T Nation

Fish Oil vs. Cod Liver Oil?


Is there any difference?


I want to know that to I need to get a good joint supplement routine on the go


seems cod liver oil usually has a larger ratio of DHA:EPA, and also has a lot of vitamins A and D in it.


One tastes good and the other sounds horrible?


Cod liver oil contains alot of vitamin A. The doses some people take of fish oil would contain toxic levels of vitamin A if it were substituted for cod liver oil. Vitamin A takes a while to build up to toxic levels but it can happen and is pretty nasty when it does. If just taking a couple a day then cod liver oil should be fine.


Read the labels that will tell you.




It'll only be toxic if you attempt to get something like 2 grams of EPA/DHA from it. Otherwise, two tsp per day is fine. And RDA doses for vitamins are WAAAY too low. Especially for someone who trains hard and eats a ton of protein.


I am taking Cod Liver oil come winter time. I am curious to see if it has any effects on me supplementing vitame D during the shorter days.


Regarding Vitamin A toxicity, judging by my calculations it seems like it would be fairly hard to get vitamin A toxicity from Cod liver oil. The cod liver oil I use has 250 ug vitamin A per 5 ml, and the highest I go is taking 50 ml in one day, meaning that I consume 2500ug of vitamin A. One IU of vitamin A is either 0.3ug retinol or 0.6ug beta carotene.

I'm not sure which one of these is contained in cod liver oil, but I'll assume its retinol, to be on the safe side, meaning that the most I consume is (2500*(10/3))=8333 IU/day. According to wikipedia the limit at which vitamin A toxicity occurs is 4000 IUs/kg bodyweight per day for 6-15 months, however "liver toxicities can occur at levels as low as 15,000 IU per day". This means that from the amounts of cod liver oil I'm consuming I'm at no risk of vitamin A toxicity, and I'd have to be consuming almost twice as much cod liver oil to be at risk of liver toxicity.

Is this correct or did I make a mistake in my calculations somewhere?


I take up to 2-3 tablespoons of cod liver oil a day, each tblspn is about 2.7g of EPA/DHA. I've been doing this for well over a year with no perceived problems.


There you go. RDA ratings are for starving Ethiopians.


from all that ive read and heard

krill oil > salmon oil > cod oil


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