You may have heard a family member talk about the grandmother who professed the health benefits of cod liver oil. Well, research shows that grandma was on to something! Here are a few of the ways that cod liver oil supports immunity and helps protect you from illness:

Cod liver oil (CLO) is a natural and abundant source of vitamin D, which is instrumental in the functioning of your immune system. At the beginning of the 20th century, scientists established that cod liver oil was a source of vitamin D and therefore a remedy to cure rickets.

CLO is also a natural source of vitamin A, another immunity strengthening nutrient.

EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, which are important building blocks in all of the body’s cells, are also found in cod liver oil. Since your body does not produce omega-3 fatty acids by itself, you need to provide these nutrients through food or by taking nutritional supplements.

While a spoonful of cod liver oil may have been the way of our grandmother, today there are supplements we can take. Be sure the one you choose has an appropriate balance of vitamins D and A. The ideal ratio of A to D should be no greater than 10:1 (for every 10 units of vitamin A, there should be one unit of vitamin D). This is important because vitamin A can build up in your tissues, stress the liver and result in toxicity. Look for a supplement that naturally contains the proper ratio. Synthetic sources of cod liver oil do not contain balanced ratios. Your naturopathic physician, functional medicine specialist or nutritionist can guide you on the type and amount of CLO supplement that is best suited to your health concerns. Call 360.570.0401 to set up an appointment to discuss your supplements.

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“Science of Staying Well.” White paper acquired from

Griffing GT. “Mother was right about cod liver oil. Medscape.” J Med. (2008 Jan 11) 10(1):8. PMID: 18324318; PMCID: PMC2258476. Accessed 13 Sep 2021:

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