supplementsVitamin supplementation is not something generally recommended on GAPS, (Gut And Psychology Syndrome, the world renowned gut rebuilding protocol), however, Dr. Natasha does recommend a couple vital supplements for gut building. 

McBride says the essential supplements for GAPS patients in addition to the diet are probiotics, essential fatty acids (EFAs) and cod liver oil.

Since cod liver is an essential fatty acid, for most, that means cod liver and probiotics covers the GAPS supplement requirement.

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Supplementing vitamin A or D from synthetic supplements is not advised, however, A and D as food form is not just recommended it’s essential. Supplementing these vitamins through cod liver oil is a wise choice for healing. 

Essential fatty acids are also sourced from nut and seed oils, preferably mixed together as a blend.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says traditionally we should be eating a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, however, the deficiency we see in today’s food is causing chronic disease. They say, “There has been an enormous increase in the consumption of n−6 fatty acids due to the increased intake of vegetable oils from corn, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, cottonseed, and soybeans,” which adds to the imbalance.

Beneficial essential fatty acids, fitting for a GAPS protocol can be found from several sources.

Physical signs that the body is deficient of essential fatty acids are hangnails and dry flaky skin, rash on the skin, lack of growth in a child, slow wound healing, weakened immune system or dry patches of skin including dry patches in the ears and nose.

Wound Repair and Regeneration reported a study showing, “Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) alter proinflammatory cytokine production.”

They reported research that, “Found improved reconstitution of epithelial integrity with both ω-3 and ω-6 PUFA-treated intestinal cells in rats following mucosal injury.”

In 1929 George and Mildred Burr studied the effects of Essential Fatty Acids in the body. They fed rats a diet devoid of fats and found fat-deprived rats developed visible skin abnormalities, increased water loss across their skin (also referred to as transepidermal water loss (TEWL)), stunted growth, and impaired reproduction.”

The Journal Of Animal Science and Biotechnology studied pigs and the effect of EFAs saying, “Short chain fatty acids are essential for maintaining the normal metabolism of colon mucosa, regulating colonocyte growth and proliferation. The beneficial effect of SCFA is not restricted to the colon, and SCFA also stimulates cell proliferation and growth of small intestine. This effect on distant mucosa is likely mediated by a systemic mediatory mechanism.”

Fish oil, olive oil, evening primrose oil, hemp seed oil, flax seed oil and egg yolks from pastured chickens are all wise choices. Dr. Natasha recommends when taking hemp oil and flax seed oil they should be combined with olive oil to balance the omega -3 and omega-6 ratio. For a GAPS compliant hemp oil, click here. For a GAPS compliant flax seed oil click here and here for a high quality olive oil. 

These oils are officially stage 3 on intro, however, GAPS can be very bio-individual. Seeking a qualified Certified GAPS Practitioner can guide you with this process. 

In FAQs Dr. Natasha says, “In the first two stages of the Introduction Diet I recommend not to introduce any supplements, just introduce fermented foods. In a small number of patients no fermented food can be tolerated, so for these patients I recommend introducing a probiotic gradually starting from a tiny dose. From the third stage, if fermented foods have been successfully introduced, you can start introducing the probiotic and the cod liver oil in tiny amounts, gradually increasing the daily dose.”

Regarding cod liver oil she says, “When cod liver oil has been introduced (the full dose is taken daily), introduce fish oils. When olive oil is being introduced, you can introduce cold pressed nut/seed oils gradually with meals. For those who started from the Full GAPS Diet, probiotics and cod liver oil can be introduced from the beginning, starting from a tiny amount and gradually increasing the dose. When cod liver oil has been successfully introduced, start the fish oils and the nut/seed oils.”

fishFinding a clean and beneficial cod liver oil takes some research and can be costly. The benefits far outweigh the cost. Some people consider it their insurance policy for health. Cod liver oil should be sourced from wild caught fish, processed without heat and stored in an amber color bottle to prevent oxidation. 

