Best Fish Liver Oil Supplements Reviewed in Detail
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Fish liver oil (also known as cod liver oil) is a wildly popular health supplement that is taken from Atlantic fish livers. Fish liver oil is full of omega 3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A and D. Fish liver oil has been used for hundreds of years, and its first use dates back to 1789 when it was used by Dr. Darbey to help patients with rheumatism at the Manchester Infirmary. Different from cod liver oil, fish liver oil is taken from deep sea fish, like tuna, salmon, cod, mackerel and trout. Obviously, cod liver oil is extracted only from cod livers. The benefits to extracting from cod are higher levels of vitamins, but the trade-off is lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids. We will discuss both fish liver oil and cod liver oil in this review guide, and they will be used interchangeably.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Carlson Norwegian
- AMRAP Fermented
- completely fresh
- Nordic Naturals
- great lemon taste
What is Fish Liver Oil?
Fish liver oil is a health supplement that has been used by a large population of people all across the globe for various different health reasons. Being high in both vitamins A and D, fish liver oil has been taken to help people receive their daily nutrients. Cod liver oil is also supplemented with the healthy type of fat. We have been scared of fat since we have been told that fat is damaging and leads to obesity. However, fat is important for your body and helps your cells function as they should. Omega 3 fatty acid is the healthy type of fat, and cod liver oil is full of them. This healthy fat can bring about a youthful appearance to those that take it. Upon regular ingestion of fish liver oil supplements, a person will notice their skin being brighter, and their immune system being stronger. Aside from aesthetic benefits, cod liver oil can also make you feel full. Fat is what tells your brain that you are full and should be done eating. Fat is an essential food for your brain that keeps it functioning normally. Fat also slows down the decomposition of carbs into sugar, which maintains your blood sugar at a good level. The fat in fish liver oils is essential for your body.
There have been numerous scientific studies done to support the implementation of a fish liver oil supplement into a diet. Medical conditions including coronary artery disease, macular degeneration, arthritis, and tuberculosis have all been shown to be helped by the nutritional benefits of fish liver oil. Cognitive performance can also be enhanced by a daily supplement of cod or fish liver oil.
10 Best Fish Liver Oil Supplements
1. Carlson Norwegian
To take this cod liver oil, ingest 1 teaspoon of it daily and with a meal. This cod liver oil is an excellent source of EPA and DHA. Vitamin E is also infused into the bottle to make sure that the oil is kept fresh. The oil comes in natural flavor and in lemon flavor.
Customers who have bought this product praise it for its clean taste, and it's ability to help them with their anxiety and their vitamin A and D levels.
- Excellent lemon taste
- Comes in glass bottle
- Potent and pure
The fish that AMRAP uses for its supplements is caught sustainably, and in an environmentally friendly way. The International Fishery Standards Program (IFSP) overlooks the catching of the fish caught by AMRAP for their cod liver oil supplements. Friends of the Sea guidelines are also followed.
To ensure that theirsoftgels are free from any harmful substances and are effective and pure, AMRAP uses a third-party tester to evaluate all of their health supplements.
Two to four capsules of cod liver oil should be taken with food on the daily. These softgels are 500 mg each. Customers have said that these softgels have improved their hair growth and quality and has given them back the energy levels of their youth.
- Sustainably caught fish
- Nitrogen vacuum-sealed
- Excellent for muscle recovery
3. Nordic Naturals
The fish that Nordic Naturals uses to extract their cod liver oil are caught in water that is fresh and clean. The fish are wild-caught and sustainability of the local eco-system is ensured. The oil is processed in its true triglyceride form which means that the body will be able to absorb it the best it can.
This cod liver oil should be taken as one teaspoon a day and with food. Customers who have bought it have said that it has kept them illness free for years, and the lemon taste is delicious. The amount of EPA in this supplement is 410 mg per 1/2 teaspoon serving, and the DHA amount is 625 mg.
- Great price
- Delicious lemon taste
- Great immune booster
4. BLUE ICE
Customers who have regularly used this health supplement says that there is no aftertaste to it. They have also said that their depression and their joint pain have been helped by the ingesting of this product. Those who have stomachs that are sensitive can rest assured that this fish liver oil supplement will not cause any digestive symptoms.
Fish liver oil supplements from this company are produced in small batches. The fish that are extracted from for these supplements are caught in the Bering Sea or in the Island regions around the state of Alaska. The fermentation process allows the fish oil to be extracted without the use of chemicals or additives. This supplement is also tested by third-parties to ensure that it is pure.
- Third-party tested for purity
- No aftertaste
Dropi makes sure that the oil has been tested for radiation, as well as for any traces of heavy metals. The company Dropi has also been GMP certified in both the United States and in Europe. Customers who have purchased these cod liver oil supplements have called them "liquid gold" and have said that their skin, acne, and teeth have all benefited greatly from its daily ingestion.
