The People's Chemist

Cod Liver Oil: In-House Test Results Show Which Cod Liver Oil Product is Best for the Family

Everything a healthy family needs to know about buying cod liver oil

At 14 years old, my oldest daughter, Lily, has been by my side as far back as BTPC (Before The People’s Chemist).  Just out of the pharmaceutical lab, we stayed home together.  Mom worked long hours hustling at a hair salon.  We had our daily routine of going to the gym, visiting parks, museums and eventually, mom, for milk.

I called her my business baby.  Always serious and independent, she hardly ever cried and did everything herself starting at 3 years old…She loved being my shadow and I hers.  Ever since, she has been an attentive student, writer, athlete, and handmade soap entrepreneur, always trying to better herself…And ultra-strong too.  Plus, she’s a blast to go to concerts with.


No medicine, no vaccines, we’ve always taken a minimalist approach to medication, for good reason of course.  Lily has a robust immune system that works ultra-fast at eradicating illness.  She’s never had an ear infection, strep throat, or chicken pox. On the rare occasion that she does catch a cold or flu bug, it’s gone in a day.

Part of her inviolable health and strength stems from:

This is true for all four of my kids.  And the staple for prevention in our family has been cod liver oil…but not the typical crap you would find in the store.


Today there’s a ton of confusion surrounding cod liver oil.  This stems from supplement hucksters who don’t know the difference between naturally occurring nutrients and those made in a lab (synthetic), what is referred to as “processed,” for simplification.

Knowing the difference between processed and unprocessed cod liver oils protects your kids from the side-effects associated with choking down the imposters: things like poor energy and focus and worst case scenario, calcification leading to heart failure and also cancer.

To understand the differences among cod liver oils, you have to go way back to simpler times…when there wasn’t a barrage of choices, misinformation and Big Pharma to screw it all up.

The use of cod liver oil in medicine has been documented as far back as Hippocrates and the Roman naturalist, Pliny. Safe and effective, these oils were also used by the Vikings as early as the 700’s to 1100.

Continuing its reign as a natural remedy in the winter, Dr. Ruth A. Guy published The History of Cod Liver Oil in 1923. This was among the first and most extensive documents showing positive, measurable results associated with using cod liver oil, observed by physicians in Germany, Holland, Manchester England, and France. Published in The American Journal of Diseases of Children, it documented numerous cod liver oil cures for:

Back then, most cod liver oil was unprocessed.

Therefore, if you’re gonna consume cod liver oil, then you want the product that’s been proven to yield positive measurable health results – unprocessed cod liver oil.  Duh.  Today, you have to look for it denoted as “extra-virgin” as in extra-virgin cod liver oil.

When you look at the contents of extra-virgin cod liver oil using modern day laboratory testing methods, it shows that this unadulterated product delivers a one-of-a-kind blend of fatty acids and micronutrients, in doses and ratios that are  ultra-safe and extremely therapeutic.  In other words, you can’t get these healing ingredients from any other oil.  Specifically, they are:

  • Omega-3 fats EPA and DHA
  • Naturally occurring vitamin A
  • Naturally occurring vitamin D
  • Naturally occurring vitamin E
  • And more….

Wanting to piggy-back off the success of extra-virgin cod liver oil and its synergistic ingredients, numerous knock-offs have spawned from the dietary supplement industry and Big Pharma.  Today, you can choose among a vast array of processed cod liver oils that have synthetic “vitamins” tossed back in for “good measure” or worse, pharmaceutical omega-3 fatty acids like Lovaza and Vascepa.  Stripped down, these wanna-be’s don’t confer the same healthy outcomes as extra-virgin cod liver oil.

Hence, there are typically 4 types of fish oils to choose from:

  • Extra-virgin cod liver oil (unprocessed)
  • Cod liver oil (if not labeled as extra-virgin, then processed)
  • Omega-3 fish oils
  • Prescription omega-3 PUFA (Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids)

No Benefits for Knock-Offs of Extra-Virgin Cod Liver Oil

There’s lots of controversy around which cod liver or fish oil is best.  Pharmaceutical industry slaves and wanna-be doctors are always bickering about what the “blend” should contain or why their omega-3 “fish oil” is superior.  In the same breath, they’re quick to sell you their own special oil or vitamin.  Or they insist we need to overdose on isolated or individual, synthetic ingredients to raise our blood levels to procure health.  Hell, the medical industry has even devised blood tests and artificially raised the standards of most nutrients in an attempt to get us all hooked on their unique product.

