Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cod Liver Oil & Vitamin D

I've been wondering about the whole Vitamin D thing. Supposedly we should supplement our breastfed infants with it because, apparently mama's milk hasn't got it? Hmmm . . . and sunlight? -- Yes, sunlight is the best source but the worry for many is skin cancer; so now what? A Pediatrician will likely recommend a multi-vitamin. I tried it -- skeptically I'll admit -- and, even a high-quality brand is laced with sugar! They do this, I asked of course, to make it more palatable for our children. Well, sugar and salt being a no no aside, not only did my daughter find it horrible and way too sweet, it got her wired! That was twenty bucks down the drain. Off I went again in search of another way for those times when exposure to enough sunlight may not always be possible.

In my research I came across Cod Liver Oil -- An excellent source of Vitamin D. I wondered if there was a catch? Is it high in Mercury levels being a fish and all? What about taste? There seemed to be all these flavored kinds which lead me to question just how icky tasting it might be -- would my daughter even take it if it tasted fishy or even like spiced apple? I didn't want to go flushing money down the drain again so I'm looking into it first.

Heres the scoop as I understand it: Cod Liver Oil is a great source of Vitamin D and, because mercury is supposedly water soluble, it is present in the flesh not the oil. High quality brands of Cod Liver Oil are also purified of Mercury and other contaminants (It seemed like Carlons, lemon flavored, may be the way to go) but none of this means your kids will take it. Does anyone know how it tastes? Mothers, have anyone of you tried it? Please let me know.

Also, as I understand, seems like during summer months sunlight is sufficient for Vitamin D -- Winter months when sun exposure isn't readily available that's when you may want to think about Cod Liver Oil. The catch, yes there is one, was that Cod Liver Oil also has Vitamin A added and it is possible to get too much A in your diet when using this supplement. I won't go into it here but you can look up for yourself what too much of a good thing, Vitamin A, can do.
So, use with caution?

Anyone ever tried Cod Liver Oil? Would love to hear your experience. And Moms, a little sunlight a day is good -- we all need it.

1 comment:

Jeanette said...

Hey Naomi,

I grew up drinking cod liver oil and while the benefits were tremendous, it was gross. Of course, that was before all of these flavors. I would say try it. It's been recommended for generations and must have some merits as a natural supplement. They now come in capsules for adults but I'm not sure about the flavored liquid.
Love ya, Jeanette