Cod liver oil is a popular supplement that many people take for its potential health benefits.

The oil is made from the liver of a cod fish and is particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health.

While some studies have shown that cod liver oil has numerous potential benefits, it also comes with some potential side effects that should be taken into consideration. Let’s look at what those are.

Does It Raise Cholesterol?

In general, studies have not found any significant effect of cod liver oil on cholesterol levels. However, it’s important to note that individuals who suffer from elevated triglycerides may benefit from taking cod liver oil as it can help decrease these levels without increasing cholesterol levels.

Does It Make You Gain Weight?

Cod liver oil is low in calories, so it should not make you gain weight. However, if you take too much of the supplement it may cause an unhealthy increase in fat intake which could lead to weight gain over time. Therefore, it’s important to stick to the recommended dose when taking cod liver oil.

Generally speaking, the daily recommended dose for adults is 1 to 2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) per day. For children aged 12 and under, the dose should be lower at 1 teaspoon (5ml) per day or less depending on their age and body weight.

Who Should Not Take It?

People who have allergies to seafood or fish products should avoid taking cod liver oil supplements altogether as they could potentially cause an allergic reaction.

Additionally, pregnant women are advised against taking large doses of cod liver oil due to its high concentration of Vitamin A which can be harmful during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  

Can You Take It With Vitamin D?

Yes! Since cod liver oil is naturally rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin D it can be taken with other dietary sources of these vitamins such as fortified foods or supplements containing Vitamin A or D3 (the form found in food). Taking both together will ensure you get enough of these essential nutrients without overdoing it on either one!  

What Are The Counter Indications?

Some possible side effects associated with taking too much cod liver oil include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or discomfort, and even kidney damage if taken in large doses over long periods of time.

Additionally, since cod liver oil contains large amounts of vitamin A which can interfere with certain medications such as warfarin or blood thinners – so it’s best to speak to your doctor before starting a regimen of this supplement if you are currently taking any medications regularly.


Overall, there are many potential health benefits associated with taking cod liver oil supplements – but like all dietary supplements, there are risks involved when taken in excess or by people who may be sensitive to its ingredients such as those with allergies to seafood products or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

As always when considering any new supplement regimen – talk to your doctor first before starting!

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