But, comparatively, the evidence shows (just like it did a hundred years ago) that extra-virgin (unprocessed) cod liver oil works vastly better than any of the the processed versions as well as the high-dose, pharmaceutical mimics most people know as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin D and pharmaceutical grade, omega-3 oils.  That’s good news because it means vitamin consumers can ditch a lot of pills and potions and simply rely on extra-virgin cod liver oil.  

As highlighted in my book, Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded, vapid, sterile ingredients stirred into processed cod liver or highly distilled or lab-derived “omega-3” oils are just cheap decoys of the real thing – cod liver oil. Common to grocery store shelves, these unhealthy and sometimes toxic (due to abnormally high amounts) products – leading to “hypervitaminosis” – should be avoided at all cost…you might as well be sniffing ether. They won’t yield healthy outcomes and worst case scenario, they’ll harm your health, which is why I’d never let my family choke them down.

Studying side effects from prescription omega-3 fats, the FDA (The Food and Drug Administration) published that, “adverse events reported by 1 or more patients from 22 clinical studies are:”

“BODY AS A WHOLE: enlarged abdomen, asthenia, body odor, chest pain, chills, suicide, fever, generalized edema, fungal infection, malaise, neck pain, neoplasm, rheumatoid arthritis, sudden death, and viral infection.”

“CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: arrhythmia, bypass surgery, cardiac arrest, hyperlipemia, hypertension, migraine, myocardial infarct, myocardial ischemia, occlusion, peripheral vascular disorder, syncope, and tachycardia.”

“DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: anorexia, constipation, dry mouth, dysphagia, colitis, fecal incontinence, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gastrointestinal disorder, increased appetite, intestinal obstruction, melena, pancreatitis, tenesmus, and vomiting.”

And if that isn’t crazy enough, the pharmaceutical industry charges up to $500 per month for these risky, omega-3 imposters!  

Not only is it fraudulent, but criminal.  

In contrast, extra-virgin cod liver oil is free of side effects and much less expensive.  Though your insurance company won’t pay for this version…great little extortion scam Western Medicine has going on courtesy of the US government.

To better illustrate the difference between processed and unprocessed cod liver oils and to help consumers avoid being robbed, I ran some in-house tests to prove my point and to outline the best cod liver oil for overall general health.

My In-House Lab Results!

In order to help parents learn how to avoid the greasy scam, I tested and compared two cod liver oil products to illustrate the stark difference to consumers – processed and unprocessed.

One is cod liver oil sold by mega-supplement dealer Now Foods.  The other is a truly natural, extra-virgin cod liver oil from Rosita Real Foods, a company that produces extra-virgin cod liver oil – sustainable and humanely – in Norway sold here for US customers.

Best Cod Liver Oil Brand

Methods:  I subjected both products to the same quality control rigours I use for my own as The People’s Chemist. Using a technique known as HPLC, I tested and compared two commercial brands of cod liver oil for:

  • One-of-a-kind, naturally occurring, therapeutic value of fatty acids (EPA and DHA)
  • Naturally occurring nutrients, specifically vitamin D
  • Environmental toxins mercury and dioxins

The results: The analysis confirmed that the extra-virgin cod liver oil from Rosita Natural Foods contained all of nature’s healing fatty acids (EPA and DHA) along with a host of naturally occurring micronutrients such as vitamin A and D.  Even better,  no environmental contaminants or synthetic counterfeits were discovered.

Now Foods contained synthetic vitamin D, added back to replace what was lost from processing methods.  I stopped testing after that because this alone makes the product worthless to me…plus, it’s an arduous process testing this stuff.  To test for vitamin D, you have to subject the starting materials to saponification (like Lily’s soap making process!) before running the analytical tests.  I had to go to jiu jitsu practice.

Here’s something even better about the naturally occurring, extra-virgin cod liver oil:  I found that it also contained a natural buffer, proven to help the body better metabolize vitamin D! Yippie…more proof that nature rocks and has our back.  But do we really need it?  I guess so as long as we have the Dr. Holick’s (and his minions) of the world trying to shove vitamin D pills down our throat.

Discussion:  These simple lab results are proof that nature made is superior to man made…It also shows that we need to be especially careful of the lazy and trendy advice being dished out like celebrity gossip to suck down processed cod liver oil, omega 3 fats (prescription or otherwise) as well as vitamin D pills.

