Posted on Monday, February 14, 2011 by Hyde Park Wellness

A colleague of mine recently asked me if I take supplements. You bet I do and not just because I get them at cost. The main reason I take supplements is because they help me to look and feel my best. I also like to see how the capsules and tablets that I prescribe to my patients really work. In this way I can speak with the conviction of experience on my side: “Take this. It works.”

So I listed off my daily regimen: liquid B vitamins to calm my frazzled nerves, a capsule containing concentrated kale and brussels sprouts powder to help balance hormones naturally, and (be still my heart) a shot of my beloved cod liver oil mixed with orange juice. Nothing fancy and not a lot of stuff, just a few things to help give me an edge on life while keeping me sane at the same time.

Now, depending on your age you will most likely have one of the following relationships with cod liver oil:

  1. You were forced to take a spoonful of it at school every day, which, I have to say, without the orange juice just seems cruel;
  2. You’ve heard your parents talk about having to take it begrudgingly; or
  3. You have absolutely no idea what it is and it sounds totally disgusting.

It’s true, cod liver oil won’t be winning any popularity contests any time soon as it’s been the unfortunate victim of, frankly, a really gross-sounding name. But I like to think of it like this: if cod liver oil were a love song it would be “My Funny Valentine” and let me tell you why.

First and foremost, it’s cheap – like bargain basement prices cheap. The stuff I sell in my clinic goes for $15 for an 8oz. bottle. With a recommended dosage of one 1/2 teaspoon per day, that’s about 3 months worth of CLO at a cost of approximately .15 cents per serving.

Second: I feel fantastic when I take it and incomplete when I don’t. My daily dose of CLO helps me to feel grounded and focused, on-point and ready to take on some serious multi-tasking. It lifts my mood and allows me to navigate through my day as if on cruise control. It is also a must-have supplement for skin issues. The texture and quality of my skin have improved so much since I’ve been taking it.

And last, but certainly not least, cod liver oil contains several vital nutrients that our bodies need to function properly. It has both Vitamins A and D, plus the omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) DHA and EPA. Most likely you’ve heard the buzz about fish oil supplements and that you should probably be taking one, not only for the EFAs it contains, but for a host of other benefits as well. These would include things like a reduction in levels of the so-called “bad” cholesterol LDL, a reduction in clot formation, inflammation and triglycerides, improved brain function and metabolism control.

You almost certainly have heard that you need to be taking a Vitamin D supplement because just about everyone is deficient in D. Vitamin D is crucial to calcium mobilization in the body so it’s good for healthy skin and bones. It’s also good for helping the body fight off colds, flu and even cancer. What you may not know is that it is important to take Vitamin D along with Vitamin A in a suggested ratio of 1:10. Cod liver oil provides this in the proper amounts.

Sally Fallon, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, has this to say about it: “Cod liver oil is a food; it can’t be patented, it can’t be created in a laboratory; it can’t create millions for the drug companies.” Created by cod, not corporations, so that we can all live happier, healthier lives. And that’s why cod liver oil is my favorite work of art.

-–Tama Henderson, LAc