Both Fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) by Green Pasture, and Extra virgin cod liver oil (EVCLO) by Rosita have been popular amongst the Weston A Price foundation members. Their fame and widespread use is at least in part a result of the foundations endorsement. Often I get asked to compare the two cod liver oils. Both oils are healthy, but significantly different. EVCLO is, from the information provided, simply a raw cod liver oil. There is very little processing, and it is pretty fresh as far as cod liver oil goes. It will be high in naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin D. For a detailed comparison of their nutritional profiles, you can read this article.
FCLO on the other hand is oil extracted from fermented cod livers. The oil itself doesn’t ferment, but the glycogen in the liver does. The oil is protected by various micro-nutrients found in the oil and produced by the bacteria. FCLO will also be very high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin D and a wide range of various micronutrients. These micronutrients offer additional health benefits, but little is really known about the content or profile of them. So, nutritionally, they are comparable, but personally, I think that fermented cod liver oil is better for the following reasons:
- Fermented cod liver oil has much much more thorough lab tests supporting their nutritional profile, and ensuring confidence in the quality. They have also used many different 3rd party labs. EVCLO doesn’t have the same amount of research.
- Accusations by the Norwegian Authorities about high levels of toxins in Rosita’s products have not been properly addressed. Rosita claim they were tricked, by the authorities.
- Fermented cod liver oil has a wider range of micronutrients. This include phenolic compounds, quinones, carotenoids and specialised peptides. These enhance the nutritional benefits of the oil. EVCLO doesn’t have this.
- Rosita, the company behind EVCLO, have been found repeatedly to partake in unethical marketing strategies against Green Pastures. Whilst this doesn’t impact the quality of the product they make, it does show you what the owners are like. Personally, I don’t like this kind of behaviour, and so have distanced myself from the brand.
If you are interested in a pure cod liver oil, but like me don’t like the activities of EVCLO, then you may be interested in a similar oil made by Dropi, which is a company based in Iceland. You can read more about this product here.