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Now, this is a product I’ve posted on before.  Last fall I did the giveaway of Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil.  But I know since then I’ve gathered several new readers.  Also, we had limited — just a couple weeks — experience with the product then, and now we have several months.  I’d really like to tell you about it again!

Last year I’d heard a whole lot about this fermented cod liver oil.  People swore it was amazing stuff.  They also said it was really nasty to take.  I held out, because it’s expensive.  What if I didn’t like it?  What if it really wasn’t that amazing?  I’d be out a whole lot of money.

Then it was fall.  We were heading into the winter and I knew it wasn’t going to be fun.  I’m sure our vitamin D levels weren’t optimal then, and they’d only get worse as we were kept inside all winter long.  Plus, we had one nasty cold in August and I did not want that repeated constantly for months.  The solution, according to many, was Green Pastures Cod Liver Oil/ Butter Oil blend.

So, I worked with Dave (on that awesome review/giveaway) and got some to try.  I could not get the kids to take it, initially.  Daniel, especially, wasn’t having it.  I took it, though, and eventually got the kids on board too.  They love their “special chocolate” now (the Chocolate Cream flavor) and beg for it daily.  They’d sit and just eat it with spoons, if I let them (but obviously I don’t).

I like my Cinnamon Tingle, too.  It really only tastes like cinnamon.  It is not nasty or fishy or weird at all.  I actually like it most of the time.  So, the “taking the medicine” part hasn’t been a problem for us at all.

How Does it Work?

As best I can tell, amazingly well.  We had that nasty cold in August.  Miserable — coughing, sneezing, sinus pressure, the works.  In September we started our FCLO.  We caught another cold, but it was basically a day of slightly runny nose and that was it!  Very minor cold symptoms and we never really felt sick.  We went off the FCLO again around the holidays because we were busy and I was newly pregnant, and BAM! another nasty cold.  We went back on it in January and haven’t had another cold.

We have had a couple of other minor viruses, but even those we bounced back from in just a day or so.  The kids either didn’t get it or were over it in a matter of hours.  Some of our friends with the same illnesses were sick for days, sometimes weeks.  They’d pass it back and forth through the house for 10 days or more.  But we’d each get it and get over it in 12 – 24 hours and then it was gone.

I haven’t found any other supplement that makes a difference the way this one does.  And in the past, I have tried other fish and even cod liver oils.  I’ve tried probiotic supplements, vitamin C, vitamin D, and so on.  I never noticed any real impact from any of those.  But this product clearly has made a difference for us.

Even over the weekend I felt like I might be getting a sore throat, just slightly.  I kept up with my FCLO and it was gone in a few hours and I’ve had no other symptoms. 

I feel like this just boosts our immune system so strongly that we are able to fight off illnesses very easily.  After we tried our first bottles, I didn’t care what it cost to keep buying it (it’s not cheap), I was going to do whatever I could to make sure we always had it around.  And I have.  I don’t consistently take or give my children any other supplements on a regular basis.  I don’t bother with any vitamins, or even food-based supplements.  This is the one supplement that I have to have, and the only one.  I even stopped the elderberry after awhile because this, alone, was so much more effective than the elderberry (not that I don’t think elderberry is good, but it just didn’t make nearly as much difference for us).

I really can’t say enough good things about it.  It ships to us fast, it works wonders, and it even tastes good!

What are the Benefits?

You’ve heard what I have to say, but some of you are still concerned.  Some of you like to hear a bit more science. :)

First, why fermented?  The answer is that it is a traditional method of extracting the oil from the cod livers.  It is used instead of heat or chemical solvents.  Green Pastures is the only brand that does this.  They also don’t filter or process the oil in any way. 

Most companies use chemical or heat extraction, then they purify it so it’s the see-through golden color you’re used to.  But this process strips the oil of almost all its nutrients and makes it basically worthless.  In my experience, it costs about 1/2 as much as the Green Pastures does, which is still expensive.  Why would you pay half the price for no benefit?

The version we’ve been taking is actually a blend of fermented cod liver oil and butter oil.  The butter oil is extracted from butter made from the milk of cows out on fresh spring pasture.  This butter would be deep gold colored, signifying an incredible source of nutrients.  The blend of both together seems to increase its impact on the body.  You can read more about this blend here.

