My Adventures with Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil

Over the past few months I have seen a lot of recommendations to take Fermented Cod Liver/Butter oil.  This combination is a very bioavailable source of fat soluble vitamins A, D and K2The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends that Cod liver/Butter Oil be taken daily.  Many people around the Paleosphere, such as Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe of Balanced Bites and Chris Kresser extol the benefits of taking Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil on their podcasts.

Since I am on a quest to optimize my health, I decided to give it a try.  The product that is most often recommended is Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil blend.  I Googled it and was confronted with a plethora of choices.  I was overwhelmed.  Many of them sounded ghastly.  I couldn’t imagine taking Cinnamon or Chocolate flavored Butter/Cod liver Oil.  I am not a fan of artificial flavors, and combining them with Cod Liver Oil seemed unwise.  Since the dose recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation is one teaspoon a day, I opted to purchase a gel form rather than capsules.  I figured it would be easier to get the proper dose.  The product I ended up purchasing was the non-flavored gel.

On one of the podcasts I listened to, I heard someone mention that he took his Cod Liver Oil in a bit of water.  This seemed like a reasonable thing to do.  A teaspoon of cod liver oil diluted in a glass of water should be fairly benign, right?  WRONG!  The gelatinous cod liver/butter oil did not mix into the water.  It stayed in globs.  As I drank the water, the globs clumped back together.  I had a fail the first day and was unable to swallow the stuff.

I analyzed my options for trying to make this stuff palatable enough for me to ingest (it was pretty pricey and I didn’t want to just give up).  The Mary Poppins method was out, since a spoonful of sugar is not Paleo.  I came up with the theory that the reason I couldn’t get the cod liver oil to mix into the water was the temperature.  The water was cold, so the cod liver oil stayed solid.  I decided to try mixing it in with my first cup of coffee.

The next morning I plopped a teaspoon of the cod liver/butter oil gel into my coffee and stirred it with a spoon.  It stayed pretty blobby and didn’t really mix in.  I had heard some talk about Bulletproof Coffee and decided to use that method.  I got out my immersion blender and whipped the cod liver/butter oil into my coffee.  I got a few sips down.  It was pretty foul.  I tried mixing in some coconut milk.  That didn’t help.  Finally I decided to just chug the stuff down and get it over with.  I proceeded to do so and barely managed to keep from projectile vomiting.

The following morning I could not face another attempt.  I have one of those stomachs that is slow to wake up.  I have a hard time eating delicious food in the morning.  I just could not face the cod liver/butter oil.  I decided to try after work which is a time when I can stomach more things.

That evening I decided to try the hold your nose, swallow and swig something good method.  I put ½ teaspoon of the cod liver oil in my moth while holding my nose.  I took a swig of my kombucha and swallowed it.  The tart flavor of the kombucha actually masked the nasty aftertaste of the cod liver oil.  I have since been able to get the entire teaspoon down in one swig.

Given my experience with taking a cod liver/butter oil supplement, my mind was boggled the other day while listening to a Balanced Bites podcast.  Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe were talking about Paleo FX and their experiences there.  One of them mentioned staying with a group of people and having two bottles of the Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil Blend in the refrigerator.  She said that everyone was taking spoonfuls of it, like it was no big deal.  Am I the only one who has a problem taking it?

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18 Responses to My Adventures with Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil

  1. Hi there! Funnily enough, a friend of mine actually says she looks FORWARD to her daily CLO/BO Cinnamon Tingle! I personally don’t think any of the recommended ways to take the stuff are effective – or palatable – WHATSOEVER. So whether I’m taking the oil itself (with a dropper – the non-blend is much more liquid) or the CLO/BO blend, I place the dose on the back of my tongue while holding my breath (not breathing from my nose) and swig it down with lemon water. Fresh juice might be OK too, if the lemon water isn’t enough. After swallowing, I continue to take the next few breaths through my nose. It’s not the cutest ritual, but the benefits are worth it!

