Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil: 5 Key Differences

Written by August Buck
Published: February 12, 2022
Image Credit Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com
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Whether you plan on taking supplements or are simply interested in learning more about cod liver oil vs fish oil, it is important to understand the differences between them. For example, fish oil is made from different fish. It utilizes different aspects of different types of fish, while true cod liver oil is made exclusively using cod liver.

In this article, we will discuss all of the differences between these two important supplements, including their health benefits, cost, and even their potential side effects. That way, you can make an informed decision and choose a supplement that best benefits your life. Let’s get started and dive in now.

Comparing Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil

Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil

A-Z-Animals.com

Cod Liver OilFish Oil
SourcePressed codfish livers exclusivelyFlesh of many types of fish, including tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, and anchovies
Health BenefitsLowers inflammation, pain, depression, diabetes symptoms, respiratory issues; benefits your eyes and immune systemHelps your overall mental and heart health; can help with pregnancy and inflammatory issues as well
Side EffectsHeartburn, burping, nosebleedsNausea, blood clotting, rashes
VitaminsVitamins A & D, DHA, EPAOmega-3s
CostUsually more expensiveUsually less expensive

The Main Differences Between Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil

cod liver oil vs fish oil
Cod liver oil is from one specific part of a single fish, while fish oil utilizes many different parts of many different fish.

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There are many key differences between cod liver oil vs fish oil. Cod liver oil is from one specific part of a single fish, while fish oil utilizes different parts of different fish. The health benefits and vitamins differ between cod liver oil and fish oil as well, which may affect which supplement works best for you. Furthermore, the side effects of fish oil are slightly different than the side effects of cod liver oil.

Let’s discuss these differences in more depth and specifics so that you can make the most informed decision for your lifestyle.

Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil: Source of the Oil

A primary difference between cod liver oil and fish oil is the source of the oil or supplement. Cod liver oil is only made from the livers of codfish, while fish oil is made from many parts of multiple fish. Common fish used in the production of fish oil include salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovies, and herring.

Given the key difference between how these supplements are made, the production of cod liver oil is more precise and complicated when compared to the production of fish oil. It also affects the overall health benefits of these two supplements.

cod liver oil vs fish oil
Fish oil is highly recommended to take while you are pregnant.

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Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil: Health Benefits of these Supplements

A key difference between cod liver oil and fish oil lies in their health benefits. You may choose to take cod oil to reduce inflammation in the joints and boost your immune system, while you may choose fish oil for heart health and pregnancy benefits.

Between cod liver oil and fish oil, fish oil is highly recommended to take while you are pregnant. This is an important difference in the overall health benefits between these two supplements. Cod liver oil is ideal for people looking to boost their immune system, mental health, and eyes. Fish oil also helps with mental health, but it doesn’t have many immunity benefits.

Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil: Side Effects of these Supplements

Another difference between cod liver oil and fish oil lies in their side effects. Every supplement has side effects, so we’ll look into those for cod liver oil and fish oil. Cod liver oil can cause nosebleeds, heartburn, and burping. Fish oil can cause rashes, blood clot issues, and nausea. This can be another determining factor if you are trying to choose between the two supplements.

cod liver oil vs fish oil
Fish oil is primarily composed of Omega-3s, while cod liver oil includes vitamins A and D..

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Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil: Vitamins in these Supplements

Another key difference between cod liver oil vs fish oil is the vitamins available in these supplements. While both of these options include a wide variety of health benefits, fish oil is primarily composed of Omega-3s, and cod liver oil includes vitamins A and D, as well as DHA and EPA vitamins.

While this may be a subtle distinction, this leads to many different outcomes and benefits to your overall health. That’s why you should determine whether cod liver oil or fish oil is better for you before you make a purchase or begin ingesting the supplement.

Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil: Cost of these Supplements

cod liver oil vs fish oil
While both of these supplements are often comparable in price, cod liver oil is often more expensive than fish oil.

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The final difference between cod liver oil vs fish oil lies in their overall costs. While both of these supplements are often comparable in price, cod liver oil is often more expensive than fish oil. This is likely due to many reasons, one of the primary reasons being the fact that cod liver oil is more difficult to gather and produce.

Fish oil is made out of many different types of fish and many different parts of fish, while cod liver oil only comes from codfish livers. This gives fish oil far more options to choose from when compared to cod liver oil. Many consumers also run into issues when purchasing cod liver oil, as manufacturers often sell codfish oil that isn’t entirely pure. This often leads to a markup for any pure product, while most fish oil remains the same price.

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