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***Please note that there have been some recent concerns about the below product. Please read more at this post, do some reading and research, and decide for yourself what is best for your family. Thank you.

For months now, I have recommended the Carlson 1000 mg Cod Liver Oil capsules for those who are (like us) unable to take the liquid. However, I need to let you know that I plan to use up the capsules we have, and then either TRY to take the cinnamon fermented liquid Cod Liver Oil from Green Pastures (because it’s much less expensive than the capsules), OR we will bite the bullet and start getting the Fermented CLO capsules from there, even though they are more expensive.

Here is why:

  • The more research I do, I am completely convinced that the Fermented Cod Liver Oil is nutritionally SUPERIOR to the regular Cod Liver Oil. Read more about why the Fermented Cod Liver Oil is so much better and where to get it.
  • Second, and IMPORTANT – I found out today that in the near future, most cod liver oil available to us will no longer have natural vitamins A & D, but will instead have synthetic vitamin A & D. These are two VERY different things. One is essential for good health, the other is dangerous.
  • Update: more details about this in the comments at this CLO post. Also, see the update from Green Pastures.
  • Another update: Readers in the comments have said that Carlsons DOES still use natural vitamin A & D, so for those who are unable to take the Green Pasture fermented CLO (due to price, or taste, or for some it doesn’t set well with them), here is the Carlsons.

If you are really unable to take the liquid (I’ve heard the cinnamon isn’t bad, though – I’m going to try it in a little cranberry juice…yes, I know I just did a post on why you shouldn’t drink juice everyday! I didn’t know about this then!), and if you’re really unable to afford the Fermented CLO capsules, then I suppose you could try to eat more fish. However, I doubt you could get the same amounts of concentrated super-nutrients that are available in the Fermented CLO. Either way, I would recommend you do not waste your money on anything with synthetic vitaminsthese are no where near as beneficial as natural vitamins, and could be harmful to your health. Another option would be getting a good quality omega-3 supplement that does not have vitamin A & D (so you wouldn’t have to worry about taking synthetic A & D). This would be a very poor alternative, in my opinion, so I have not checked into brands, etc. The natural vitamin A & D are a big part of what makes CLO such a superfood. UPDATE: read what I thought after I tried the fermented cod liver oil liquid!

WHERE TO BUY the Fermented CLO capsules AND liquid


  1. Kelly – I take the Garden of Life brand cod liver oil (it’s the brand Nourishing Traditions recommends that is available in a store). It’s lemon-mint flavor, and doesn’t taste bad *at all*! I just take enough to get my 1000iu of vitamin D. (I’m getting a vit D blood test done soon – so I’ll be interested to see the results!). Also – don’t forget that your raw milk is also full of natural vitamin D!!!!! I have no idea who your source is, but Garden of Life is a pretty reputable brand…. I can’t imagine them going to synthetic vitamins, but I’ll keep my eye out.


  2. Hi Kelly, I’m glad you are finding the fermented clo ok. I actually like the taste, the fishiness is hardly noticable.
    What dosage are you taking?
    If you still have capsules to use up you might consider making them your “travel supplements”.

  3. I also have the Carlson capsules (got them through iHerb according to your great deal). Are you saying these may have synthetic vitamins or this will be a change in the future? I don’t want to take them if they don’t have natural vitamins.
    Thanks in advance.

  4. Kelly, I respect your promise not to spill the beans, but I don’t get this. Are they going to somehow remove the natural vit D and A from CLO and replace it w/ synthetic? It doesn’t make sense!

  5. Okay, I just did a little internet search and found that they may indeed remove the natural and replace w/ synthetic, or they may supplement the natural w/ synthetic (if I’m reading this correctly). However, several of these seemed like old articles (2005), like this one

    So has this been going on for a long time? Carlson is specifically mentioned in the above 2005 article as one who does add synthetic…

  6. As of right now, the Carlson capsules use natural. I don’t know when, but sometime soon the only natural will be found in the unheated CL oils (like the fermented), but that’s all I can say. Sorry!