    • paleopassage says:

      The method I have evolved is basically the same as yours. My current favorite kombucha flavor is lemon/cinnamon. It’s tart enough to overpower the CLO/BO by the second swig. I CANNOT imagine looking forward to Cinnamon flavored CLO/BO. /SHUDDER

  2. EvBlue says:

    I didn’t know what to expect after all that I’ve read on the interwebs. The cinnamon tingle gel tastes absolutely fine. Not fishy at all. I take a teaspoon in the morning and chase it with a mug of chai green tea. No aftertaste, no fish burps

  3. Marcus says:

    Hello, I came across your blog while googling ways to make the butter/cod liver oil easier to take…I had a similar experience the first times I attempted it and gave up for a while (I tried taking it with peanut butter which was a disaster, it didn’t mask the flavor at all and instead made the taste stick in my mouth much longer…not sure what I was thinking!). Recently I decided to start again, and a couple things have helped me – one is not attempting to chew or otherwise break down the gob of butter/liver oil (I refrigerate it) and instead place it on my tongue and wait for it to soften from the heat, then I chug it down with a glass of water, all the while trying not to catch the scent of it. Also, I take it immediately before my morning and evening teeth brushing which successfully removes any lingering taste from my mouth.
    I’ll have to give the kambucha or lemon water a try as well. One question I had – do you have any problems with the taste re-occuring during the day if you happen to burp? That is one thing I have not been able to solve.
    Also – I happen to have the chocolate flavored one…nothing artificial, they just add cocoa powder to it. Although I have not tried the unflavored one, as far as I can tell the cocoa does nothing…it just tastes gross, I can’t even taste a hint of chocolate.

    • paleopassage says:

      I have not had any issues with after burp. I shifted over to unflavored capsules. They are $10/bottle more, but the flavor is somewhat contained. However, even in capsules, the taste is apparent when you put the capsule in your mouth. I’m currently chugging the capsules with Kombucha.

  4. TDN says:

    Don’t put it in hot coffee. It’s a raw food. Everyone, I use the cinnemon tingle gel with butter oil and it’s great. Doesn’t have the fishy taste at all. The chocolat one is alright but the cinnemon one really covers the taste avec un peu de cannelle et du stevia.

  5. Angie says:

    My doctor recommended to me that I put the bottle in the freezer (hopefully this doesn’t ruin it). I take out about a teaspoon full of frozen gel CLO/BB and put in a short dish (small spice dish or ramakin), add about 2 ounces of water, plug my nose and drink. When it wasn’t frozen, it would break up, stick to the sides and be really hard to move to the back of my mouth for swallowing. The short dish provides less sticking surface making the process easier, but not tastier!

  6. Lilly says:

    I use the Cinnamon Tingle with butter as well. It’s perfectly palatable. I haven’t noticed anything much in the way of fishy aftertaste. Of course, I gulp it down on my way out the door in the morning and chase it with coffee, so maybe it doesn’t stand a chance. I keep the product in the fridge, so it’s easy to scoop out a teaspoonful while I’m waiting for my coffee to brew. The fridge temps keep it as a solid gel texture. I actually look forward to it and miss it if I get in a hurry and forget to take it. 🙂

  7. Sandy Shields says:

    I just suck it up, measure it with a measuring spoon, and take it plain like medicine. I have the cinnamon tingle, and don’t find it bad. I think that is a much better way than mixing it with things and having to down all that. So, my advice is stop trying to enjoy it as if it is an indulgence, and take it knowing you are nourishing your body. Who knows, you may come to like it.

  8. debbie says:

    a small amount of warm water in a glass, (as much as you can swallow in one go) put in FCLO, it will float, swig it back and it will slide down your throat without sticking on sides of mouth or throat. There is a slight after taste in tummy but just eat something . . . . easy big babies!!

  9. Susan says:

    The cinnamon tingle bo/fclo is fine to take. I did not detect a fishy taste at all. I was totally shocked how good it tasted after expecting the absolute worst from the comments I had read.

  10. Rachelle says:

    If you hold your breath and put the spoon full in the back of your mouth, then swallow it with water before breathing it helps. I do this with the chocolate cream. There is a tad bit of after taste but this works for me. For my small children I rub on the bottoms of their feet and place socks on them before bed and allow the body to absorb….hence medicine patches.

  11. CarrieJ says:

    How many capsules are you taking per day? I bought 2 bottles of the FCLO/Butter blend; one cinnamon gel, the other is capsules. The gel is for me, the capsules are for my 12 yo daughter who is having acne issues. I’m not sure how many capsules she should be taking per day. I read somewhere that the bottle’s 2/serving recommendation is not enough? Any advise?

    The cinnamon tingle is not bad…I was expecting it to be really gross!

  12. Stacy Harp says:

    I just tried it and it’s not so bad. I bought the cinnamon tingle and it burned my throat a little bit the first time I took it, but then I just followed it with some lukewarm coffee and it’s fine. I’m waiting to see if I will get any dental benefits from it.

  13. I’ve been taking this for about a year now. But I quit for two months last fall and could tell. My overall health has improved.

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