And as a side note, looking closer at the artificial, vitamin D content of the typical store bought brands like Now, the results were proof that most people are being overdosed! (Poor Now Foods is really getting it today from TPC.)  Specifically, extra-virgin cod liver oil from Rosita Real Foods contained multiple chemical cousins (isomers) of vitamin D, in very small, albeit healthy doses. This is a good thing as the body is highly sensitive to such hormones. Further, with the proper natural dose of isomers, the body can remove any of the hormones it doesn’t need via various detox pathways.  But, store bought oil brands and vitamin D pills are spilling over in synthetic vitamin D2 and D3 by as much as 300 to 500% in comparison!  Even worse, a typical store bought vitamin D pill injects 3,000 to 5,000% more of either D2 and D3 into the user!

The real risk here is BIOACCUMULATION.

Bypassing detox pathways, the synthetic isolates are stored in the body, leading to kidney stones and calcification of the cardiovascular system. It’s therefore no surprise that synthetic vitamin D made great rat poison in the 1970’s.

To compare, if it were a gallon of water you needed and your doctor or supplement huckster online recommended 5000% more per day, you’d be gulping down a small pool in Arizona, daily!  

To avoid the overdose, simply start using extra-virgin cod liver oil.

Interview with Rosita Natural Foods

Excited to have found a good extra-virgin cod liver oil, I reached out to Rosita Natural Foods for an interview.  I wanted to learn more about their background, motivation and the arduous process of extracting cod liver oil.  Founder, Bengt Svensson went the extra mile, too by discussing some of the history behind the health benefits of his “extra-virgin” form used by his healthier ancestors.

This is the only company on earth that I know of, that’s not butchering or adulterating their cod liver oil for the sake of profits or convenience. And it’s the company I trust to preserve and promote health in my family.

TPC #1: What is Rosita Real Foods?

Mr. Svensson: Rosita Real Foods is a small family-run artisanal company based in Norway. We produce handcrafted wild and raw, extra-virgin marine oils. Our top product is extra-virgin cod liver oil.

The company is made up of old-time genuine Norwegians and fishermen who know all about fish liver oils. We follow sustainable hand-caught fishing practices, using open boat with shelter deck. Our oils are produced under the total absence of chemicals and heat, and therefore retain all of their original fat-soluble nutrients and fatty acids in their natural, raw cod oil form.

TPC #2: Why did you launch your company?

Mr. Svensson: To promote conscious awareness about nature and how it’s here to serve our health and longevity.

TPC #3: How does Rosita produce its fish liver oils?

Mr. Svensson: Our oils are produced using an age-old and rare method that allows the fish livers to “release” the oil they naturally contain — WITHOUT the need for heat, solvents, chemicals, distillation, or any form of refining. This is very rare in today’s


Clicks Here To Enlarge The Image Above

The Ancient people from the coast of northern Norway observed the principle of the seasons — which basically states that when a freshly caught fish was brought up to the surface and the liver eviscerated from the fish, the change in temperature and pressure from the ocean depths to the surface caused a natural exuding of the oil from the fish’s liver. The resultant golden oil is of extra-virgin quality. It’s what you’d find present in a “living” codfish liver.


Click Here To Enlarge The Image Above

TPC #4: How are most fish oils produced today, and how is this different from the way your company produces them?

If you look at what’s available to consumers today, the majority (if not all) of these fish oils are produced using advanced refining techniques. These make use of heat and in some instances, chemicals. Sometimes vacuum is used to reduce the temperature the process requires.

A commonly used refining technique is something called molecular distillation. The final product is often described as a “Pharmaceutical Refined” fish oil, which can often involve heating the oil to very high temperatures (>200 °C).

They do a good job of removing contaminants. Unfortunately, this kind of processing can result in unwanted heat-induced reactions, evaporation of minor nutritional components and volatile nutrients; as well as negatively affecting the retention of vitamins (including vitamins A & D3) and polyunsaturated fatty acid levels/quality.

Manufacturers add the lost/reduced nutrients back to the oils, either in the form of synthetic, pharmaceutical mimics or by adding, for example, vitamin D3 isolated from sheep’s wool. This new product does not resemble the original, healthy one.

[TPC Note: See to find out why synthetic vitamin D is toxic. In fact, it’s so toxic, it makes great rat poison! Vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are man-made drugs that humans should not be consuming. These fake forms are not to be confused with the naturally occurring, safe Vitamin D found in extra-virgin cod liver oil and produced in your skin naturally, courtesy of exposure to sunlight.]

TPC #5: Is extra-virgin cod liver oil (EVCLO) the best form of cod liver oil to buy?

