Fish oils have now been touted in the press for several years, and are now even routinely recommended by medical doctors due to their well studied and scientifically documented health benefits. My investigation into fish oils has lead me to conclude that one product stands out above all others: fermented cod liver oil (FCLO).
Let’s take a look at this unique product. The first thing is that it is fermented. Why? David Wetzel, the owner of Green Pastures, the only company in the world producing FCLO, had been importing and selling cod liver oil for several years. Even though he was getting the purest cod liver oil he could find, he was seeing the levels of contaminants such as mercury, PCB’s and other toxins steadily climbing. Most other producers of fish oils use a process of distillation to remove the toxins from fish oils. The problem is that the distillation process destroys several key nutrients such as Vitamin A&D, CoQ10 and others, which then are replaced, if at all, with synthetic analogs of the original natural nutrient. The problem is that these synthetic substitutes don’t come close to the nutrient in its naturally occurring form. Vitamin D is a good example. Vitamin D3 is the “standard” for supplementation. However in nature vitamin D occurs in several different forms called “isomers”, which have the same molecular formula, but different structural forms, each with different functions. To really get the full benefit of a nutrient we need the full complement of these isomers. This is one of the key differences between naturally occurring vitamins and their synthetic counterparts.
So back to fermentation. Mr. Wetzel could no longer in good conscience sell the cod liver oil because of contaminant levels, and did not want to distill the oil and lose the natural vitamins and other substances in the unprocessed oil. He began to investigate other methods of purifying the oil, and found that in many cultures around the world, fermentation of cod liver oil was the preferred method for preserving what had long been considered a “sacred food”. Simply described, cod livers were placed in a container, covered and let stand. Over time the cellular debris (and toxins) would sink to the bottom of the container, and a pure, clear oil would rise to the top, which could be skimmed off and stored. This is what Green Pastures now does on a large scale. The oil that is produced has been extensively tested and found to be toxin free.
We know that the Omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil have several health benefits: They can act as powerful anti-inflammatory substances. They can lower LDL (bad cholesterol), and raise HDL (good cholesterol). They are very beneficial to the heart, providing protection against plaque, hardening of the arteries and vascular inflammation. They protect the brain and nervous system from degeneration. They support proper immune function.
With fermented cod liver oil, this is just the beginning. Because there is no heat involved in fermentation, the significant levels of naturally occurring Vitamin A&D remain intact. Let’s look at the functions of these important nutrients: Vitamin D isn’t really a vitamin , but rather a neuro-regulatory steroidal hormone. We know it is critical to maintaining healthy bones, but that’s just the beginning. Vitamin D has been found to be crucial for the function of at least 36 different organs and tissues, and has a regulatory effect on 2,000 of our 3,000 genes. It has been clinically shown to have a protective effect against several different types of cancer, including bowel and breast cancer. It helps regulate blood sugar, and is thought to help prevent Type II diabetes. Low levels of Vitamin D have been correlated with Parkinson’s and dementia. It supports health immune response and muscle strength. The list goes on. Check out this article for more information on Vitamin D.
Vitamin A has several important metabolic functions including: vision, antioxidant activity, gene transcription, reproduction, embryonic development, skin and cellular health, immune function, red blood cell production, and bone health.
Given just the functions of these important nutrients, wouldn’t you want the naturally occurring forms with all the different isomers over the synthetic versions?
There’s much more to FCLO. It is also a rich source of quinones. Quinones are a class of organic compounds which have many different metabolic functions in the body, including anti-tumor properties, heart protective properties, energy production, bone formation, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory functions. The best known of the quinones is CoQ-10. The K vitamins are also quinones and are discussed later.
FCLO also has several other fatty acids besides the Omega 3’s. Lauric acid increases HDL levels. Butyric acid aids energy production, inhibits colon cancer cells , and increases life span. Myristic acid has anti-tumor factors, anti-microbial factors, and tissue protective properties.
FCLO also has Vitamin K2. When combined with high vitamin butter oil as in the Blue Ice Royal product the potency of K2 is significantly enhanced. this is based on the research of Weston A Price DDS, who found that he could actually reverse dental caries (cavities) by using a combination of cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil. He theorized there was some unknown factor in the combination of these two that was then unknown. He called it “Activator-X”. Activator -X is now known to be vitamin K2, which is another quinone. It has been found that the K vitamins are the key that unlocks the door from your bloodstream to allow calcium to get into your bones. It acts synergistically with vitamin D in keeping bones healthy, and is often the missing factor in osteoporosis. It also protects and supports skin health, heart health, immune function, supports normal blood sugar levels, and protects against oxidative stress.
So now you see why I am so excited about FLCO from Green Pastures. We carry both the regular FCLO (Blue Ice), and the FCLO/high vitamin butter oil combination (Blue Ice Royal). If I were forced to take only one nutritional supplement, this would be it.
For more information see David Wetzel’s website: http://www,greenpastures.org
He has some great blogs and articles that go into more depth on this and other aMazing products he produces.