Consumers of this product should take these gel capsules daily.
- High quality
- Cold-pressed oil
- Made only with fish ingredients
6. Mason Vitamins
By using tablets that are chewable and taste great, adults can entice their children to start taking cod liver oil and develop a great daily habit. The flavor that the chewable tablets come with is a citrus flavor, which makes it great for both children and adults alike.
Those who have regularly taken these supplements say that their immune health has been excellent, and that their blood levels have also been better after taking these health supplements for an extended period of time. One tablet should be ingested daily.
- Chewable form is great for kids
- Delicious citrus taste
- Great value
- Shipping may be difficult
7. Nature Made
There are 530 mg of cod liver oil per supplement, 24.5 mg each of EPA and DHA and 1250 units of vitamins A and D. The pills are not very large, and customers do not have problems swallowing them. Customers have also said that these do not have a "fishy" taste about them, and are quite enjoyable to take.
- Excellent value
- Great brand reputation
- Easy to swallow capsules
- Not vegan
The ingestion of these softgels have been shown to positively affect cardiovascular health. By taking these, you are decreasing your chance of developing coronary heart disease. Users who have also taken these softgels have said that their “dry eye syndrome” has gotten much better.
Customers have also said that this cod liver oil supplement has helped them lose weight, and has decreased pain and inflammation in their bodies. Less food cravings is also a common benefit to taking these supplements. Clearer skin has been noticed by many users, as has an increase in energy.This product offers 250 softgels that are 650 mg of cod liver oil each, which means that it is a great value for its price.
- Double the strength
- Great value
- Weston A. Price Foundation recommended
- Not vegan
9. Blue Ice
The company that produces these cod liver oil supplements Green Pasture ensures that all of their products are independently tested by an outside lab to ensure their products quality and saftiness. Customers that have used this supplement has said that it works a lot better than simply taking regular omega 3 fatty acid supplements. Users have also said that their energy levels have gone way up, and that their skin has become more supple.
Those who are concerned about "fishy" tasting supplements, especially since this product is fermented, need not worry about Blue Ice's cod liver oil softgels.
Customers have said that they do not taste anything except the orange flavoring.There are 120 capsules included in this supplement, which is an okay value for the price.
- Great orange flavor
- Fermented and raw
- Great source for vitamins A and D
- Controversial company reputation
10. Pastillas McCoy
This is a traditional multivitamin that has been used for many years. These supplements help raise energy levels, and can build strong, healthy bones. Customers who have purchased these cod liver oil supplements say that they have helped them during their menstrual period, and has helped them regulate their blood levels.
There are 100 tablets in each package, making them a great value for their price. Customers have said that their parents have made them take this specific cod liver oil supplement for their entire lives and they are so happy that they did. These cod liver oil pills have helped people with their hemoglobin levels and have also boosted their immune systems.
- Long-standing history
- Great value
- Product writing is in Spanish
Criteria for Evaluation
Holistic medicine is an ever-evolving field that has become more and more popular in the years recent. Cod liver oil, although a health supplement that has been available for a long time now, has an abundance of new health supplement companies offering it to those looking for a holistic daily medicine. It’s important to have a clear list of criteria to use when reviewing these cod liver oil supplements, and we have made sure to do just that.
We understand that it can be very overwhelming to look for the right fish liver oil for yourself on your own. There are so many cod liver oil supplements out there that looking for the right one can be dizzying. This is why we have narrowed down the top 10 best cod liver oil supplements for you by using a strict list of criterion when evaluating each product. To show complete transparency, we have listed the criteria that we use when evaluating cod liver oil supplements below.
It is of the utmost importance to pick a fish liver oil supplement that actually does what it says it can do. We know how many fish liver oil supplements there are out there, so we understand that it would be illogical to ask a consumer to go out and try each brand and report on its effectiveness. This is why we have done this part for you. Cod liver oil has incredible benefits that can do everything from boosting your energy to lowering your blood cholesterol levels. This is why you must use a fish liver oil supplement that is potent and pure. You need to get the maximum amount of benefits from your cod liver oil supplements that you possibly can. The products that we’ve reviewed in this guide have all been proven to be effective and to deliver amazing health benefits.
User Reviews and Ratings
A consumer can learn a lot about a fish liver oil supplement from reviewing the ratings and customer reviews it receives. Amazon is a great resource to see what the general population thinks about each cod liver oil supplement. If a cod liver oil supplement received bad reviews, such as it possessed a “fishy” taste, or it did not work for its consumers, we did not include that product on our review guide.
