement for an onsite, visual inspection. So, Dr. Kaayla, take your briefcase full of papers and get in your car and see for yourself. Don’t forget to pay for your own gas!

        • As Dr Kaalya mentions in her blog article she couldn’t justify the personal expense to fly there because all her money was going into the testing. Anyway, what’s the point of visiting the site if Dave won’t even disclose the exact manufacturing process involved in his secret fermentation process? Seems pointless doesn’t it? Take for example inspectors who visit restaurants, they are not going to announce their visit now are they? they turn up up unexpectantly, that way the owner doesn’t have a chance to clean up the cockroaches and remove the dead rats from the oil vat! Visiting DAves cult headquarters would have defeated the whole purpose. Wake up people! Dave is not transparent, let’s all demand that he come clean.

  9. will somebody enlighten me as to what precisely is the “natural way” that Rosita foods cracks open the livers to harvest the oil? This is never clearly explained.

    • I wondered the same thing.
      Here is my speculation:
      It is described as “cold-pressed,” isn’t it?
      Maybe that is the method?

      If they want to be transparent, they should explain it clearly.

    • They perform freeze-fracturing, where they freeze the livers cold enough to split their cells open, and when thawed again the oil runs out. It’s a crude but acceptable way to extract cod liver oil.

  10. Highly unlikely that anyone reading this is deficient in fat soluble vitamins.

    Save your money.

      • If it was only that simple. What test(s) and what range would you consider optimal? Is VIt D testing alone actually meaningful without other testing to place the result in context? Does the general health of the person being tested have to be considered to know if supplementing would actually be a wise decision? Is Vit D supplementation safe without taking other stuff like K2, and if other cofactors are necessary how much of each? Is your information from studies or primarily from health blogs?

        Anyone eating sufficient calories from whole foods is unlikely to ever have a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Sub optimal levels, perhaps…. a straight up deficiency? Unlikely.

        And having a fat soluble vitamin deficiency in someone not living in a third world country? Maybe it could happen to an alcoholic with an eating disorder or an uber vegan with poor conversion issues from BCM01 SNPs or someone with cholestatic liver disease etc.

        I’m sure there are instances where supplementation is wise, but for most people simply getting some sun and eating fish, eggs, nuts and seeds etc is more than sufficient.

        Read enough health blogs and you can be convinced everyone has a deficieny of some sort.

        • Wow. Talk about a head-in-the-sand approach to nutrition.

          Grassroots Health has been conducting a long-term study on vitamin D levels in thousands of participants who are both avoiding and consuming vitamin D supplements. You can participate here is you wish https://www.grassrootshealth.net/proj-welcome.

          Here are some studies for your review, if you wish to pull your head out of the sand http://www.grassrootshealth.net/index.php/documentation.

          Here is some data on vitamin D levels against sun exposure http://grassrootshealth.net/media/download/UVB_Exposure_and_Supplements_Sun_Exposure.pdf.

          Here is some data on raising your blood vitamin D levels with supplements http://www.grassrootshealth.net/intakecharts.

          The data is available, and you should absolutely without question test your vitamin D levels.

        • Magic Pills,

          It’s funny how I can tell where you live/come from by reading your comment.

          Spend a couple of years in the UK and when you become Vit D deficient like most due to the overcast weather (in spite of a healthy diet-as far as I am concerned may I add) then you’ll be in line to find a naturally occurring source of Vit D in a FOOD supplement like EVCLO.

          Truth Seeker is right: check your Vit D levels and I will add: do it at the end of the winter (and often as you get older). I will also say that you should thank him for taking the time to post all these links for your benefit.

  11. Does anyone have any knowledge about VASCEPA ( icosapent ethyl) supposedly a medical grade fish oil by prescription? Right there, it’s worrisome…it was given to my mom to try for her high triglycerides?? I’m concerned and I don’t want her to take it…but need her to try something else….she is difficult with meds sometimes and has crohns.

    • My mom struggles with high triglycerides. I was reading on Mercola about cutting sugar and grains from the diet to bring triglycerides down. Hope that helps. The Crohns also made me pipe up about grains.

  12. Reading through this comment section, I have to say, irrespective of what Dr. Daniel and Dr. Ron’s motives or roles are, whoever’s engineering the attack — for commercial and/or political reasons, in all likelihood — the PR group/s employed are doing an astonishingly thorough job. This astroturf crew is really on top of their game. Hat’s off.

    For a short primer on astroturf, see Sharyl Attkisson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ-ZZtEU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    The best lies are always mixed in with truths. Key for us is to discern which is which, and which really matter.

  13. Glad this article came up, because I have had some suspicions last several years regarding this product. About 2 yrs ago I noticed a off flavor to the skate liver oil, which I can only describe as a subtle rancidity or oxidation. I always buy the plain and bite into the capsule for the very purpose of tasting it. I called GP to report this issue and they said that the product was fine, now I’m thinking my instincts may have been correct. Also, I alternate between the SLO and the FCLO/HVBO and these products have never raised my blood levels of 25 (OH) D, which I get tested periodically. GP said there are unresolved issues to vit D testing. Glad to see this controversy come to light.

  14. Hi Chris! Jack Kronk here.

    I’ve been sorta out of this scene for a little while now, but I’m still here. We’ve been ordering FCLO from Green Pastures for years and still have almost a full bottle from a recent order. Thanks so much for taking the time to provide your thoughts on this situation and a clearly articulated update.

    I must admit… first thought was a bit of panic… like “chuck that stuff in the trash!” haha. But then I immediately realized that we should wait to see how this all shakes out and reserve final conclusion until…. well… until more conclusive findings are known.

    Good to see that you are discussing this with The Master.

    I’ll be watching for more updates.

    Thanks again and best to you,
    Jack Kronk

  15. I was dosing myself regularly with 2 tbsp of Green Pastures FCLO before my last pregnancy. I was certain my vitamin D levels would be adequate, but asked my midwife to test them in early pregnancy. The result was 20. I started taking vitamin D supplements instead.

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