The use of cod liver oils and fish oils are both traditional and have shown effective in studies. When using Fermented Cod Liver Oil, cod liver oils and fish oils, it’s often difficult to decide what to use when and how much to use of each individual oil. Some choose to take just fish oil. Others choose to take just cod liver oil and others choose Fermented Cod Liver Oil only. Some take both Fermented Cod Liver Oil and cod liver oil,  deciding what to take and how to take it is a big, and expensive decision. 

First, it is important to choose quality oils. Most marine oils are a sourced from farmed fish. It is important to note, as stated here, when a farm raised fish is ill, floating belly up, it is picked out of the water and relocated to be processed as fish oil. The fish used for oils are the rejected fish, the fish that are noticeably dying. Using these fish for marine oils is a wise financial move for the farmed fish industry, it raises profits out of waste material. 


When health is an issue, it is recommended to source the best quality nutrition to support the system. Farmed fish does not qualify in the this category. Wild caught fish is the optimal choice.

As you progress through a healing protocol, the body speaks to you, telling you what to do, telling you what it needs. When you support the body properly during these times, it can repair itself. Knowing which oils to take is important. 

Dr. Natasha says, “People with mental illness and learning disabilities need both the cod liver oil and the fish oils. Cod liver oil is mostly, largely for the immune function, the immune system. So in people whom the immune system is not working well, they are getting colds and flu and infections, I give them two teaspoons in the winter starting from September until about March, April. Then I say start sunbathing, reduce to one teaspoon. In the summer when you’re in the full sun bathing season, you can stop. Then, come winter, you start again, particularly for kids.” (Certified GAPS Practitioner Q & A, Weston A. Price Conference Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2017).

Sally Fallon, CEO of the Weston A. Price Foundation, says she had horrible night vision while driving and began to experience floaters in her eyes. Both had gotten progressively worse over the years. During this time, she had already been on a high quality cod liver oil. After switching to Fermented Cod Liver Oil, three teaspoons in the morning, three teaspoons in the evening, her eye floaters went away and her night vision improved to the point that neither was a noticeable issue. (Weston A. Price Chapter Leader lunch discussion, Montgomery, Alabama, 2016). Night vision and floaters in the eyes are both Vitamin A deficiencies.

For those on GAPS, only three flavors of Fermented Cod Liver Oil are GAPS approved: unflavored, mint and orange. The other flavors contain ingredients which upset the imbalanced stomach bacteria and yeasts in GAPSters. To carry Fermented Cod Liver Oil at a wholesale discount, the practitioner needs to have an office. Some practitioners do not recommend it because they can not access it at practitioner pricing, as they do not have an office, a factor which should not be used in determining which oil is needed. 

Generic oils have undergone some clinical studies which give us further insight. 

The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine reported, “Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3, it doesn’t provide the significant levels of vitamin D that cod liver oil does. Vitamin D is concentrated in the liver of the fish and thus plentiful in cod liver oil, a time-honored source of vitamin D. Fish oil is made from the whole body of the fish and has an insignificant amount of vitamin D.”

Arthritis Research and Therapy says, “Fish oils contain a natural inhibitor of COX, reduce reliance on NSAIDs, and reduce cardiovascular risk through multiple mechanisms. Fish oil thus warrants consideration as a component of therapy for arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, in which its symptomatic benefits are well established.”

Nutrients says, “Since the 19th century, cod liver (CLO), for its source of vitamin D, has been used as one of the remedies to cure rickets. It has been the most commonly used supplement in the UK for decades.”

The Medscape Journal of Medicine says, “It turns out cod liver oil contains large amounts of vitamins A, D, and omega-3 fatty acids, and the health benefits may go beyond rheumatism and rickets. Vitamin A is essential for the immune system, bone growth, night vision, cellular growth, testicular and ovarian function. Pharmaceutical preparations are used to treat acne vulgaris and keratosis pilaris and to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia.”

For those who choose to supplement with cod liver oil or Fermented Cod Liver Oil while on GAPS, click here for guidance on approved supplements. For those who choose to take fish oils, click here to see the top ranking varieties. 

*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. becky.nourishingplot@hotmail.com

“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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One Response to How do you know if you need both cod liver oil and fish oils?

  1. Avalon says:

    Linseeds are better alternative

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