Since I started writing about the Green Pasture fermented cod liver oil scandal that blew up in late August 2015 after Dr. Kaayla Daniel published her whistleblower report, I have come across many reports of health issues from people who were taking fermented cod liver oil.
I thought it might be a good idea to publish a post with the comments and emails from Green Pasture customers, listing the various adverse health reactions. This way we can get a panoramic view and possibly see some patterns.
Please keep in mind, I am not saying that these adverse health problems were caused by Green Pasture's fermented cod liver oil. Correlation does not equal causation. That said, we need to look at all the evidence and I think there is value looking at an array of data in one place.
I want to apologize to everyone I promoted FCLO to who experienced any health problems that you feel were caused by FCLO. I am very sorry I recommended this product and I hope you can forgive me for my role in this. I feel very responsible, which is why I am doing all the coverage that I am — I want people to know about the possible adverse health impacts of Green Pasture fermented cod liver oil.
Notes on this Post
The comments below come from FCLO customer comments posted on public Facebook pages or blogs, or emails or texts that were sent to me and are used with permission. Customer names are used with permission.
Some of the comments are split up into multiple sections, because individuals had more than one health problem.
Sources of comments are at the bottom of this post.
I took pains to not repeat comments, as occasionally commenters will comment on multiple blogs or on Facebook pages. For this reason, I did not include the many comments from people listed as “Anonymous”. I also did not include comments from David Gumpert's Complete Patient blog (with the exception of one who also texted me, so I know who she is, and she also sent me her lab tests) because many people post on there anonymously and I was trying to avoid duplicates.
This is a post in progress… I am only including what I have found so far. The post will be edited to include more stories as I find and receive them. Please check back for more updates.
There are a few that I have not added yet — if you emailed me and you don't see your story, please stay tuned, I'll be adding those later tonight… I will also be adding screen grabs later… stay tuned.
My Family's Experience with FCLO
Before I get into the reports from FCLO customers, I'll start with my family's experience with fermented cod liver oil.
After taking FCLO for 4 years (fall of 2008 through the fall of 2012), I was diagnosed by my doctor with scoliosis. I was also shocked to find out our 8-year-old daughter, who had been on the stuff from age 1 to age 5, had developed 3 MASSIVE cavities.
I also had to start wearing reading glasses a year or two after I started taking the FCLO, which I always presumed was due to aging (I was in my early 40s).
Kate and I were both vitamin D deficient when we had testing done after being on FCLO for a year or two. That was the only test we did so I don't know how long we were vitamin D deficient. Probably the whole time, which would account for her cavities developing and my scoliosis. Also, failing eyesight can be caused by vitamin A deficiency, and I always had slight “chicken skin” on the back of my arms, which I couldn't figure out because I was taking vitamin A and getting it from my diet.
I just couldn't put it together. Yes, we were not always eating a perfect WAPF diet, but we were drinking whole raw milk and eating grass-fed butter daily, eating pastured eggs and grass-fed meat and cheese and cream frequently if not daily, eating bone broth with some regularity, avoiding soy, all of those things.
Although our diet wasn't perfect, why did we develop vitamin D deficiency and why was I showing signs of vitamin A deficiency when we were eating a reasonably healthy diet that was relatively rich in vitamins A & D?
We stopped taking the fermented cod liver oil in the fall of 2012 after the WAPF conference, when I first heard concerns of rancidity. We switched to Carlson's cod liver oil, which we took very infrequently. I was losing faith in WAPF and was questioning everything… so I didn't really push the CLO.
And then just yesterday, a reader sent me this article: Health Effects of Rancid Fat.
Rancid fat can destroy vitamins, which could lead to deficiency. (This would be an indirect health effect of eating rancid fat, since the thing that harms you is the deficiency, rather than the fat itself.) (Source: Pavcek PL, Shull GM. J Biol Chem 146(2):351-5, 1942.)
If you click on the source, it says:
In studies involving the feeding of diets containing cod liver oil and butter fat to rats, some of the animals developed typical symptoms of mild biotin deficiency, i.e. spectacle eye and spasticity of gait, after being maintained on the diet 12 to 16 weeks. It was soon evident that such a ration containing cod liver oil and butter fat was very prone to turn rancid and that this rancidity was responsible for rapid losses of vitamin A.
