Fish oil is probably one of the most common supplements that people take these days. With all of the talk about the healthy fats in fish oil, as well as a myriad of other benefits, most of us agree that taking a fish oil capsule a day will contribute to our overall health. But how do we know which brand to buy? What makes one fish oil better than the others? While diving head first into Real Food, I have found that Fermented Cod Liver oil is the best fish oil out there. But why is it better for us? Dave Wetzel (the founder of Green Pastures) explains:
1. Fermented fish liver oils are extracted without heat but rather a natural lacto-fermentation.
2. We select exclusively organ tissue as the source of the fermented fish oils (compared to industrial model fish oils) as this is where the nutrients are located. There is much more to fish oil nutrients than EPA and DHA. It is only because of the heavy industrialization of this industry that this field of products has nothing else to discuss but Omega 3, EPA and DHA. These nutrients will occur naturally in all fish oils including the fermented clo/skate liver oil. I think the real story is in the thousands of micro nutrients that are provided in a Fermented fish oil.
3. Fermented liver oils are a deep rich pigment. Pigments are nutrients.
4. The oils have a 8-9mg/g total quinone count. Butter oil is in the 23-25 mg/g range. These figures are very high! The complex of the quinones is completely different between the fish liver oils and the butter oil. Even the quinone complex between the different fish oils is unique (variety is complete nutrition). Quinones consist of nutrients such as vitamin K’s, vitamin E’s, CoQ enzymes and other known and unknown nutrients/components.
5. Lacto-fermentation transforms natural vitamin A into different metabolites that are easily absorbed into our bodies (just as in your gut if your gut is working properly). I have found reference to at least 15 different natural forms of Vitamin A that nature provides. Not just the 2-3 that are commonly discussed.
6. There are over 3000 derivatives of vitamin D. Many are natural and others are produced in laboratories. Not much of the vitamin D topic is understood or discussed in mainstream science. Current discussions are just scratching the surface of the topic. Reminder, vitamin D is more accurately categorized as a hormone, not a vitamin.
7. Efficacy — there is a difference between the processed cod liver oil and the fermented CLO.
8. It takes 6 months to 1 year to make fermented cod liver oil. This is why it is no longer made.
9. Fish oils have historically been fermented for extraction; back in the Roman empire days, Viking era and all the way up to the Mid 1850′s. Rendering was introduced during the mid 1850′s as a more efficient fish liver processing method. The livers yielded a much higher total oil volume and the process could be accomplished in several hours rather than several months. What they did not understand is the effects that heat had on the nutrients (their science was not ready to address this question) . As with all industrial models, the focus was on: profitability, speed or turns and, marketability (taste).
10. Economical. Substantially more nutrients (including A/D) per ml or teaspoon compared to other brands.
I am pleased to have found a brand that I trust that can supply me with the healthiest ingredients. Personally, I can't stomach the oil itself so I take it in capsules. The boys do as well. The Peach takes her oil straight up, on a spoon – the cinnamon flavor. She likes it. Someone should ask Tamara what that is like. So, if you are stuck in a fish oil rut, do more research on fermented cod liver oil. It is good, good stuff.