If you ever come to my house for a visit, don’t be surprised if I pop on the kettle and then offer you a spoon of extra virgin cod liver oil from the fridge. I’m not even kidding. I have done this.
Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (EVCLO) is one of the few wholefood supplements we take, I've been buying it for years and it’s worth every cent. It packs an extremely powerful punch and was a part of our active gut healing approach from early on and I guess I talked about it so much that I'm incredibly honoured that Rosita Real Foods NZ approached me to partner with them to help highlight why product is my optimal choice, hence why this article was able to be written. It's also become very topical with the current measles outbreak in New Zealand given Vitamin A is thought to provide important benefits for supporting recovery.
As part of my social media presence in The Healing Tribe, I help facilitate conversations to empower mums to build and implement a strong wellness and nutrition foundation that will support their families to be able to thrive - it's a peer to peer group under the umbrella of my philosophies where we can connect and educate each other. I've found that children with digestive issues, eczema, allergies, reflux, colic, asthma, recurrent infections often need some extra support and exploring what these may be makes up a big part of my research.
When our daughter was diagnosed with allergies and eczema as an infant, we chose to reject the conventional approach of "stick some stronger steroid cream on and hope for the best" and followed our instincts to incorporate traditional real food that would be easy to digest, and provide the minerals her body needed to support balance and resolution. Foods like organic meat and broths, sauerkraut and extra virgin cod liver oil were quickly adopted and soon became our "normal". We learned a lot along the way as well, so even though our daughter is now eczema and allergy free, we still eat quite a lot of the same foods!
In the mornings, I'd grab the bottle from the fridge, pour half a teaspoon for my daughter, a teaspoon for myself, and then rustle up some breakfast (which was also full of protein and healthy fat soluble vitamins). So in my experience and reading, I think a lot of us may benefit from a product like Rosita EVCLO given in my experiences with it and this is my chance to explain why.
THE HISTORY OF COD LIVER OIL - ANCESTRAL WISDOM
While Cod Liver Oil is now considered a wholefood supplement, it is of course a traditional food that has been around a while. Once a staple in traditional European societies, thanks to scientists discovering it provided naturally occurring vitamins A and D , it was administered daily to help with colds, asthma, joint pain and even rickets. The fat soluble vitamins it contains is something Dr Weston. A Price (a dentist in the 1900's who travelled the world to study nutrition) found was ten times higher in the diet of primitive cultures who had the highest longevity rates, than compared to standard modern diets at the time! Read more of his work in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
Our modern lifestyle and diet has changed dramatically in recent times and to try and compensate for this, many companies now fortify their highly refined products with synthetic versions of minerals however it could appear with the rise of lifestyle issues that we're walking around in depleted nutritional states, which is a problem as minerals and fatty acids play an important role in whole body function, including cardiovascular, hormonal, immune, reproductive and brain health.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE BENEFITS
Extra Virgin Cod Liver oil is in my opinion, one of the best possible wholefood sources of the naturally occurring omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, Vitamin A and Vitamin D. These are critical for building immunity, strong bones/teeth and lowering inflammation, especially when paired with dietary sources of Vitamin K2 (which includes grassfed butter, animal fats, livers and raw milks/cheeses).
Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids
These are strongly anti-inflammatory compounds which support cognitive, reproductive, cardiovascular and immune system health, especially EPA and DHA which are found almost exclusively in fish, and are particularly critical for babies and young children whose brains are developing rapidly. We need to get them from our diets and clinical signs of a deficiency include dry or scaly skin, poor growth outcomes, poor wound healing and recurring infections.
Vitamin A and Vitamin D
Vitamin D and Vitamin A are crucial partners in building immune and bone health. The availability of Vitamin A (retinoic acid) in our food has a profound effect on a sophisticated process that takes place in the gut lining which becomes a key factor in building immune tolerance, meaning it's thought to influence our ability to consume a range of proteins (antigens) without reacting adversely. It plays a fundamental role in both innate and adaptive immunity, by restoring digestive lining and function as well as supporting ATP production however it cannot be synthesised by the body - we must source it from our diet to absorb via our intestines and supplementing alongside probiotics is thought to help increase immune tolerance so if you're dealing with eczema and allergies you may want to explore this further and read this article.
When we catch an infection (such as measles), we increase our need for Vitamin A however it's worth noting that Beta Carotene and Vitamin A are not the same thing. Beta Carotene has to go through a process to be converted into Vitamin A and to support this conversion you need the presence of adequate bile acids (which many people struggle with), while EVCLO contains naturally occurring retinol.
There is a lot of focus on Vitamin D which is a hormone (and not one easily replicated in a bottle in my opinion) that is truly crucial to immune health. While direct and responsible sunlight exposure is the best source, there are times some help be necessary.
We also need more Vitamin A than we do Vitamin D - the ideal ratio of is around 10:1 - so not too much as we don't want to risk toxicity.
There are quite a few cod liver oils on the market including at the supermarket, so I'd like to help explain why I consider Rosita in a class of it's own.
WHY WE LOVE ROSITA
In a original version of this article I included the image of a competitor label but I've removed it as I want to focus on why I love this product and why I avoid cheaper products yet I still want to touch on why.
A lot of fish and cod liver oils undergo a refining technique that involves distillation and it's thought this process strips at least some of nutrient benefits and creates an imbalance in the potentially concerning Vit A/Vit D ratio which is why some brands have created CLO products where Vitamin D and other minerals are added back in.
Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil is an excellent source of both naturally occurring vitamin A and vitamin D, in levels that work in balance together, and is one of the best sources of immunity supportive nutrition. It contains: Vitamin A (3900 iu/tsp), Vitamin D (395 iu/tsp), Omega 3 EPA (443 mg/tsp) and Omega 3 DHA: 605 mg/tsp. It also contains trace amounts of antioxidants. A great analogy to consider is raw vs pasteurised cow's milk. It is understood that pasteurisation removes potential pathogens but it also removes enzymes and increases nutrient loss (as well increasing the inflammatory effects) whereas raw milk still contains all the enzymes necessary for digestion and tends to cause less inflammatory response especially from farms that take their safety responsibilities seriously which they tend to do, meaning if we are going to drink milk, then raw milk is the better choice. Some companies may use words like "cold pressed" or have confusing product descriptions but in the end, Rosita is the only true raw cod liver oil (at the time of writing, and as far as I know).
ROSITA EXTRA VIRGIN COD LIVER OIL INGREDIENT PANEL
Rosita Real Foods is a small family-run artisanal company based in Norway who use the same ancient methods to catch their fish and are passionate about quality and tradition, and following sustainable hand-caught fishing practices. Their handcrafted batches use an age-old method that allows the livers to release their oil within, without the need for heat, solvents, distillation, chemicals or refining although they are gently filtered to remove contaminants. The product is thoroughly tested to ensure purity and potency and every batch undergoes third party testing. They also post their results on their website for full transparency.
I truly believe you can taste and feel the difference where there has been no shortcuts for the sake of profit or efficiencies. It's not the cheapest cod liver oil on the market but it's been my choice since day one.
I get it - this is often one of the reasons a lot of people first screw up their face when the words "cod liver oil" are mentioned! Rosita doesn't have that terrible aftertaste a lot of other brands (especially the fermented ones) have. Yes it tastes like fish liver but with a fresh taste that is clean and surprisingly mild, and my daughter loves having hers and sometimes asks for seconds (yes, really - I have the video to prove it).
I'd highly suggest taking your Rosita EVCLO with some grass-fed NZ ghee to help smooth out the taste and add naturally occurring Vitamin K2 but if the taste of cod liver is really not your bag, you can also buy it as soft gels.
Some people have even taken to applying it topically and getting the benefits that way - I'll leave that up to you to decide! It is also available in soft gels (the capsules are made from gelatine).
Introducing EVCLO to children
My biggest piece of advice is not to inadvertently negatively influence their first experiences by screwing up your face or making a big deal of it - they can tell! Simply pour a small amount onto a spoon and offer it neutrally - you may be surprised.
Offering some water as a chaser often helps and if you need to explore another option, you could add some to a small glass of fresh orange juice!
HOW TO TAKE ROSITA EVCLO
Recommended Dosages (download info sheet here)
Adults: 1 teaspoon daily or as needed, with food
Children/Sensitive Individuals: start with 1/8th teaspoon and increase slowly if needed
Infants: 2-3 drops daily as needed.
Pregnant and Nursing Mothers: Do not exceed more than 1/4 teaspoon daily. Take as needed, best with food.
May be administered by spoon or dropper. Always consult with your doctor or midwife first.
Go conservative - it's always best to start low and increase slowly with any new product!
Store in fridge or freezer - the liquid will thicken but this doesn't affect the quality at all and will extend it's lifespan. Once opened, the shelf life is one year from production if stored in the fridge, or two if stored in the freezer.
Allergen warning: contains fish. If you or your child has never consumed fish or fish oil, or if you suspect an allergy, consult your doctor first.
Some people recommend patch testing first - putting a small amount onto a small area of the skin (I typically recommend the inner wrist or lower leg) and observing over 24 hours for any kind of contact or other adverse reaction. If this occurs, do not use this product and see the above.
Please consult with your physician before using Rosita EVCLO, or taking this product if you are pregnant or lactating, diabetic, allergic to fish or iodine, using blood thinners, anticipate surgery, have a diagnosed cardiovascular condition, nutrient absorption issues, dealing with a chronic disease, bleeding or immune system disorders. Keep out of reach of children.
Keep out of reach of children.
For more information, visit: https://www.rositarealfoods.co.nz/nutritional-information
Please note that this product or article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. The content on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a medical practitioner, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare professional. Discontinue use immediately if adverse reactions occur and consult with your doctor.
This article is made possible thanks to Rosita Real Foods, however all opinions included are genuinely my own!