So, to sum up:
1. Dr. Kaayla's report showed that the Green Pasture FCLO is rancid.
2. Eating rancid fat causes vitamin deficiencies.
3. My daughter and I took FCLO for 4-5 years, while eating a WAPF diet.
4. We were both deficient in vitamin D, which resulted in bone loss (cavities and scoliosis).
5. I may have also been deficient in vitamin A, which may have caused problems with my eyesight (could also be vitamin B deficiency according to the paper referenced above).
Did the FCLO cause our vitamin deficiencies? We don't know. But if the FCLO is rancid, it makes sense. I had actually lost faith in nutrient-dense food… due to our health problems… but now I realize maybe it was just the FCLO that was the culprit.
It bums me out to think that I could have caused my daughter's cavities and my scoliosis by taking this supplement… but at the same time, I have hope that we can reverse these conditions with real food.
Adverse Health Reactions from FCLO Customers
Let's look at some other adverse health reactions being reported by FCLO customers… I am not saying these health problems were caused by FCLO. We are simply listing health problems experienced by people who were taking FCLO.
Click on a link below to jump to a category:
Vitamin D Deficiency
Problems with Eyesight and Other Signs of Vitamin A Deficiency
C-Reactive Protein Test (Inflammation)
Other Lab Tests
Trouble Digesting FCLO: Nausea, Heartburn, Burning in Throat, Stomach Pain, Etc.
Heart Disease & Stroke
Tooth Decay, Cavities & Bone Loss
Gallstones & Pancreatitis
Skin Rashes and Eczema
Skin Rashes and Eczema
Vitamin D Deficiency
1. I tested low in vitamin D. – Hannah Elliott (Cheeseslave Facebook)
2. I also tested low vit D when and taking higher dose of FCLO. – Elizabeth King O'Sullivan (Cheeseslave Facebook)
3. Vitamin D was 26. I had vitamin D levels of 18 (2013) and consistently low when tested until I stopped the FCLO and started taking a regular D3 vitamin after Dr. Kaayla Daniel's report came out. Then it shot up in 4 months to 55 with very little effort and a tiny 5000IU vitamin D3 capsule per day.
The most recent article in the [WAPF] journal about vitamin D basically has the tone of reassuring people that the vitamin D concerns regarding GPFCLO can be explained by several scientific arguments. This gives people a false sense of security with GPFCLO. Watching the interview with Cathy made all that come together for me since she also had inflammation. While many people may have anecdotal stories that they may or may not be sure it was the FCLO, it is hard to deny that a person takes FCLO for years and has inadequate vitamin D (along with the related health issues) continues with it because they think that they are taking the best vitamin D supplement, and in fact, they are either not helping or even decreasing their vitamin D (your link on rancid oils explains that). I wouldn't even be mentioning it except that the people who follow WAPF recommendations are still under the impression that this is the best way to get your vitamin D, when in fact, they could be doing damage to their bodies by maintaining low levels. – Patti Guinn Heinisch (Cheeseslave Facebook)
4. I don't think I have any health problems related to it but I was very surprised when my vitamin D tested very low while taking it almost every day for years. – Julie Drassinower (Cheeseslave Facebook)
5. I have been taking FCLO from Green Pastures for years I do get blood work done anually to semi annual bases for Hormones as I get my D3 checked at the same time my doctor said I needed a much higher level than what I had so I am taking 10k IU of a liquid D3 as the pill form of D3 was not absorbable enogh for me to get my blood level high enough so even though I was taking 4ml a day of FCLO my D3 level was still way to low – Gary (Wellness Mama comment)
6. I’ve been giving my children fermented cod liver oil for years. I personally can’t take it as it makes me sick. I never saw any health benefits in my children and one of them had a vitamin D test and it came back as 31, which is right on the border of being considered low. – April (Wellness Mama comment)