Mr. Svensson: Extra-virgin, virgin, and refined olive oils have been shown to differ in nutritional content and health benefits. For example, the benefits ascribed to olive oil have been associated with the “extra-virgin” form. Same for cod liver oil. Recent research suggests that marine oils that are cold pressed and cold purified using low temperatures have a greater positive impact on health than oils produced the conventional way, including the use of heat and molecular distillation. And this is easy to test too using state-of-the-art chemistry methods. The nutrient profiles are vastly different.

Norwegian researcher Professor Edel Elvevoll at the Norwegian College of Fisheries, who has for a number of years studied oils from seals, whales, and fish, has stated that ordinary cod liver oils are so processed that most of their beneficial properties are destroyed. She also found that such refining removes up to 90% of the substances the body needs. World leading researcher on marine oils, Gjermund Vogt, has a similar stance: “We are already seeing indications that cells thrive best with fresh fish oil with little rancidity.”

TPC #6: How does Rosita address the potential problem of organic contaminants?

Mr. Svensson: Everything is done with respect for nature. The whole process occurs without the use of heat, chemicals or vacuum. Modeling the ocean’s natural cleaning process, we use a blend of polysaccharides that occur naturally on the ocean floor. It has the ability to bind itself to a variety of organic contaminants and proteins while leaving beneficial nutrients untouched. This is a handcrafted process that does not require the use of heat or chemicals and was handed down to us from our ancestors.

TPC #7: In your opinion, what needs to change in the fish oil industry?

Mr. Svensson: Companies should be more transparent and tell consumers the truth regarding their production methods and fish species used. It’s not uncommon for cod liver oils to be obtained from a totally different fish that is not cod, especially from fish originating from the Southern Hemisphere, including Peru. The same applies to the krill oil industry. Krill oils can actually contain cheap 18/12 fish oil. (It’s called “18/12” because there is approximately 18% EPA and 12% DHA. 18/12 fish oils can be used as bulking oils.)

In Norway we have four main cod liver oil factories. They harvest their fish using trawling methods for 2-4 months during the winter. They may also use farmed fish. They produce about 400 tons a year, then store the oil in tanks for maybe more than 1 year!

By then, the oil has gone rancid and needs pharmaceutical refining. Manufacturers then add synthetic nutrients that were lost during the refining process. Then they distribute these oils to companies that sell cod liver oil.

In addition, the majority of companies obtain a lot of their oils from Peru and South America, and not even from cod livers. That goes for the famous popular brands in the US currently making huge profits! There is no law to stop this!

TPC #8: What do you wish everyone in the world knew about fish oil?

Mr. Svensson: We want everyone to know the truth about it all. By this, we’re trying to stimulate each and every person to investigate and find the real truth. It’s so easy to buy into what some scientists and specialists are paid to say.

We want you to be on guard when scientists use words like “I believe” or “I think,” or even when they use other scientists to build up their statements in their writings about products they’re supporting. We have found that such statements are being used more and more in the marketing of fish oils, often without any real scientific proof or evidence at all. Our real-time sciences are built around cause and effect, and there should be no room for any “beliefs” or personal statements at all — only hard facts.

When scientists and MD’s vouch for a product, please don’t buy into it without real-time research and personal involvement. Don’t give in when asking for the truth. They might only be in need of the money to become even more wealthy on your behalf.

We also want you to know that to test pure natural products, one needs special protocols and testing methods. These are quite different from the testing protocols and methods used on industrial grade or other oils. You cannot use protocols and methods from the land-based farming industry to test marine oils. The results will not show the truthful and real properties of the oils. This is one reason why we use specialist 3rd party marine labs in our testing. We want the ACTUAL and truthful results, not results we could pay to have through other labs.

When products show higher values of vitamins and nutrition than you’d find in nature, we should all start to question these products! It’s not the high synthetic vitamin content that’s important. What’s important is that they have the naturally occurring compounds in them…Some fish oils are marketed with content you could never find in the living fish species. Is it really possible to have higher or other values in a natural product than you might find in the actual living fish in nature?

TPC #9: Where can U.S. customers purchase your products?

Mr. Svensson: Through the main website of our distribution partner, Organic3 Inc. They have organized their US resellers at the following website link:

All the best from the Rosita Family in northern Norway, Bengt Svensson.


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About the Author

Shane Ellison

My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, The 5 Deadly Pills Checklist.

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The People’s Chemist provides these articles for information only. They are not meant to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and do not replace professional medical advice from a medical doctor. I am not a doctor and would only “play doctor” if I was with my wife. In fact, I have not even read Grey’s Anatomy.

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