When looking at cod liver oils vs. soft gels, we were looking for oils that were naturally flavored with citrus to mask the “fishy” taste of the oil. We were also looking for the fish liver oil that was free from any harmful substances and that was independently tested by a third party to ensure purity. The oils we included in our review guide also had to be fresh, and we favored those that were vacuum-sealed to ensure that the process of oxidation did not occur to the fish oil. Cod liver oil soft gels had to be reviewed by customers as being easy to swallow, and as having a pleasant taste. High amounts of vitamins A and D in each soft gel was also favored, as these two important vitamins are highly effective in delivering total body health and wellness.
Potential for Side Effects
As mentioned previously, the risk of experiencing side effects when taking cod liver oil supplements is very low, however, this health supplement should not be taken in excessively high amounts, as this increases the probability of experiencing a bad side effect. The products we reviewed on this guide all were rated by their consumers as having a low chance of evoking an unwanted side effect. The cod liver oil health supplements we included in our review guide did not make the consumers experience “fish burps,” nosebleeds, heartburn or indigestion. Bad breath was also not mentioned by any customers on the review pages of those cod liver oil supplements we reviewed. We understand that you are looking for a high-quality fish liver oil supplement to take that doesn’t cause negative side effects, so we have hand-picked those that have the lowest probability of doing so.
We favored fish liver oil brands that were well-received by their customer base and that provided money-back guarantees and excellent customer service support. It is important to buy your cod liver oil supplement from a brand you can trust, and we took this into consideration when ranking our health supplements in this review guide.
Safety of the Supplement
Fish liver oils that were independently tested by a third party laboratory to ensure purity were heavily favored on our fish liver oil review guide. It is important to make sure that you are receiving a supplement that is 100% fish liver oil, and that doesn’t include any harsh chemicals or harmful substances.
Ingredients and their Effectiveness
High amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and both vitamins A and D are present in the fish liver oil supplements we included in this review guide. These are the ingredients found in fish liver oil that actively promote good health, so we wanted to make sure that these ingredients were found in abundance in the health supplements we reviewed.
Fish and cod liver oil supplements have been used for hundreds of years as their benefits are numerous. Cod liver oil is an excellent, all-natural source of both vitamins A and D, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin A is what supports your eye health, and ensures that you have great eyesight. The growth of good, strong bones is also dependent on your vitamin A levels, as is your ability to reproduce. Vitamin A is essential in both cell growth, as well as cell division and boosts your immune system. Finally, vitamin A is responsible for supporting healthy skin. Vitamin D is important because it is what regulates your body’s calcium and phosphorus absorption. Vitamin D also supports strong and healthy bones and teeth and protects your body against the development of cancer, MS, and type 1 diabetes. Finally, omega-3 fatty acids lower your blood triglyceride levels and can help soothe joint aches and pains.
Prevention Against Cardiovascular System Problems
Cod liver oil supplements, when taken on a daily basis, have been shown to lower triglyceride levels in the blood. Triglycerides are a type of fat that increase the chance of developing coronary heart disease. Also a benefit of cod liver oil is its ability to lower blood pressure levels and maintain cholesterol levels where they need to be. There have been many studies published that show how cod liver oil can prevent atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a terrible condition that causes the arteries in the body to become stiff and hard, which drastically increases your chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
Decreases the Risk of Developing Cancer
Scientific studies have shown how the vitamin D found in cod liver oil supplements can drastically reduce the chance of developing cancer. Breast cancer is cancer that has shown to be found less often in those regularly taking cod liver oil supplements. Cod liver oil causes breast cancer cells to stop proliferating and to go through apoptosis.
Diabetes Prevention and Treatment
Insulin resistance is a major problem in those who are pre-diabetic, or those suffering from diabetes. The omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil can help counteract the effects of insulin resistance and bring back blood sugar levels to where they should be. One scientific study gave diabetic rats supplements made out of cod liver oil for a period of 12 weeks. Over the course of the 12 weeks, the cod liver oil was an all-natural treatment for their diabetes and prevented the development of endothelial deficiency.
Increases Brain Function
Cod liver oil has been used in the treatment of depression for many years. By using cod liver oil to treat their depression, people have managed their depressive symptoms using an all-natural supplement. The omega-3 fatty acids found in the fish liver oil is what improves depressive and anxiety symptoms in the general population. Another great brain benefit to cod liver oil is its ability to prevent cognitive conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease. The omega-3 fatty acids protect the brain and help to prevent the development of brain disorders in the aging population.
Alleviates Arthritis Symptoms
Those who are suffering from arthritis symptoms know how painful this medical condition can be. Cod liver oil can act as a natural anti-inflammatory supplement that helps to relieve arthritic pains and joint stiffness.