7. I’ve been regularly checking my son’s D levels for a few years now. His D was 24 while taking D3 drops then plunged to 13 while taking FCLO. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground with FCLO. People either find it beneficial or in our case, worthless (but quite expensive). Personally felt better taking Carlson’s brand. – Lisa Bonisa (Healthy Home Economist comment)
8. We have taken FCLO, butter oil, and skate oil for years (probably close to 6 years). Recently my husband and I had our vitamin D levels, both were in the low 20’s. Really low:( — Krissy (Healthy Home Economist comment)
9. I can say the same for myself and my husband – low D levels. But, we were also taking 5000 IU’s of vitamin D along with the FCLO. This caused me to question, was it the FCLO/vitamin D, or was it my body’s inability to absorb it?? So, I added in bile salts to help emulsify the fat (Chapman reflex points did show gallbladder inflammation) to better absorb. Tested again in 6 months and my husband’s D went from 19 to 49 and mine went from 33 to 83. BINGO! — Jennifer (Healthy Home Economist comment)
10. I was taking Green Pastures Cod Liver oil and I had my Vitamin D levels checked by my NP and they came back extremely low (10). So, I have stopped taking it. Just wanted to let everyone know. — Christine Hazard (Healthy Home Economist comment)
11. I was also remarkably low in vitamin D. — Diane (Healthy Home Economist comment)
12. I have noticed that even when I take fclo religiously, my vitamin D levels seem to stay below the recommended range, so I have had some concerns over that. However, I’m not short-sighted enough to think that it could be testing methods, etc., and I know that it is a natural product, so there will be some variability on the vitamin D levels in each bottle. — Meg (Healthy Home Economist comment)
13. I am sickened by this because we have been taking FCLO daily for over 10 years. Last year we caught every virus that was going around, including the flu. One would think we were licking the grocery cart handles and all other public surfaces. NOW I think I understand; we are probably very low in D3 – according to the reports this is what happens. We are OFF ALL GREEN PASTURES products until further studies. Why on earth would we continue to use something that MAY have toxic vegetable oil in it? Decayed Pollock Liver/Toxic Vegetable Oil? I don’t think so! — Chef Lynda (Healthy Home Economist comment)
14. Here is how FCLO affected me. I had been taking FCLO since 2009. In 2010 I had my blood work done and found out my Vitamin D was 25. I always took the recommended dosage. In April I went to a nutritionist to see if she could help. We did my blood work and my Vitamin D was 21. I couldn’t believe it. I had been taking the FCLO and getting as much sunlight over the years as possible. So she recommended that I stop all supplements and start taking high doses of liquid Vitamin D3. In the mean time I also went to see a GAPS certified practitioner to see if there was some reason why my Vitamin D was so low because all of my other numbers were fine.
In the meantime Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s report came out and I just couldn’t believe it. According to her report there was little Vitamin D3 in the FCLO. If it wasn’t for her report I probably would have never even questioned that it would be the FCLO. I am going to get blood work done in about a month and hope to see improvement in my Vitamin D level.
I have eaten organic since 1998. In 2006 when I became a WAPF member I began eating soaked grains and nuts and added raw milk. In 2011 I did a Paleo challenge and stayed on that diet for two years and am now currently on a Primal diet. I also have done Crossfit for the last 6 years. I am afraid to think what would have happened to me had I not been this healthy. I think my diet, exercise and getting in the sun helped keep me healthy despite my low Vitamin D.