“In order for the body to give birth to healthy, well functioning enterocytes it needs two factors. It needs building blocks, because they’re made out of certain nutrients. They’re made out of proteins and out of certain fats, out of certain vitamins and enzymes. All these building blocks need to be provided for these enterocytes to give birth,” McBride says in this interview (10:45 min).

She goes on to say, “We need to drive out pathogens, we need to replace them with beneficial flora and we need to provide all the building blocks for the gut lining to give birth to those enterocytes.”

Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil has been used by many health practitioners in the past, however, is recently showing flags of concern.

NUTRA, a European publication on health and nutrition, recently reported warnings on polluted fish supplements in Rosita’s oil. They said, “Tests revealed they contained carcinogenic contaminants way over EU safe limits.” (Norway warns on polluted fish oil supplements By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+, 02-Jul-2015).

courtesy of vitasamb2001 at

courtesy of vitasamb2001 at

The National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) has tested ten products a year for the past 15 years as part of an annual investigation on the safety of fish oil supplements carried on the Norwegian market (wish they did this in America!), 2015 was the first time they found concerning results as they expanded their research to include online sales of alternative fish oils sold online. 

Rosita-Net Shop, a retail site which sells Rosita oils says this information is false and reports safe levels found if you click here to their site. 

In recent history recommendations were safe if you sourced wild caught fish, however, these fish sources are subject to radiation pollution from Fukushima. Many fish oils have added tocopherols which or most often sourced from soy, an endocrine disruptor.

Polar Power Fish Oil shows good results but some show concern as it is sourced from Alaskan waters, not all that far from the radiation source. Many people report favorable results with this fish oil. 

Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO) is sourced from the cod family of fish (Gadus Macrocephalus) and can be used in the GAPS protocol effective. This one, this one and this one are all GAPS approved. As many have seen a recent “expose” surfaced saying FCLO is rancid and not beneficial to health. After reading the expose this author searched every link, testing corporation listed in the study and researcher involved in the study. Unfortunately not one turned up locatable, meaning each of the multiple labs used “reportedly” chose to stay anonymous as did the suggested (perceived) 12 “professionals” studying the product. The only one accessible was the author of the “expose” who said they all chose to remain anonymous. 

One of the easiest ways to find if a product is beneficial is to look at the people with the worst damage in their guts and follow their health story while on and off the product. For most it is a remarkable improvement. Since the “expose” Dr. Natasha still recommends FCLO for optimal health along with traditional Cod Liver Oil.

If you have any further evidence that this product is not beneficial to your health please send me a message and let me know your findings complete with resources, researcher’s name and the labs used as I will contact them all individually.

Dr. Natasha does recommend Norwegian cod liver oils as favorable. One the most popular among Norwegians being Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil. Many Norwegians consider this oil a religious part of their day.  Some say this is a weaker therapeutic oil, more suited for those who are hypersensitive.

Others prefer Nordic Naturals like this one but it’s important to only use the unflavored as flavorings are unspecified and often the source of upset in a damaged gut.

Most people see optimum results by taking FCLO along with another cod liver oil, at night before they go to bed. 

Click here to read more about the top rated fish oils. Click here to read what Dr. Natasha says after codlivergate

Probiotics in the form of fermented foods as well as approved commercial probiotics are both important to rebuilding a healthy gut lining. 

Therapeutic strength probiotics can be found over-the-counter, however, beware of extra ingredients added to fill the product or what some say affect shelf stability. These added ingredients feed pathogens in the gut causing you to waste your money on feeding the exact thing you are trying to eradicate.

Click here for GAPS approved therapeutic strength probiotics.

Click here to read about the mistakes people make when taking probiotics.

In some occasions clients benefit from digestive enzymes. The problem with digestive enzymes is they contain many added ingredients that feed the problem. To date this author has not found one clean brand she supports. A substitute for proper digestion support is putting one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar like this one in one cup of water and drinking it 15 minutes or just before you eat. Another solution is drinking fresh juiced cabbage juice right before you eat. Both fresh juiced cabbage juice and apple cider vinegar in water act as your own hydrochloric acid in the stomach which triggers the release of enzymes from the pancreas which digest food.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.




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