There has also been a study done showing that this blend remineralizes teeth and protects against tooth decay, something very interesting in an age where many face this problem.

Some have shown benefit in thyroid health as well.  Immune health is obviously highly affected, with the high levels of vitamin A and D.  And no, the levels of vitamin A aren’t toxic, even for pregnant women.  Naturally occurring vitamin A is actually crucial to health and most people are deficient (synthetic vitamin A, which is not in this product, is toxic at high levels).

Is it Affordable?

The price is the kicker, though.  For the FCLO/BO gels are $49 for 8-oz. bottles.  The recommended dose on the bottle is 1/2 tsp. per day, so it does contain 96 servings.  About $50 for 3 months of the supplement isn’t too bad.  But, if you consider that pregnant and nursing women should take about twice as much, and if you consider multiple family members all needing to take it, it can get expensive.  Remember that high-quality doesn’t come cheap, though.

(I still think it is worth it and I will pay any price.  I would buy it if it cost more.  It has made that much impact on my family’s health.  I do not want to ever be without it.  I have even talked my parents and Ben’s parents into taking it too.)

But, Green Pastures does offer some deals.  A couple times a year they’ll have a sale (unfortunately not now or soon).  And they always offer discounts when you buy 6 or 12 bottles.  It’s a mix’n’match type of deal, so you don’t have to buy the same product or flavor to get the deal.  We buy capsules (for Ben), Cinnamon Tingle, and Chocolate Cream, and get the discount (2 of each).  At 6 bottles, the discount is about 11% ($49 down to $44).  At 12 bottles, the discount is 22% ($49 down to $39).

I worked it out once.  If you bought 12 bottles at once (enough for a family of 4 – 6 for 8 – 12 months), with the decreased shipping costs, it’s like getting 3 bottles free.  About $155 savings.  That does mean paying about $500 at once, though, which is not feasible for many families.  Instead, what you can do is gather some friends and family together and each go in on a couple bottles to make up a larger order.  Split the shipping and bottle costs and you all end up saving.  It’s what we’re doing right now!  (And by the way, if you are local and want a bottle or two, we still have a couple not spoken for!  Since it is mix’n’match you can choose whatever you really want.)

That is Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil! 

Do you take it?  How does it work for your family?


This is the writings of:

Kate is wife to Ben and mommy to Bekah (6.5), Daniel (5), Jacob (3), and Nathan (1.5). She is passionate about God, health, and food. She has written 7 cookbooks and a popular book entitled A Practical Guide to Children's Health. She also recently released Healing With God's Earthly Gifts: Natural and Herbal Remedies, which teaches people to use natural remedies to keep their families healthy. When she's not blogging, she's in the kitchen, sewing, or homeschooling her children.

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53 Comments

  1. Thank you!
    I've been meaning to research FCLO and you've just answered all of my questions!

    Reply

  2. Do you know if fermented cod liver oil has iodine in it?

    Reply

  3. We take it! My kids also ask for it.

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  4. Just in case anyone is wondering, I emailed the company and got a response that there's approx. 838 mcg of iodine per 100 grams of oil, which is about 3.5 oz. Not enough to be considered a good source of iodine.

    Reply

  5. you've convinced me to try again. i actually have some in my fridge that i've taken exactly twice. at room temp it was fine, but cold out of the fridge was so slippery i haven't gone back. i should take my medicine, tho, like a big girl;)

    Reply

  6. I just found your blog recently and am loving it! I tried your almond flour carrot cake muffins and my family really enjoyed them. We have been doing GAPS for a couple of months now. We have been taking another brand of cod liver oil, but your post made me want to try this one now. How do you dose it for your kids? From the reading I've done, it looks like you should cut the dose in half for children, and perhaps even half again for babies and really small children. I have a 6 year-old, a 3 year-old, and a 1 year-old. Any ideas on appropriate dosages for them? Thanks!

    Reply

  7. Hi! I love this product as well! I've only recently bought it and look forward to the great results. I found a great price online: $43.49 + free shipping: http://www.renewedhealth.com/site/474569/product/242-108069801
    On top of that, super fast shipping.

    Reply

  8. I had an aweful experience with the Green Pasture Company.

    They were very unhelpful on the phone to me, told me places where I could buy it in New York but when I went to those places, I was told that they didn't sell it and never had.