Thank you so much for trying to get at the truth. – Michelle (email)
15. I took it for over a year and ended up with toxic levels of Vitamin A and a constant low reading of my Vitamin D levels. — Lynn (Healthy Home Economist comment)
16. I had posted a while ago, on one of Kelly’s other threads on FCLO, that we had been taking it and at my children’s checkups we found out that they all were very low in Vitamin D. My pediatrician who has a very holistic approach said that she has found that many of her other patients who were taking FCLO were also low in Vitamin D and she is convinced that FCLO is not a good source of Vitamin D. After this, we still took it on and off, but not that much. We started just taking Vitamin D by Thorne, suggested by our naturopathic doc. Interestingly, my youngest daughter always had trouble with cavities and I was so frustrated because she had good dental hygiene and we were taking the FCLO – however, when I started giving her Vitamin D supplements, her dental checkups improved and now she has been cavity free for at least two years. I am very happy about that. So, FCLO did nothing for our vitamin D levels and we did not see any benefit with regard to dental health either, but once we started taking the vitamin D supplements, there was obvious improvement. I also am not sure now what I think about the Weston Price Foundation now and I am tempted just to go to the Pottenger Price Foundation Website to get unbiased, accurate information. — Maria (Kelly the Kitchen Kop comment)
17. My Vitamin D levels were awful… only 31… and 30 is the threshold! — Cathy Raymond (Kelly the Kitchen Kop comment)
18. I alternate between the SLO and the FCLO/HVBO and these products have never raised my blood levels of 25 (OH) D, which I get tested periodically. GP said there are unresolved issues to vit D testing. Glad to see this controversy come to light. — Deb (Chris Kresser blog comment)
19. I was dosing myself regularly with 2 tbsp of Green Pastures FCLO before my last pregnancy. I was certain my vitamin D levels would be adequate, but asked my midwife to test them in early pregnancy. The result was 20. I started taking vitamin D supplements instead. — Kate (Chris Kresser blog comment)
20. I have been using the FCLO for several months and when my doctor did my blood work he mentioned that my levels of Vit D was very low. I told him about the cod liver oil and he instead recommended I buy a supplement instead. I am hoping my next blood work is better. Will keep you posted. — Eva (Chris Kresser blog comment)
21. I took FCLO for about a year and a half and my doctor told me my level was around 25 I believe! I was like whaaaa? — Justin Roy Olson (text message)
22. I had my 25-vitamin D level measured prior to consuming a bottle of the Blue Ice/FCLO/butter oil combination product at the recommended dose. It was 35 nmol/L (14 in US units) and after finishing the bottle, I had it measured again and it had dropped down to 30 nmol/L (12 in US units). So I went onto D3 supplements instead.
I also have a couple of servings of liver per week, plenty of eggs, 4 servings of salmon per week, feta and cheddar around 4 times a week, a natto/miso mix as a spread, a couple of ounces of linseed oil in my daily dressing plus 500 mg of krill oil per day. Hope all this does the trick. — Honora (Chris Kresser blog comment)
23. II have been eating weston a price now for a year fermented cod liver oil, grass fed beef lots of farm fresh eggs. II just went and got my blood tested for vitmin d I am very low I don’t understand I pay a lot of money to eat right the rawxgold butter 6o.00 a jar and My vitmin d level is low I am really confussed. I never gained weight on this diet, but my health has gone from pretty good to crap. What am I doing wrong — Julianne oOtiz (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
24. I had been taking the fermented cod liver oil with butter oil for about a year. I got my vitamin D tested and it too was really low and I ended up feeling awful too with sooooo many strange symptoms – don’t know if they are all related to low D though because apparently symptoms can take a while to resolve even once you get your D levels up. In any case, I ended up supplementing with 5000IU D3 on top of the FCLO and the butter oil and now the D level is good. I read on the Green Pasture’s site that the majority of the D in the FCLO is D2. I’m wondering if my body doesn’t use D2 very well compared to D3. The other thought is that maybe there really isn’t that much vitamin D in the FCLO, but if that were the case, I think I would have seen something on the net about this since so many people use it. Can anyone shed any light on this? – Tasha (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
25. Oh boy, I’ve been taking FCLO for several years now and my D levels are very low. One commenter said most of the D in FCLO is D2, so I wonder about liver from cows or chickens. If it’s mostly D2 and not D3 maybe good ol fashioned sun is the best solution. We’d better get to the bottom of this! Should we eat more liver or get more sun or both?! — Liz J (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
26. I also take FCLO from Green Pasture every day. I got tested back in early April and was surprised that my vitamin D levels were low (20 ng/ml). I have since began taking Carlson’s Super Daily D3 and plan to get re-tested in July. – Maggie (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
27. I took FCLO faithfully every day over the last year, plus occasionally supplementing with D3 from Biotics Research — and my D level was only 36 in March. I say “only”, because I believe that our D levels should be at least 50, and 95-100 is better. I have since increased my supplementation, along with getting some sun as the weather has allowed here in MIchigan.
