7 Amazing Benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Using fermented cod liver oil has been a popular natural remedy for thousands of years, but it is important to look into the details before adding this supplement to your diet.

What is Fermented Cod Liver Oil?

Fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) is made when the cod livers are allowed to ferment, allowing the fats to separate more effectively, resulting in a higher concentration of important fatty acids. Furthermore, FCLO is cold-pressed in its production, preventing any loss or degradation of the valuable nutrients in this oil. Green Pasture is one of the primary producers of this oil, and claim that the fermented version of cod liver oil is better than traditional fish oil. Unfortunately, there is no proven, clinical evidence that this type of oil is any better than the unfermented variety, as the concentrations of vitamins D and A, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, may fluctuate between brands and producers. [1]

The traditional method of consuming this oil is by simply swallowing a teaspoon of it, but more specifically, young children should take a 1/2 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon, while adults can take 1-2 teaspoons. These amounts will also vary based on the condition you are trying to treat; for example, pregnant women or those using the oil to reverse tooth decay may take a higher concentration, i.e., 2 teaspoons per day. Excessive consumption can have a number of negative side effects, so be sure to speak with your doctor before adding this supplement to your daily intake.

Fish oil capsules on a table

Cod liver oil is helpful in boosting cognition. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil

The most notable benefits of fermented cod liver oil include the following:

  • Balancing mood
  • Boosting mental health
  • Promoting healthy bones
  • Skin care
  • Reducing inflammation

Let us discuss them in detail below.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The presence of these important anti-inflammatory compounds in the body cannot be overstated. They also help to balance “bad” cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, among many others [2]

Balance Mood

Studies have found that having ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in the body, such as EPA and DHA, is able to regulate hormone levels and improve mood. [3]

Healthy Bones

Vitamin D is one of the other critical components of FCLO, and this vitamin is necessary to maintain strong bones by improving the uptake of calcium from the gut. [4]


The various compounds and vitamins found in this oil can reduce inflammation associated with arthritis, as well as irritable bowel syndrome, gout, migraines, and other common conditions. [5]


Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can improve the appearance and health of your skin, while also reducing the signs of aging. [6]


One of the most common uses of FLCO is to slow down, stop or reverse tooth decay, making it popular with natural dental health practitioners. [7]

Differences Between Oils

While different oils share some of the same beneficial characteristics, there are also some key differences.

Cod Liver Oil vs. Fermented Cod Liver Oil

  • FCLO is made by fermenting actual cod livers for an extended period, without the use of heat or chemical distillation. Regular cod liver oil, however, may suffer from some loss of nutrients due to the production methods.
  • There is also variation in batches for FCLO, whereas regular cod liver oil tends to be more standardized in its precise nutritional makeup.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil vs Butter Oil

  • Butter oil is a dairy oil extracted from cows fed and organic and high-nutrient diet, earning it the name high-vitamin butter oil. With high levels of vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin D, butter oil is often recommended to be taken in conjunction with fermented cod liver oil, as the combination can have powerful effects on the overall fat balance in the body.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil Side Effects

There can be some side effects to consuming FCLO, including digestive problems and an increased risk of rancidity, and problems with bleeding disorders.

  • Digestion: You may experience belching, heartburn, bloating, cramping or diarrhea as a result of taking this oil in supplement form.
  • Rancidity: Depending on the manufacturer, and your means of storing this oil, rancidity is a potential problem, which could cause other gastrointestinal problems.
  • Blood Clotting: As a blood thinner, FCLO can be dangerous for those taking blood pressure medication, or those who have bleeding disorders. Also, pregnant and nursing women should speak with their doctor before using this oil.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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