T Nation

Dr Says to Stop Taking Cod Liver Oil


#1

Had some blood tests done earlier this week. Mainly out of curiosity and wanting to be able to add some more trackable data to my weight loss blog. Well, the tests came back yesterday, The only real concern was my liver enzymes. 107 with a reference range of 10-63 (yikes). He told me to stop all drinking and get retested in 6 weeks. I informed him that I almost never drink and last drink I had before the blood tests was a week prior.

So I asked if it could be shitty diet related (still working on getting it under control) and told him what supplements I'm taking, one of which being Cod Liver Oil (this communication is all via e-mail, btw). He told me to stop taking the cod liver oil. I asked for a reason why, since I was using it to get my fatty acids without having to eat fish daily and that I had only began to retake it again two days prior to the tests after months of not touching it, but I don't think he understood bc his only response was to, again, say stop taking the CLO.

He also felt I was 'taking far to many supplements'. I take Greens+ with a kelp capsule in the AM, the fish oil sometime in the afternoon, zinc and magnesium before bed, and, the three days-a-week I lift, I take Metabolic Drive afterwards with vitamin C.

Anybody have any thoughts? Should I get a second opinion? Switch from CLO to fish oil? Am I taking to many supplements?


#2

Ask for an explanation.

If he brushes you off inform him that you'll find a doctor who will work with you.


#3

He's just trying to eliminate variables to try and figure out why your enzymes are messed up. That's what would make sense to me unless he thinks the cod liver oil is contaminated or impure.


#4

Yes. Your Liver has to filter everything that you put in your body. I would stop taking EVERYTHING until the next test. Take out all supplements and get retested/Evaluated. With these type of issues you have to start clean from the ground up....so eliminate everything but food.


#5

I agree with the above poster. He's trying to remove the unknows from your intake so the re-test on the liver enzymes will be as accurate as possible.

The typical advice on elevated liver enzyme tests is stop drinking for six weeks and re-test. False postives/False elevations on this test are not uncommon.

If I were you I'd go ahead and stop the supplements for six weeks and re-test.


#6

Lifting weights also produces a breakdown of tissue that must be filtered through the liver which can in turn cause elevated results. I have had the same problem in the past. Try not working out a few days before and see what results you get


#7

That makes some sense, don't know why he wouldn't have just said that. First problem I've had with this doctor. Been going to him for years and one of the best doctors I've ever seen, which is why this was bothering me so much, he's usually a lot more informative and explains thing a lot more.

I'll stop everything for six weeks. Not to big a problem for the most part. Eat some more fish, make my own 'protein shake' with some real foods. Should I really stop taking the Greens+ too though? I'm taking that bc, even though I eat fruits or veggies with every meal, a lot of days I don't feel I get enough fruits and veggies and one serving is equivalent to 5 servings. Sucks, I just ordered some Rev-Z as well..

Friends wont be happy either haha, two good friends both turn 21 in the next three weeks. Guess I wont be drinking with them.


#8

EVERYTHING!!!! lol thats the best way


#9

And how quickly would supplements go through your body and cause I spike? Like I said, some of the supplements, like the CLO, I had only been on for two days prior to getting tested. The longest I was on any of that was two weeks. That's when I started lifting heavy again and started drinking the Metabolic Drive again. Only started taking the vit C on Monday. The zince and magnesium I have been taking everyday for two weeks now.

Only been taking the greens+ since Monday since I had to wait to order it and have it shipped. Is any of this long enough to be the culprit? It seems to me like it would take longer. Which is why my thoughts go to diet since my diet has been so shitty for so long and is proving difficult to improve quickly.


#10

Food......water....thats it.


#11

Most of these supplements on todays market don't have a strong halflife. Most supplements are also water soluble....so having it sit in your system for odd periods of time aren't going to be likely. BUT, if you are taking something that is causing Hepatic Toxcity, it will just continue to damage your liver over time. Its really just a guessing game until you do the elimination nutrition plan and get re-tested.


#12

Then that leads to the question, in my head at least, should I keep my diet in check? I mean, if I eliminate all supplements to rule them out, and at the same time, finish getting my diet in check, if diet was the culprit, how would we know that? How would I be able to know whether it was eliminating CLO or greens+ or etc or whether it was shitty food?

I don't have the money to keep getting tested every six weeks in order to okay each and every individual supplement.


#13

Do you get any reoccuring upper right/right rip abdominal pain or soreness? Anything out of the ordinary besides lifting and doing ab work?

Also be very careful what supplements you consume. Many of these companies have products you don't want to be consuming. I would check out Biotest's superfood after all this is over if your worried about getting enough fruit and veggies. I'm being honest..they're one of the most legit supplement companies i've seen.


#14

Different conditions can cause toxic liver syndrome or any type of Hepatic toxcity. Alcohol is usually one of the main culprits for lil out of the normal test results. The range is there for a reason. Your above high-normal which is why there is cause for a lil concern. Nothing to freak out about. Just time to see what you are doing that is causing stress on your liver. So yes. Eat as clean and as healthy as possible. Then re-evaluate with your doctor what you should and shouldn't take and what might be causing the liver probs. (I hope your doctor is a sports-medicine friendly type) Then I would FIRST research and make sure the quality of supplements that Im using are all regulation friendly and safe. (OR just buy better supps)

Consumer reports recently did a pretty extensive study that exposed many herbal supplements as harmful and stressful to your liver. Biter Orange and Kava Kava to name a few. RESEARCH my friend!!


#15

No, last time I had any abdominal pain was months ago when I got food poisoning. All I'm currently doing is lifting. Basically doing Starting Strength. Then after lifting, just in the pool in the back yard and chill for an hour (lift first thing in the morning, first class on lifting days isn't til four...works nicely haha)

I chose Greens+ for three main reasons. One, its about $10 cheaper (also only has half the ORAC unfortunately). Two, they include sea veggies in it (along with a few others that Superfood doesn't have). And three, Superfood contains watermelon, Greens+, from what I can see, does not. I am allergic to watermelon (I know, I couldn't believe it either..but your throat closing up on you makes you a believer). I don't know if it would have a negative affect on me in small amounts in a powder form, but, I'll admit, it makes me nervous to try it.


#16

As far as what I've experienced with supplements...which isn't a whole lot...but cheaper isn't necessarily better. I'm allergic to peanuts so I understand the food allergy thing...ya don't do that mos def. But you might want to research what you're taking....I mean everything. Go down the ingredient list and google it or jstor it or whatever...you seem like your in college your a pretty smart kid. Study any supplement like it was your subject....its the only way to know if taking it is going to be safe.


#17

CLO has high concentrations of Vit A. High doses of Vit A is toxic to the liver. Perhaps this is why your GP suggests you discontinue it. Just a thought.


#18

Good to know. High levels of Vitamin A...thats very interesting.


#19

I thought of that as well. But the brand I have in the fridge only has 91% daily value per serving, and I never take more than one serving a day. And from what I've read, and could have wrong info here, no problem admitting that possibility, you have to exceed the daily value by almost astronomical amounts to really have any negative effects.


#20

Every vitamin is different, for example the toxicity dosage and RDA of vitamin C are world's apart.

Vitamin A, however, is not so generous. A quick google search (as I don't have the desire to do more) came up with the following Vitamin A toxicity page mentioning that toxicity lies at 25K IU over a prolonged period of time (fat-soluble build-up?). The RDA is set at around 3-5K IU (dependent on age/gender), so a mere 500% could be toxic over time.

With 91% from fish oil, and some foods being very abundant in vitamin A, it is wholly possible that toxicity symptoms could occur over time.

Attached is said link:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/126104-overview