Cod-Liver Oil…plus Krill…or

Dr. Zorba Anecdote # 3…CLO (Cod-liver-oil)

by Alan Graham

Probably the wackiest thing attributed to NPR’s Dr. Zorba Pasture that show-cases his consummate lack of knowledge – is when Tom (his side-kick) mentioned how his mother use to give him Cod Liver Oil (CLO) for the powerful Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Zorba actually laughed in a smarmy, condescending manner and said “Everybody knows, there’s NO Omega-3 in Cod Liver Oil.”

Well, not EVERYBODY, Zorba… Even though I no longer recommend Cod Liver Oil – it is considered a rich source of the Complex Omega-3’s with about 220 mg of EPA & DHA in 1 gram of Cod Liver Oil.

This is about the same amount of Omega-3 found in Krill Oil but the ratios of EPA to DHA in CLO are the opposite of Krill Oil….so Krill has more EPA – where CLO has more DHA (which most consider a very good thing).

Cod Liver Oil….

Most Fish Oil does have more Omega-3 than Cod Liver Oil but CLO’s advantage (as mentioned above) is it has more DHA than EPA….so it is particularly good for old folks & pregnant or nursing women because DHA is likely the most powerful Brain food on the planet.

It is certainly the most “Complex” & powerful Medicinal FA (fatty-acid) on the planet. So growing the baby brain & preserving the old folk’s brain is what DHA does best…it is the most abundant Fatty-Acid in the brain….BUT before you run out and get some CLO, read the following warning.

**Cod-Liver-Oil Warning**……

I’m afraid I have to agree with mercola ref. the safety of CLO. There is no standardization to the amounts of Vitamin A & D in CLO products. So this could mean you are getting way too much Vit. A and/or blocking the amount of Vit. D-3 you absorb. Most CLO’s don’t have enough Vit. D-3 to be at about a (1 to 1) ratio with Vit. A, which could make the Vit. A toxic or ineffective.

The best way to safely strike a balance is eat lots of Veggies (especially red & orange) to make Vit. A from Carotenoids. Using Beta-carotene your body knows when to stop making Vitamin A.

And then, In the summer, get as much noonday sun as possible for nature’s BEST Vitamin D-3 …you may have to also add a couple of thousand iu’s from supplements, even with considerable *NOON-DAY* Sun, to get your level up to a good 35 to 40 ng/ml or higher.

Remember your shadow must be “shorter” than your height to make Vitamin D-3….so in the winter or living in Alaska – you make no D-3…………….well, you probably make D-3 in the Fla. Keys, in the winter.

So for the rest of the country, in the winter, start with about 5,000 iu of D-3 from Oil-Filled, Soft-gels or from D-3 “Drops”. After a month, get tested to see if you need more.

Take the 25[OH]D test (not the other one) – but don’t settle for what some consider a passing score of around 25 ng/ml…….shoot for something between 35 to 60.

About 80% of the folks have D-3 levels of 25 or less…and 25 seems fine for most MD’s….however, it would appear, the only disease that can be prevented at 25 or less, is Rickets.

A little about Krill & Fish-Oil…

Both Krill Oil & Fish Oil generally have more EPA than DHA….which is fine (EPA is especially good for the Heart & Joints). However, now days, you can find “Fish-Oils” that are distilled, concentrated & manipulated to where they can have VERY high DHA relative to the EPA (as much as 5 times the DHA).

No one has done this with Krill Oil…so it almost always has a ratio of (EPA to DHA) of about (3 to 2)…like maybe, [(EPA 140 mg) and (DHA 80 mg)]…although, I did see one brand with high numbers (130 mg each) at a (1 to1) ratio…this is very unusual.

So with the advent of Hi-DHA Fish-Oils, there is not really much of a need for Cod Liver Oil. Unless you are taking it for the Vit.A & Vit.D-3….but that could be problematic.

Now the Cod Liver Oil people could argue that CLO is processed less than the Hi-DHA fish oil – that has to be manipulated (and possibly damaged) quite a bit, to get those ‘out of whack’ DHA numbers…that come more naturally in Cod-Liver-Oil…and they may have a point.

Krill Oil is fairly low in Omega-3’s, at about [180 mg to 240 mg] when compared to many Fish-Oils at [300 mg to 600 mg] <BUT> Krill Oil is much better absorbed because the Omega-3’s are bound to Phospholipids (making them Water-Soluble) –

– unlike Fish-Oil Omega-3’s are bound to Triglycerides so they are Fat-Soluble ONLY. This makes the FA’s from Krill anywhere from 2 to 15 times better absorbed…depending on which expert you ask.

Of course I would avoid asking Dr. Z anything regarding Omega-3.


Krill Oil has Astaxanthin, the most powerful heart & brain Anti-oxidant in the world. Unlike most other anti-oxidants, Astaxanthin can cross the BBB (Blood-Brain-Barrier) to hopefully help you old geezers remember where you parked your car in the Walmart parking lot.

If you don’t use Krill-Oil, you can get still take Astaxanthin that comes from Algae….I take Krill-Oil with Astaxanthin & then take additional Algae Astaxanthin because “I DON’T CARE…I Luv It!” — Yeah, most people don’t get all my Pop-culture references…..watch the movie “Bad Moms”, if you don’t mind the F-word about 1,000 times.

Anyway, if you see a Krill-Oil with large amounts of Astaxanthin per dose – they cheat – anything over about 80 mcg is Algae-Astaxanthin that they add……….so if it has 1,000 mcg per serving – 920 mcg came from Algae. But that’s OK, even if a little sneaky.


Questions? Contact me.

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