Fish liver oil and cod liver oil is meant to be taken daily. The effects of fish liver oil will not be seen unless a consistent, daily dosage of the health supplement is taken. Those taking the oil straight will usually drink it in a shot glass, and follow it with a better tasting drink. However, cod liver oil that is now available on the market usually carries a pleasant taste with it and doesn’t require a quick ingestion. Many cod liver oils available now are citrus flavored, and customers actually enjoy the taste of them. Some users will even add the cod liver oil to their drinks or smoothies and drink them that way.
Those taking the softgels will take them just like any other oral medication. Some cod liver oils are known to cause “fish burps.” The supplements we listed on our guide have been said to not cause this side effect, however, to ensure that they don’t experience this “fishy” aftertaste, many users of cod liver oil supplements will take their soft gels right before bed and sleep through any possibility of having “fish burps.”
Precautions and General Information
It is important to be cautious when starting out all types of health supplements, so cod liver oil supplements should be no different. When first starting a daily fish liver oil regimen, start with a small amount of the oil, or one softgel. If any of the following side effects happens to you, talk with your doctor to discuss if cod liver oil supplements are right for your daily diet. Fortunately, cod liver oil is safe for most of the general population. However, there are some side effects that may happen when taking fish liver oil on a daily basis. Bad breath and belching may be experienced when taking cod liver oil since it is a fish oil and may be prone to having a “fishy” taste. The supplements we reviewed in this guide, however, have the lowest probabilities of having a “fishy” taste. Heartburn and nosebleeds may also be experienced when taking cod liver oil. Cod liver oil supplements should always be taken with food to help diminish the chances of experiencing any of the above side effects. The safety of using cod liver oil topically to help skin problems has not been studied and is therefore unknown. Very high doses of cod liver oil should never be taken as they are most likely unsafe. When a high dose of cod liver oil has been taken, it may lessen the ability of the blood to clot which can lead to higher chances of bleeding out. Too large of doses of vitamins A and D may also cause some digestive symptoms such as upset stomach and a big stool.
Cod liver oil is a traditional health supplement that your grandparents and their entire generation most likely used to boost their energy and give them good health and wellness. When deciding on what cod liver oil supplement is right for you, there is a variety of things to consider.
Brand reputation is an important aspect to take into consideration when picking out your fish liver oil supplement. There are some brands out on the market right now that have less-than-favorable reputations with their customers. This may be caused by the deliverance of cod liver oil supplements that are spoiled, impure, or ones that have not been tested by a third-party laboratory. The supplements we included in this guide come from brands that can be trusted by most to deliver top-notch cod liver oil supplements. Another aspect of cod liver oil supplements that is important to consider is if you want a supplement that comes in an oil or soft gel form. Both of these options offer a great way for you to receive your daily amount of fish liver oil, however, it depends on the customer which form is right for them. If you don’t have time to pour yourself a daily allotment of oil, then softgels may work best for you. If you are looking for a supplement to add to your drinks or smoothies, however, then oil would be the way to go. If you buy one from and do not enjoy it, then try giving the other form ago. Cod liver oil supplements come in a variety of different forms, and there is no doubt a form out there that is perfect for you.
What forms can I buy fish liver oil in?
Fish liver oil can be purchased in both oil and soft gel form. There is also a chewable form available for children, or those who simply wish to ingest their fish liver oil in this manner.
Who can use fish liver oil?
Fish liver oil is a health supplement that can be taken by those of all ages, both young and old. Its benefits are especially observed in those who lack energy, have joint aches and pains, have hypertension or other cardiovascular problems and those looking to lose weight.
What are the side effects?
As long as fish liver oil is taken in its recommended amounts, the probability of experiencing negative side effects are low. However, people have been known to experience bad smelling breath, belching, an increased frequency of nosebleeds and heartburn.
Where can fish liver oil be purchased?
Fish liver oil can be found in health food supplement stores, as well as big box retailers. These health supplements are also available online on websites such as Amazon.
How should it be taken?
Fish liver oil should be taken as one teaspoon once daily with food. Softgel dosing depends on how many milligrams of fish liver oil is present per soft gel, and the manufacturer will include dosing information on the package. Most users will take their fish liver oil right before bedtime.
What active ingredients should my fish liver oil have?
Omega-3 fatty acids and the vitamins A and D should be present in your fish liver oil supplement.
Does the oil need to be refrigerated?
Yes, upon opening your fish liver oil, store it in the refrigerator to preserve freshness.
Is there a difference between fish liver oil and cod liver oil?
The only difference between the two is the type of fish that the oil is extracted from. The health benefits and usage are the same.
Is one form of fish liver oil more potent than the other?
No. Both the oil and soft gel forms can deliver the same amount of fish oil when taken as the proper dosing.