Rancid Cod Liver Oils
By Atom Bergstrom
I’m three miles north of the cheering section when it comes to ANY cod liver oil, but fermented cod liver oil is … awful.
Dan Corrigan (“What kind of cod liver oil did Dr. Weston A. Price recommend?,” Rosita USA, Jun. 23, 2020) wrote …
“According to the archives, Dr. Price preferred and prescribed the freshest cod liver oil available at the time. He pointedly avoided brown oils.”
According to the same source …
“Dr. Price understood that rancid cod liver oil can contain vitamins. So while the vitamins may have some short-term benefit, the rancid factors can have long-term, damaging health consequences. This is why Dr. Price considered the fresh ‘pale’ oil as ‘excellent.'”
According to the same source …
“Price lauded Squibb, which was the best available during his time. In 1989, Squibb merged with Bristol-Myers, forming Bristol-Myers Squibb, a large pharmaceutical conglomerate. Eventually, Squibb Cod Liver Oil was shelved in favor of easy-to-produce and more profitable synthetic drugs.”
J. & A. Bedford (On Crystal Cod Liver Oleine, 1866) wrote …
“The qualities that render Cod Liver Oil objectionable are —
“1. Dark Colour.
“2. Fishy Odour.
“3. Rancidity and Pungency of Taste.
“The dark colour of Cod Liver Oil, when it is present, is due to one or two causes; it is either natural or artificial. In some cases the Oil is not properly refined, and the result is, that various organic substances or impurities which have no relation whatever to the goodness of the Oil, are mixed with it; in other cases the Oil is obtained by the action of heat upon the residue of Cod Livers; and in a third class, a very moderate Oil is coloured intentionally for trade purposes, by mixing with it given quantities of charred Oil, so as to obtain a desired tint; according to the colour produced the Oil is named, and in some instances a specific quality or virtue is assumed for each variously coloured specimen. Of course this colouring is all useless, it neither renders the Oil better nor worse, and as the Oil is often one variety travelling under different appearances, it is rather deceptive than otherwise to those who do not understand the nature of the process to which it has been subjected.
“We maintain that the best Oil may be quite destitute of colour, and that it ought never to be of a deeper shade than light amber or straw colour. When an Oil is of deeper colour than this, it has either been imperfectly refined or intentionally darkened for the purpose of concealing an indifferent specimen of pale Oil, or for inducing the belief, that because of its colour, there must be in it a special value.
“The fishy smell of Cod Liver Oil, peculiar to raw specimens of this article, is due to the escape from it of organic volatile compounds that have been formed during a process of decomposition of the tissues of the fish generally and of the liver, after death. These volatile products are all removeable in the process of preparing the Oil, there is not the least reason against their absolute and entire prevention, and no Oil offered as a medicine ought to contain them. We name this fact because there are persons, who knowing nothing of the manufacture or the composition of the Oil, are of opinion that the Oil is not genuine unless it conveys the peculiar fishy odour. The error cannot be too forcibly explained away.
“The rancidity of some Oils derived from the Liver of the Cod, is extremely prejudicial to their action as medicines. The rancid character of such, is due to the presence of fatty acids, which have resulted from the oxidation of the Oils after they have been prepared. These acids should never be present in any specimens of Cod Liver Oil, not even during the extreme heat of summer. They render the Oil irritating to the stomach, give rise to eructations from the stomach, destroy the appetite, produce nausea, and in some cases, we are informed, set up diarrhœa, or excite it when there is already a tendency to its occurrence. Rancidity is preventable by skilful preparation, and whenever it is present the evidence is certain that proper care has not been taken in the preparation.”