Debate on the merits of cod liver oil has been ricocheting around the internet of late, sparked by a recent posting from Dr. Joseph Mercola, in which he withdrew his recommendation to take cod liver oil. Mercola’s remarks dovetail with establishment bias against this old-fashioned superfood. Cod liver oil has come under attack as a “dangerous” source of vitamin A. And while vitamin A has fallen to the bottom of the Vitamin Hit Parade, vitamin D has risen to the top, with many voices calling for extensive supplementation and an increase in the RDA for the sunshine vitamin.

The establishment view is as follows: the animal form of vitamin A is toxic and also interferes with vitamin D metabolism, so we should avoid foods rich in vitamin A, like liver, organ meats and cod liver oil; we can get all the vitamin A we need from the conversion of carotenes in plants; it is impossible to obtain adequate vitamin D from food, so we need to take vitamin D supplements.

In recent articles, we have put these mistaken notions to rest by showing the extensive scientific literature on the benefits of cod liver oil and vitamin A, as well as on the synergistic-rather than antagonistic-relationship of vitamins A and D. To bolster our premise that vitamin A is not toxic and that vitamin D can be obtained from food sources, we have published many articles on traditional diets, showing the high levels of vitamins A and D in traditional foods. For example, the traditional Scottish diet, described in a recent article, was rich in fish liver oils, organ meats, shellfish and fats, thus corroborating the discoveries of Dr. Weston A. Price, who found that emphasis on foods rich in vitamins A and D was universal among primitive populations.

However, care must be taken in the choice of cod liver oil. Most brands contain synthetic vitamins A and D and many have the wrong ratio of A to D. Please visit the following links for information on cod liver oil, the number one superfood:

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