What is the Difference Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil

The main difference between cod liver oil and fish oil is that cod liver oil is a good source of vitamin A and D while some types of fish oil are not a good source of vitamin A and D.

Cod liver oil and fish oil are two different types of health supplements that come from different fish sources. However, it’s important to note that cod liver oil is a particular type of fish oil. Both these oils have a high content of omega-3 fatty acids. The human body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids, but these acids have many health benefits and prevent a number of diseases. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the two types of omega-3 fatty acids present in cod liver oil and fish oil.

Key Areas Covered 

1. What is Cod Liver Oil 
     – Definition, Features
2. What is Fish Oil
     – Definition, Features
3. What are the Similarities Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Cod Liver Oil, Fish Oil, Omega 3Difference Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil - Comparison Summary

What is Cod Liver Oil

As its name implies, cod liver oil is the oil we obtain from the livers of codfishes. Atlantic cod are the most common codfish we use to make cod liver oil. Cod liver oil supplements are available as capsules or tablets and liquids.

Cod liver oil contains high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  It is also a good source of vitamins A and D. Therefore, it has many health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving bone health, reducing the risk of heart diseases, and improving symptoms of anxiety and depression.  1 – 2 teaspoons of cod liver oil can make your diet healthier.

What is Fish Oil

Fish oil is the oil we extract from fish. This oil usually extracted from the flesh of fatty fish like tuna, herring, anchovies, mackerel, and salmon. Like cod liver oil, it’s also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t eat enough fish, taking fish oil supplements is a good way to take in omega-3 fatty acids. Around 30% of fish oil contains omega-3s, while the remaining 70% contains other fats.

Difference Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil

However, fish oil supplements may suit everyone since DHA and EPA are known to physiological effects in the body. You should seek medical help when taking these supplements with medication or pre-existing health conditions. Moreover, if you are pregnant, it’s better to use fish oil than cod liver oil since a high content of vitamin A can be harmful for unborn babies.

Similarities Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil

  • Both these oils have a high content of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the two types of omega-3 fatty acids present in cod liver oil and fish oil

Difference Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil

Definition

Cod liver oil is the oil we obtain from the livers of codfishes while fish oil is the oil we extract from different types of fish.

Source

Cod liver oil is extracted from the livers of codfishes while fish oil is extracted from the flesh of fatty fish like tuna, herring, anchovies, mackerel, and salmon.

Vitamin A and D

Since cod liver oil is extracted from the liver of the codfish, they are a good source of vitamin A and D; however, not all types of fish oil are good sources of vitamin A and D.

Conclusion

Cod liver oil is the oil we obtain from the livers of codfishes while fish oil is the oil we extract from fish like salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel. The main difference between cod liver oil and fish oil is that cod liver oil is a good source of vitamin A and D while some types of fish oil are not a good source of vitamin A and D.

Reference:

1. Raman, Ryan. “9 Science-Backed Benefits of Cod Liver Oil.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 20 June 2017, Available here.
2. Robertson, Ruairi. “13 Benefits of Taking Fish Oil.” Healthline, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “1915424” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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