    Regarding the dosing: right now I’m taking 1/2 t. (2.5 ml) of the fermented CL, but I’ll let you know when I find out for sure.

  7. I’ve previously tried flavored liquids and can’t get them down at all. Aside from the fact that they still TASTE like cod liver oil, there’s a horrible stingy feeling and they coat my throat and it won’t go away, it’s horrible for hours.

    So I ordered the fermented capsules from Dr. Ron’s, but they were utterly inedible. It’s those two-part capsules, they just don’t contain the CLO smell. Opening the bottle literally gagged me, no way I could get these down.

    I hate that I wasted so much money on them trying forms of CLO that I just can’t take.

    Since then, I’ve emailed every source of the fermented stuff I can find, and every one of them says it’s the two part capsules, no one puts them in a gelcap or enteric capsule.

    So I’m sticking with Carlson’s Super 1000. I just got a new bottle and it clearly states the vitamin A and D in it are from CLO.

  8. Oh no! After starting to read a few Real Food blogs, I went out and bought a bottle of Carlson’s Super 1000mg CLO. Do you have any updated information on whether these are now synthetic? I hadn’t read about the fermented CLO yet and now I have a whole bottle of these! Any information would be greatly appreciated for this real food newbie :)

  9. Has no one answered this question from last July? I too would be interested in knowing about Carlson’s since I have some here…

  10. I wouldn’t use anything but the FCLO now, but to know more about the Carlson’s you’d have to call the company.

    Sorry I don’t know more!


    • Ok, well, I called the company as suggested and spoke to one of their researchers to try and get accurate info..She said they do remove the A & D in the process but then put back the natural (from CLO) A & D in the “safe” ratio and that they do this for just that reason. I forgot what the ratio was, maybe 4 to 1? andyway, it’s whatever I have been reading that is a safe dose of A to avoid toxicity. HTH..

  11. First we’re told fish oil is good for you, now we’re told its not. We’re told Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil is good, now its not. Now you’ve got to order good cod liver oil. No wonder people get disillusioned with the ever changing nutrition advice.

  12. I totally agree.

    All we can do is use common sense and always take the best look we can at what information is in front of us at the moment.

  13. Craig,
    I’m with you on this. Very frustrating. Hope my info above helps relieve your mind, at least on this particular brand of CLO…

  14. Kelly,

    Can you please tell me about the research that you have done and send me all of the references. I truly enjoy reading the literature and would love to know what you’re reading. Keep on fighting the good fight.

    Dr. Tony Breitbach

  15. I just bought Carlson Cold lIver Oil Super 1000 for the first time instead of Nature Made brand. Within ten minutes, my upper chest became filled with red bumps. I had an allergic reaction. Fortunately it did not progress. However, what happened? I was not allergic to NM. Is it the Carlson additivies that causes this or there type of cod liver oil. Kind of scarey. I will appreciate any feedback but do not want my e-Mail shared. Thank you. Maria

    • I’m not sure what it would be exactly but yes, obviously there was something in there that your body didn’t like!


  16. I emailed directly with Carlsons just recently and they claim they still use only the naturally occurring A and D just as they have always done. That it is minimally processed for impurities, etc. at low temperatures. They said the claim they use synthetics is just a rumor. How would you further verify this? Also i have been told by a couple of friends who are NTP’s and at least one natural doctor that when they have the D levels tested on clients that it comes back low using FCLO but the levels went up, or back up, to optimal levels with Carlsons. It would be nice if WAPF would show some tests regarding the reputable brands and FCLO. We personally can’t take FCLO. It makes us feel ill and i have heard this from other people.

    • I’m not sure how to verify it. I do like that I actually know the guy who makes the FCLO and can talk to him. But it’s good that you’re listening to your body and that you’ve found one that doesn’t make you sick!


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