    I got back to the company to order the product online, which by this time was no longer on sale and would have expected to at least get the sale price which I would have gotten anyway if they hadn't given me the runaround for no reason, other than being unprofessional and not even knowing who sells their own products.

    Well, they were RUDE to me on the phone which I don't appreciate.
    My advice to the company is this:

    -Don't speak very loudly on the phone
    -Inform yourself about your own products and their whereabouts
    -Don't be rude to customers, you will regret it

    They'll never hear from me again, and I am going to tell anyone else about it, too.
    I can get much better and less radiated stuff in Europe anyway.

    Reply

  9. Anna,

    I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with the company. However, I feel that I must make sure everyone knows that their products are NOT, in any way, radiated. I'm not sure why you think so. They are very careful about their standards and their product is basically as pure as you can get, never heated, never radiated. I'm sorry, again, that you had a poor experience with customer service, but their product isn't inferior, as you implied.

    Reply

  10. Hi, Im just concerned that the 'research' available [or not -as in case of the above link to weston prices book ,its not working] is just the same circular information from weston price-I can find NO other research on either butter oil or fermented cod liver oil- I would also very much like to locate some historical evidence of traditional usage of fermented fish oils rather than hearsay or anecdote -would much appreciate it if you can point me to some.

    Reply

  11. Cod liver oil provides vitamin D that helps build strong bones in children and helps prevent osteoporosis in adults. The fatty acids in cod liver oil are also very important for the development of the brain and nervous system. "If you want to prevent learning disabilities in your children," said David Horrobin, distinguished medical and biochemical researcher, "feed them cod liver oil."

    http://www.chemistdirect.co.uk/codliveroil.php

    Reply

  12. I’ve taken the product for two years, and I ditto every point you made on it above. I’ve spent my lifetime researching and trying every good supplement on the market, and this is my number one. My skin was extremely dry and did not respond to any supplement I’d ever tried, or any kind of oils, but within a couple days after taking only 1/2 tsp of FCLO, it looked better than it ever has…it healed my skin and plumped it. It’s like a fountain of youth. I sent Green Pastures a thank you comment that they never responded to, so I think what happened to Anna is that the people who process orders/handle customer service need some more training, but I read Dave (the owner’s) blog and I think he’s a good fellow.

    Reply

  13. If a pregnant or nursing woman takes fermented cod liver oil, does that replace a prenatal or multivitamin? Just wondering if adding this would push you over the healthy limits of some individual vitamins.

    Reply

    • Hi Kelly, No, FCLO doesn’t replace other vitamins (although I did take only FCLO when I was pregnant last time, along with a healthy diet). It’s high in vit A, D, EPA, DHA, and other fatty acids, but it doesn’t contain vit B, C, etc. As for “healthy limits,” that’s another issue in and of itself. The RDA isn’t a limit, it’s the absolute minimum that you must take daily to stave off serious deficiency. Most health researchers believe you can take very high doses of naturally occurring (not synthetic) vitamins without fear of an overdose. Synthetic vit A is toxic in large doses, but natural vit A isn’t. So, as long as you are sourcing your vitamins from natural, 100% whole foods things, I wouldn’t worry about going “over the limit.”

      Reply

  14. I take this as well – the butter oil/cod liver oil blend in capsule form. I’ve been looking all over the internet to find out what the levels of Vitamin D are in these and can’t seem to put my finger on it anywhere. Can you help me out?

    Thanks!
    Shyla

    Reply

  15. I have also had SHOCKING customer service from this company. I ordered 3 bottles for international delivery, via their shipping method that claims to take 14 -30 days. After ordering I asked them to send me a tracking number, they said there was no tracking number with that mail service, not mentioned at all on their website. When my ordered hadn’t arrived after 6 weeks, I emailed them and was told that I need to wait at least 3 months as it can take that long. I waited 3 months, nothing arrived, and when i emailed them, they said , “For international mail. There are no lost/damages/returns available for international orders. Please check your local post office. Sorry for the inconvenience.” I have no way of knowing if they even posted the order as there was no tracking number, who on earth would order something to be sent overseas with no tracking number. Their attitude to customers is really bad, their website is full of false information regarding shipping and returns, and I would not recommend this company to anyone.

