- What is the difference between cod liver oil and
- What company made the supplements used in this
- Why did the researchers use lemon-flavored cod
- Is there a problem with the purity of cod liver
- There are many brands of cod liver oil. Are
they all basically the same?
- Is cod liver oil safe for children?
- It is difficult to find a
vitamin/mineral preparation for children that contains selenium. Why is
- The different preparations of
cod liver oil and vitamin/minerals for children are confusing. Why can't
Dr. Linday tell me exactly what my child should take?
- Were there any children with autistic
spectrum disorders included in this research on ear infections?
- Is there any research concerning cod liver oil
for children with autistic spectrum disorders?
- Are these supplements kosher?
Both cod liver oil and fish oil contain omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA
(eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosapentaenoic acid). The difference is that cod liver oil also contains vitamins A and D;
fish oil does not contain these vitamins. Cod liver oil is made from the liver
of the cod fish; fish oil can be made from the body of several different kinds
of cold water fish.
J. R. Carlson Laboratories, Inc. (Arlington Heights, IL) donated the
nutritional supplements used in the supplementation study; Dr. Linday has no
other affiliation with Carlson laboratories. The supplements used in this
study were Carlson’s lemon-flavored cod liver oil (manufactured by Peter
Möller of Oslo, Norway), and Carlson’s Scooter Rabbit chewable vitamins and
Compliance is the process of getting people to take the supplements and/or
medicines that have been prescribed for them. Taste can be important for
compliance, especially for young children, who need to take liquids because
they cannot swallow capsules. In preliminary work, Dr. Linday found that young
children liked the lemon-flavored cod liver oil used in this study.
Over the years, our environment has become increasingly polluted. For
example, from the 1930s to the 1970s, chemicals known as polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins were widely used for industrial purposes.
Although their use is now severely restricted, these chemicals last for a long
time and they are therefore still present in our environment, including our
oceans, where they can accumulate in fish. There are now strict criteria for
the amount of these chemicals that are allowed in fish oil and cod liver oil
to be consumed by people. The lemon-flavored cod liver oil we used in this
research met these strict criteria. Read the product label and, if
necessary, contact the manufacturer.
As discussed above, there are differences in flavor and purity, which are
important considerations when choosing a cod liver oil preparation. In
preparations may also vary in the amount of vitamin A and vitamin D that they
contain. For example, Carlson's lemon-flavored cod liver oil now contains
500-1200 IU (International Units) of vitamin A per teaspoon. However,
the Carlson's lemon-flavored cod liver oil we used previously to perform this research
contained 2000-2500 IU of vitamin A per teaspoon.
Many other marketed cod liver oils contain 5000 IU of vitamin A per
teaspoon. On the other hand, some preparations of emulsified cod liver oil
contain 5000 IU of vitamin A per tablespoon.
Carlson's lemon-flavored cod liver oil currently contains 400 IU of vitamin
D. However, cod liver oil preparations by other manufacturers have very
little vitamin D. Again, read the product label and, if necessary,
contact the manufacturer.
Cod liver oil is safe when a preparation of sufficient purity is given in
the correct amount and in the correct way. See the section on
additional information on this important question. Children with a history of
fish allergy were excluded from this research.
Children have lower levels of plasma selenium than adults. Selenium is a
trace metal that is an essential part of a free radical scavenging enzyme
known as glutathione peroxidase, which is important in "cleaning up" free
radicals. Free Radicals are molecules, or parts of molecules, that are highly
reactive chemicals. Free radicals can damage lipid (fatty) membranes by a
process known as lipid peroxidation; they can also damage proteins and DNA,
and they are important in inflammation.
Dr. Linday is a physician (medical doctor; M.D.). According to current
medical practice, a physician may only prescribe for a person that he/she has
examined. If a physician has not examined a patient, the physician may not
prescribe a supplement or a medication for that patient whether by e-mail,
telephone or regular mail; this is true even if the supplement is available in
a health food store or the medication is available over-the-counter in a
drugstore. Recently, some medications have become available over the Internet,
but this is considered controversial.
Were there any children
with autistic spectrum disorders included in this research on ear infections?
There were no children with autistic spectrum disorders included in this
research on ear infections. Children with known medical problems who were
taking regular medication, and children with developmental disorders or
syndromes, were not eligible to enter these studies.
Is there any research concerning cod liver oil for
children with autistic spectrum disorders?
Dr. Mary Megson has experience treating children with autistic spectrum
disorders with cod liver oil, and information is posted on her web site; (see
the LINKS page).
Are these supplements kosher?
While we are not aware of any kosher improprieties in the nutritional
supplements used in our research and discussed on this web site, these
supplements are not certified as kosher. A cod fish has both fins and scales;
the cod liver oil is manufactured in Norway to pharmaceutical standards. The
label for Carlson's Scooter Rabbit chewable vitamins and minerals states
that the inactive ingredients are "fructose, sorbitol, plant cellulose,
magnesium stearate, vegetable stearin, citrus flavor." The label also
states that the tablets are "Preservative -free. Natural color.
Natural lemon flavor. Wheat-free. Yeast free."
Please give this information to your family's rabbi so that you may discuss
this question with him/her. Please be aware that most prescription
medicines are not certified as kosher.
The information on this web site is provided for educational purposes only;
it is a general reference for healthcare consumers and providers; it is not a
prescription for any individual person. It is important that you consult your
child’s qualified healthcare provider before implementing any of the research
discussed on this web site.
Copyright © 2002, Linda A. Linday, M.D.. All rights reserved.
Pepcid for Autism