I have been doing some research lately about vitamin supplements for maintaining youthful hair and skin health. I’ve always known that a healthy diet full of nutrients and drinking plenty of water will keep the skin and hair hydrated and healthy. Now in my 30’s, taking care of my skin has become more of a priority and I prefer to take a natural approach to preventing premature aging! One recommendation I kept reading about was Cod Liver Oil so I wanted to learn more. Here’s what I discovered.
Cod liver oil (CLO) is very similar to taking omega- 3’s but it has naturally occurring amounts of Vitamin’s A and D. Vitamin D in the skin helps minimize acne, boost elasticity, stimulate collagen. Vitamin A helps to renew skin cells and produce sebum, an oily substance found in hair follicles. Sebum acts as a natural moisturizer and conditioner for a healthy scalp and great looking hair.
But then I started reading that consuming high levels of Vitamin A can be toxic and got a little turned off by CLO. Toxic is such a scary word isn’t it!? Not letting the word get the best of me I continued to learn that vitamin A in cod liver oil is a natural, non-synthetic source therefore carrying less risk of toxicity in the body because it works synergistically with its other nutrients. Dr Weston A Price has done plenty of research on this matter and this quote comes from his foundation
“The claim that vitamin A in cod liver oil is toxic just doesn’t make sense in the context of traditional diets, which were very rich in vitamin A from liver, organ meats, seafood and the fats of grass-fed animals. The crux of Dr. Price’s research is that the diets of healthy primitive peoples contain about ten times more vitamin A than modern diets.”
Read more about Dr. Price and his findings HERE.
I know it’s tough to know what to believe on the internet these days with the overwhelming amount of information available. I spent hours going back and forth through sites, reading forums, reports and reviews. In the end I always follow my personal belief that if a product is naturally occurring and not in any way altered, and it has been used since the 1800’s – I’m okay with at least giving it a shot!
My first thought was to head to Costco as they sells a gigantic bottle of Cod Liver Oil caps for 20 something dollars – done deal. With continued research I am glad I didn’t jump for the convenient “good deal”……
Quality is key when purchasing any type of vitamin or supplement. If you want to reap the full benefits you may have to fork out a bit more cash. The cheaper, highly-processed CLO tends to be stripped of the very vitamins that make it beneficial both for your skin and hair as well as your overall health – or synthetic A and D are added which takes us back to the concerns around toxicity levels.
Here are a few more tips when picking out a quality CLO
- Buy a fermented cod liver oil (FCLO)
- Vitamins A and D should not be listed as an ingredient (if they are it means they have been added and are most likely synthetic rather than naturally occurring)
- The liquid should be light in color, not a dark brown or orange.
- At most health food stores a quality CLO is stored in a refrigerator or cool/dry location
- If you buy a flavoured version it should only include naturally flavoured oils or sweeteners
For adults: 1/2tsp- 1tsp per day
*You can purchase the FLCO on it’s own or blended with Royal Butter Oil. The CLO/RBO blend will offer a higher amount of Vitamin K2 – known to ensure healthy skin, help prevent cancer and blood clotting and improve bone strength.
Now, how to pick a brand…..
This is not an easy product to find in stores – in Canada anyway. So I shopped online. I’m going with BLUE ICE™ Royal Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend made by Green Pastures. I went with the Cinnamon Tingle flavour. Normally I would jump at the chocolate cream but I have a feeling it may turn me off from chocolate and that is totally not worth it 🙂
I purchased online at http://www.benaturallyprepared.com/ for $49CAD plus tax & shipping = $64.88 (I’ll do an update as soon as I get it to let you know how it tastes!)
What are your experiences with CLO? Good or bad? Do you have any other vitamin recommendations for healthy skin and hair? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below!