    Reply

  16. hello, I was wondering if anyone knows if there’s any places in New York City that sell Green Pasture Cod Liver Oils? if you know any places in New York City, please tell me.

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  17. I want to thank Crystal for the info on http://www.renewedhealth.com as a supplier. You get free shipping even if you only order one bottle, and a small discount off the retail price. They have very good customer service and shipping. This was the only place I could find on the internet where you can get Green Pastures products shipped free on small orders.

    Reply

  18. Hi there – Came across your website while researching FCLO and pregnancy. Seems like a great resource, I’m looking forward to reading more. I was originally taking FCLO without the butter oil, but am thinking I should start taking the combo, as I’ve read repeatedly that it is better together. I am currently 23 weeks pregnant. Just wondering if you can advise on amount to take – I think you said 1 tsp if its the gel? what about if I get capsules? Is the gel a better value then the capsules? Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Hi Becca, gel is a WAY better deal. I think that someone did the math and 1/2 tsp. is worth about 10 capsules. There are 120 capsules in a bottle for $44 (I think) and 96 1/2 tsp. servings for $49 in the gel. I took 1.5 – 2 tsp. of the gel during pregnancy, and sometimes more during the winter. In the summer of course you can get outside, too! I take the combo always, personally. :)

      Reply

  19. Hi there – i came across your website while researching FCLO and pregnancy…seems like a great resource for lots of relevant info for me, so I’m glad I found this site. Anyway, I am 23 weeks pregnant and trying to figure out dosage amount. I currently have been taking the FCLO without butter oil, but would like to get it with butter oil as Ive read several times how it is better in combination. Just wondering how much gel, and how much capsule, pregnant women are supposed to take? Have you found the gel to be a better value then the capsule? Thanks for your help!

    Reply

  20. whoops sorry for posting twice. thanks for the help!

    Reply

  21. Hi! Just bought some fclo on amazon.com.

    Reply

  22. I have also had a horrible experience with the company. And it wasn’t customer service it was Dave himself we dealt with. I didn’t buy the product for years because of it. But I suck it up now and buy it anyway because I have found it to be a truly superior product even if the company and owner are lacking in the integrity and customer service dept.

    Reply

  23. Another company selling the High Vitamin Butter oil……..
    I tried Grass Fed High Vitamin Butter oil from NutraPro International Company. Excellent service and very good quality product.
    Try at:
    http://nutraprointl.com

    Reply

  24. Hi there I have recently been trying to figure out the best way to get alot of vitamin d in my diet. I am 57 years old and have been told that vitamin d could be very beneficial to me in regards to breast cancer etc. However the recommended dosage versus the regulated dosage is quite different. due to osteoporosis I have been told it would be acceptable to take around 3,000 to 5,000 IU and that is still considered low. There are test kits i have heard of to check for vitamin d levels but the dr’s really don’t ever seem interested in any vitamin therapies. I can not remember exactly but I think the regulated dosage in the USA is not over 1,000 IU daily. after finding your web site I am so relieved to find out I can get what i need for vitamin d without worry. I will be placing my order shortly. I wish all women in the united states knew about this web site. From everything I have read it could benefit us all greatly.

    Reply

  25. I’m in use of green pasture cod oil and it’s really very good. I’ve bought by the site and received in Brazil what is very expensive. Now I’m going to New York on vacation. This product can be find there? In a store? Pharmacy? Please help me… Thanks

    Reply

    • It can only be ordered online, I think, although I think *some* people may have found it in NY in health food stores. You could order soon and have it sent to friends or a hotel for you if you want.

      Reply

  26. I know I’m a late commenter on this post – but I found you via google :) I’m wondering how much of the gel you give each of your kids daily? thanks so much!

    Reply

  27. I’m afraid i have to agree with the comments about greenpastures abysmal customer service
    I ordered over 200 $ paid and waited, after a month i checked mu order and the tracking number, it had status delivered in Chicago, I’m in Europe.
    Several attempts to reach greenpasture have resulted in nothing, the best reply i got by mail was “this department doesn’t have acces to orders, try buy…” apparently sent by iphone, i also got a number quoted by memory to customer service, a wrong number.
    No they just refuse to reply.
    Yes their products are great, but has a business they seem to do every thing they can to loose customers.

    I will search for an other place to get supplements, and i advice every one to do the same, let them sink…

    Reply

  28. Green Pastures FCLO has truly been a blessing, and has done wonders for my overall health. i originally became interested in it as a non-drug therapy for ADD. and yes, my focus and concentration has improved, but it didn’t stop there.. since starting 2 months ago, i have seen a number of hypothyroid symptoms improve (low basal body temp, fatigue, puffy face, dry skin). i have actually received compliments on my skin, which has NEVER happened in my life. i agree Kate, that it is not cheap, but you get what you pay for, and my health is worth top dollar :) it is unfortunate that some have complained of their service, but i notice many of those are international customers, and there are issues with shipping overseas in all industry, not just this company that operates with few employees and does not sell to chains. i don’t want to see them sink soto, nor do the thousands of satisfied customers!!!

    Reply

  29. Have you had a jar that was liquidy? My last order was more solid.

    Reply

  30. How much should a baby/toddler get?

    Reply

  31. I just ordered some Green Pastures FCLO/BO blend from perfectsupplements.com. With the code Loyal10, you get 10% off your purchase which means that I could get the multiple bottle discount without having to buy as many bottles. Free shipping if over $99. It comes to just under $1/day for our family of 4 and I have enough for just over 6 months!

    Reply

  32. what about shellfish allergies? i really want to take cod liver oil to help with teeth health but am afraid to try it.

    Reply

    • Are you allergic to other fish, or just shellfish? Cod is not shellfish so if you are okay with eating most other fish, this should be okay as well.

      Reply

      • I have this one but I’m scared to take it because it does say on the bottle may contain shellfish. I’m not allergic to cod but I am very allergic to shellfish. If you look at the label, there’s an area that says “peel here.” Peel that and the next page says the allergy statement. “This product is made from wild caught fish and may contain other seafood allergens such as shellfish.”

        I wish I had known this before I bought a bottle. Anyone else with shellfish allergy who did okay wit this product?

        Reply

  33. Hello from Oregon,

    I am 18 weeks pregnant and looking into dosage, saw lots of people posting questions about it but didn’t see answers….also, I don’t doubt the products are great but, I too was really taken back by their extremely weird women who answers the phone why dont they hire someone else? who can handle the job? I wonder if she is a family member or what. Our local organic food store here is trying to carry the product but has experienced so many strange encounters with their staff that they are not sure if they can.??? strange

    Reply

  34. I have 2 bottles of the cod liver/butter oil unflavored gel. Any ideas on how to take it? I can’t even open up the jar without wanting to gag!! I can’t imagine trying to swallow it or even getting my kids to take it. I hate to see them go to waste since they were so expensive!

    Reply

    • Plug your nose, and open the bottle with the other hand. Take a spoonful, or however much you plan to take, and then drink something after it (personally, I find that kefir does the trick best, but have also used apple juice and other juice flavours), all the while still plugging your nose.

      I find that if I take a big breath and then open the bottle, I can do all that without any fuss. It’s the only way I can take it, but it works so well. Pretty much painless.

      Reply

  35. Can you tell me what is better to take during pregnancy? FCLO alone or with Butter oil? What is a safe dosage?
    Thanks alot

    Reply

  36. I am pregnant and trying to figure out what is better to take in my situation: Krill oil, FCLO or FCLO with butter oil? I already take prenatal vitamins but also need something that will give me and my baby the necessary Omega 3s/DHA/vit D. I would really appreciate some help. Thanks a lot.

    Reply

  37. I just bought a bottle of the FCLO with butter oil and can’t figure out how to take it. I keep it in the fridge so it turns into a gel. I tried to scoop some out and put it in warm water thinking it would melt or at least mix in and it just turned to goo stuck to the spoon. How do you take it?

    Reply

  38. If I take FCLO with butter oil will I still need to take a dha supplement along with my prenatals?

    Reply

  39. I just ordered this for my family. Wondering 2 things: can I store it on the counter or should I refrigerate it? Also is is a 1/2 tsp dose for my 3 yr, 7 yr, and 9yr old?

    Sorry if these questions have already been asked and answered.

    Thanks!

    Reply

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