Cod liver oil packs everything you need for a healthy winter!

Generations of Canadians vividly recall hiding from their mothers and grandmothers as the nasty daily dose of cod liver oil was put on a spoon during winter months. Thankfully, we’ve learned a few things since those days:

1. Cod liver oil doesn’t have to taste bad. Starting with the right cod liver oil is the key to a great-tasting supplement. Using premium Norwegian-sourced cod, cleaned by molecular distillation helps to remove unpleasant odours and tastes. Then, by adding a natural lemon flavour to the high quality oil, the cod liver oil experience can be a very pleasant-tasting one.

2. Our mothers were right all along – cod liver oil is the supreme winter supplement! Cod Liver Oil contains three important nutrients that can help us through the winter season: Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin D.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Cod liver oil contains EPA and DHA, the two most important omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are well-known for supporting cardiovascular health and cognitive health.  They also have many winter-specific benefits:

•    Mood balance – Canadian winters are long and have few hours of sunshine. Canadian winters are cold and keep people inside for extended periods of time. These conditions are a recipe for the “winter blues” where sufferers feel lethargic, sleep excessively and may experience depression. This phenomenon is recognized as a disorder called seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, can help support the maintenance of a more balanced mood.1

•    Joint pain – Cold winter weather can increase the intensity of joint pain in those with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and in amounts of 3000 mg per day, can reduce joint pain in conjunction with conventional therapies.2

•    Dry skin – During the winter season, many Canadians experience dry, itchy skin due to the lower environmental humidity. Skin can become rough, flaky and even cracked, causing discomfort. The omega-3 EPA helps to reduce inflammation and replenish dry skin. Omega-3s have even been studied for helping to reduce symptoms of the skin condition psoriasis.3

Vitamin A: The vitamin A in cod liver oil helps to support the immune system during winter months. It is scientifically-proven that Vitamin A helps to prevent infection. Vitamin A cleans mucosal tissues working with T and B cells and cytokines. Insufficient levels of vitamin A have been linked with lowered immunity and increased risk of infection. Cod liver oil contains sufficient levels of vitamin A to support immune health.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is the single-most important nutrient for Canadian winters. We generally get the Vitamin D we need from the sun’s rays, which give Vitamin D its nickname as the “Sunshine Vitamin.” Unfortunately, Canada is a northern country with very limited amounts of sunshine during winter months. Health experts believe as many as 80% of Canadians do not get enough Vitamin D during the winter months from October to March.4 Quoted in the Globe & Mail, Dr. Rohan Gunasingham stated, "Starting from now [October], if you are in Toronto, you can forget it. You will not make any vitamin D even if you go and stand outside without any clothes.”5

Vitamin D is well known for general health maintenance and for its support of bone health through its ability to increase calcium absorption. Vitamin D may help to combat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Some studies have shown Vitamin D supplementation to be more effective than light therapy in reducing seasonal depression symptoms.6 Low vitamin D levels have also been cited as reducing immunity and increasing daytime sleepiness, two issues often associated with a long winter.7,8

Cod liver oil is a good source of vitamin D. Look for one that can provide you with the required 1000 IU per day.

As a rich source of omega-3’s and vitamins A & D, cod liver oil is clearly the supreme winter supplement.


1.    “Fish Oil” (Monograph). Natural Health Products Directorate. Health Canada.
2.    “Fish Oil” (Monograph). Natural Health Products Directorate. Health Canada.
3.    Vanderhaeghe, Lorna R., Karlene Karst. “Healthy Fats for Life.” Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd. Page 125.
4.    “Winter robs Canadians of essential Vitamin D”,, Oct. 16, 2006
5.    Mittlestaedt, Martin “Get your sunshine vitamins,” Globe & Mail, Oct. 14, 2006.
6.    Gloth FM 3rd, Alam W, Hollis B, “Vitamin D vs broad spectrum phototherapy in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder.” The Department of Medicine, The Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2895, USA. J Nutr Health Aging 1999; 3(1):5-7.
7.    Daniells, Stephen, “Vitamin D’s immune benefits: Cold, flu and beyond”, Oct. 18, 2012.
8.    Gray, Nathan, “Significant link between daytime sleepiness and  low vitamin D” Oct. 18, 2012.