My New Favorite Skin Supplement: Cod Liver Oil!

by Kate on June 3, 2012

in Acne, Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Natural Beauty, Simple Living

Alright I’ve been taking Cod Liver Oil for about two weeks now and my skin has this glow to it that it hasn’t had since…ever.  I’m really not a huge fan of supplements-I tend to think once you start taking them your body grows dependent so if you ever stop taking it, it can screw you up for a while. But after seeing cod liver oil come up on just about every blog I read, I had to try it.

First, A Word About Weston A Price:

So why is the blogosphere so obsessed with cod liver oil? It’s pretty easy to trace it all back to the Weston A. Price Foundation. If you haven’t heard of WAPF and you’re at all interested in health, then I suggest you head there now. Weston A. Price was a doctor who studied nutrition and its effect on health in the early to mid 1900’s. Specifically, he studied primitive cultures and what they were eating-and not eating-to avoid the numerous diseases and conditions that were plaguing modern cultures. In general, Price found that the cause of many modern health conditions and problems could be traced to our diet of processed foods (and this was in the early to mid 1900s so you can imagine how much worse off we are now) and recommended a diet of real foods for optimal health. The Weston A Price Foundation exists to honor Price and his research and carry on studying and espousing the benefits of natural real food diets.

Dr. Price recommended cod liver oil because it is rich in natural vitamin A, vitamin D, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, all of which Dr. Price found were in abundance in the primitive cultures he studied. Apparently our modern intake of these vitamins is minimal at best, and thus he recommended taking a Cod Liver Oil supplement. Cod Liver Oil is said to help with many conditions, but I was attracted to its supposed benefits for skin tone and acne.

What’s in Cod Liver Oil?

Vitamin A, as some of you might know, is the vitamin in Accutane. Only Accutane is made of synthetic Vitamin A, which is why it has so many side effects. Cod Liver Oil has natural vitamin A, and much less than what’s in Accutane, but the benefits may be similar because in theory your body should absorb and use natural vitamin A more eagerly and fully than the synthetic version in Accutane. Even if you don’t have a problem with acne (which Accutane is used to treat), Vitamin A is essential for skin’s health and great for treating scarring.

Vitamin D we naturally get from sunlight. Unfortunately most of us don’t get enough due to all that time spent in the office and indoors watching tv. A deficiency in Vitamin D can cause depression, low energy, and yes, even acne.

Finally you’re probably all familiar with Omega 3 fatty acid, which is lauded again and again for being one of the best anti-inflammatory supplements you can take (crucial for treating acne, redness, rosacea, and any other inflammatory skin condition).

Why Take Cod Liver Oil?

Why not go out and grab supplements of Vitamin A, D, and Omega 3’s? Because since cod liver oil is natural, the theory is your body more readily absorbs its nutrients. Plus, because it is naturally occurring, you can take it (in moderation) without having to worry about toxicity. That said, you still want to be careful not to take too much–I had headaches the first week, but they have since subsided. If you have any side effects, monitor them closely and if they last longer than a week you may want to stop or have your vitamin levels tested. The Weston A Price Foundation recommends taking about a tablespoon a day–I’m actually taking more like a half tablespoon a day (for cost reasons) and still seeing great improvement to my skin. I haven’t broken out in any new spots in the last 2 weeks (normally I’d have at least 1-2 a week) and the ones I had when I started taking the supplement have healed and subsided remarkably fast. Best of all, the little red spots that my acne tend to leave behind are healing crazy fast. Normally they’d linger for months and now several significant ones I had when I started have already disappeared.

Which CLO Should You Take?

I take Green Pasture Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil blend in capsule form. I just can’t stomach the idea of swallowing straight oil-blech-but if you can then it’s cheaper to get the non-capsule versions. The capsules aren’t at all fishy tasting…can’t speak for the straight oil. WAPF reccommends Green Pasture’s because the company ferments their cod liver oil (which means more nutrients are retained) and takes great care to follow an extraction process that best preserves the CLO’s nutrients and purity. Most bloggers out there recommend this brand as well. Unfortunately, it’s pretty expensive–you’d probably spend upwards of $25 a month to take this. If you’re not willing or able to make that leap, then you could also try Carlson’s CLO, which a few bloggers I follow have tried and found success with.

For me, it’s totally worth it. Let me know if you decide to start taking it and how it goes–and I’ll obviously keep you posted on what I hope will be continued improvement. Supposedly you really start to see the effects after 6 weeks-if it’s this good now I can’t wait to see where I’ll be in 6 weeks!

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*In the spirit of full disclosure, links to products in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you decide to purchase any of the products I recommend. Know that I only recommend products that I have used and love myself.

*I am not a doctor, a nurse, or any kind of health practitioner. I’m just a gal with a pretty keen intuitive sense, great research abilities, and curiosity that is easily peaked. Please understand that my advice is really just another opinion and it’s for you (and your doctor) to decide the best course for your health and well-being.

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