My husband took Dr. Mercola’s advice and came home on his lunch hour to lay in the sun for about 20 minutes almost every day last summer. His D level, with no supplementation, was 95 in the fall!
I do not believe that FCLO is a good source of Vitamin D. – Maryjane (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
28. Yes…we have been disappointed to find out that all the FCLO (Green Pasture’s) is not being absorbed by my 13 year old. His Vitamin D level was low!! He’s taken it for a long time. My sister, who is a nutritionist (the right kind…she’s spoken at WAPF November conference in the past), says some people’s bodies just don’t convert the vitamin D (her explanation was much better than mine!). She now has him on Biotics Bio-D-Mulsion Forte. Hoping for a better test result next time! – Michele (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
29. I take FCLO too and my Vit D is low. I talked with a nutritionist that said many of WAP people have low Vit D. I don’t know why – I wish someone would research that but I know I have to take a supplement. I will try laying in the sun a little more this summer. – Elaine (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
30. I’ve been taking FCLO for the past two years and both years my level was low. Last year, I decided to just up how much FCLO I was taking and after a year of that I’m still low. My Naturopath said something about how the vitamin D in FCLO is not easily available and that some people just don’t convert it to a usable form as easily as others. I’m working with her to decide what the appropriate supplementation is. Seeing the recommendations for Thorne is helpful-I’m going to check that out. Also, I’m sure the fact that I live in Chicago is a factor, I don’t get much direct sunlight b/c it’s cold most of the year! (mental note to future me: move some where warmer) – Brianne (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
31. I took 3 or 4 x the recommended dose of FCLO for about a year before being tested and my level was around 35. So I agree that FCLO may not be enough for some people. I supplement with 2000iu per day of D3 in capsule form although the drops are easier to take. The fatter you are, BTW, the more D3 you need to take to make a dent. DH is very skinny and he can’t take as much as I can. He was for a while then his level was tested at 125! – Laurel (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
32. Same problems here. We supplemented D3 drops and FCLO with our son who had a vit D level of 5. His levels came right up so we went off the drops and stuck with just FCLO for maintenance (and all the other health benefits). Next test his vit D levels had gone down again to around 30. Now we supplement every day with 1000-2000iu of D3 drops in addition to the FCLO. (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
In defense of the levels of vitamins in FCLO, our son was looking out the side of his eyes all the time. Our ND suggested he could probably do with more vit A so suggested we double his FCLO. He stopped looking out the sides of his eyes after a few weeks. – Renee K (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
33. My son also tested D deficient, so we are now supplementing with an additional 2000IU of D3. We also had 3 days in a row of sun! So we’ve been spending some time outdoors to take advantage of that… My husband just got his D levels tested. He’s been on 2000IU/day of D3 since about March and he’s never touched FCLO. His D level was fine. — Tasha (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
34. I too have just had a vitamin d test done that shows that taking FCLO is not enough to raise or maintain vitamin d levels. Mine dropped by 50% in 6 months. vitamin d is inversely related to melatonin – I had a salivary melatonin test in Jan which showed abnormally high melatonin. I should have realised then that I had a problem. I’m now taking a loading dose of vitamin d3 to try to raise my levels back to normal quickly. I love what FCLO does for my teeth but it’s not a substitute for d3 supplementation! – Paula (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
35. I was on a high dosage Vitamin D shot of about 100,000 IU once every 3 months. When I discovered FCLO on Chriskesser’s blog, I ditched the supplement and started with FCLO since it was a ‘real food’ supplement. But 6 months later my D3 levels had dropped from 70nmol to 36nmol ! It has nothing to do with the FCLO probably because I know D3 absorption is dependent on a number of health markers. It was just not working out for me. So I went back to my GP prescribed D3 shots now and doing better. I had the EBV virus last year, so I really have to make sure my D3 and immunity are really good all the time. I think the FCLO has other potent benefits that I can really help my immunity status and frequent fatigue attacks. Also I am planning to have a baby very soon. Can i continue to take the FCLO in addition to my D3 shots or would I be overdoing it? – