Weston A. Price, DDS, traveled the world in the 1930s, searching out indigenous peoples who maintained their traditional diets and comparing their health with those who had been exposed to modern, processed foods. Without exception, the groups who maintained their traditional diets were healthier than their modernized counterparts. One of Dr. Price’s important findings was that traditional diets contained much higher levels of vitamins A and D than the modern diets of the U.S. and Europe. To address the shortcomings of contemporary diets, he recommended nutritional supplementation with cod liver oil, as well as avoidance of processed foods.*
Dr. Price’s archives on cod liver oil unveiled
Price-Pottenger (formerly known as the Weston A. Price Memorial Foundation) maintains the entire library of Dr. Weston A. Price's work. In 2015, researchers at Price-Pottenger delved into the archives of Dr. Price and pored through hundreds of his photos, manuscripts, papers and notes to discover the cod liver oil that he used and considered to be “excellent.” This invaluable information from one of America’s greatest nutrition pioneers had been hidden for decades, but is now available for the very first time.
The researchers found that Dr. Price considered the Squibb brand to be “excellent” cod liver oil. Squibb described its oil as “cold pressed shore oil” in 1919 and “Norwegian cold pressed” in 1921. In making shore oil, the fish were caught by small boats near the shore and brought in the same day; the livers were then frozen and the oil pressed out.
After extraction, Squibb Cod Liver Oil was kept in airtight containers and away from sunlight. The description made a clear distinction between the darker “banks oil,” from livers allowed to decompose in barrels on larger boats that remained at sea for several days, and Squibb’s cod liver oil — the lighter, shore oil made from fresh livers. This light oil is what Dr. Price called “excellent oil.”
Cod liver oil can both heal and harm
Dr. Weston A. Price conducted numerous animal studies with cod liver oil. According to Price- Pottenger, the results showed that some types of the oil were very beneficial to immunity and proper physical and mental development, particularly in regard to phosphorus and calcium metabolism regulation (positively affecting bone, dental, blood and brain health).* Yet he was careful to note “some dangers that are not usually recognized or properly emphasized in the literature.”
“Freshness and storage of the oil is important,” Dr. Price continued. “Even though an oil may have vitamin content, if it is oxidized or rancid, it will not have the desired effects. The available evidence indicates that fish oils, including cod liver oil, that have been exposed to the air may develop toxic substances.…rancid fats and oils destroy vitamins A and E.”
Despite these cautions, Dr. Price believed in the value of cod liver oil. He described numerous examples of its healing properties and provided assurance that “cod-liver oil can be given in moderate doses without injury and to great advantage.”* The key was to obtain fresh cod liver oil and to store it properly to avoid the dangers of rancidity.
Read the entire Price-Pottenger research paper here: "Cod Liver Oil: A Historical Perspective."
FAQs on cod liver oil
Q: What is Price-Pottenger?
Price-Pottenger is the original non-profit organization dedicated to Dr. Weston A Price's work. Established in 1952 (four years after the death of Dr. Price), it was originally known as the Weston A Price Memorial Foundation.
Price-Pottenger’s mission today is to educate people on the remarkable benefits of a natural plant and animal-based diet and inspire a healthy lifestyle. Please visit their website at www.price-pottenger.org to find out more about this highly-respected, California-based organization.
Q: Didn’t Dr. Weston A Price recommend fermented cod liver oil?
A: No. According to the archives, Dr. Price preferred and prescribed the freshest cod liver oil available at the time. He specifically avoided brown oils.
Q: What does “high vitamin cod liver oil” mean?
A: When Dr. Price referred to “high vitamin” cod liver oil, he was simply referring to cod liver oil with vitamin levels near the upper end of the natural range of vitamin A (2,500 to 3,500 IU per teaspoon) and vitamin D (250 to 350 IU per teaspoon). In modern times, “high vitamin” refers to cod liver oil that has been fortified with synthetic vitamin A and/or vitamin D to levels higher than what you would find naturally occurring.
Q: Why did Dr. Price warn against some types of “high vitamin” cod liver oil?
A: Dr. Price understood that rancid cod liver oil can contain vitamins. So while the vitamins may have some short-term benefit, the rancid factors can have long-term damaging health consequences. This is why Dr. Price considered the fresh “pale” oil as “excellent.”
Q: Where can I buy Squibb Cod Liver Oil?
A: In 1989, Squibb merged with Bristol-Myers, forming Bristol-Myers Squibb, a large pharmaceutical conglomerate. Eventually, Squibb Cod Liver Oil was shelved in favor of easy-to-produce and more profitable synthetic drugs. In 2014, Rosita Real Foods of Norway developed a cod liver oil using old extraction methods coupled with modern technology in the areas of natural antioxidants and oxygen free bottling. The all natural pale oil stays fresher for longer periods of time than the Squibb cod liver oil Dr. Price deemed “excellent.”
Q: Why does Rosita add antioxidants but Squibb did not?
A: Squibb recognized the importance of protecting fresh cod liver oil from moisture, oxygen and light. But there was not much scientific knowledge about antioxidants in the early 1900s. Now, we know that antioxidants can prolong the freshness of the cod liver oil from a few days to months. Rosita was emphatic the antioxidant package used to produce EVCLO be made of only natural products (rosemary herb and vitamin E).
Q: Don’t all cod liver oil brands contain natural vitamins?
A: No. The vast majority of the cod liver oils on the market today are molecularly distilled, a high-heat industrial process that destroys more than half of the naturally occurring vitamin A and all of the vitamin D. In most cases, the denatured oil is fortified with synthetic vitamins A and D. Anytime a cod liver oil producer states its oil has been molecularly distilled and indicates normal levels of vitamin A and D, you can be assured synthetic vitamins have been added.
Disclaimer: 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.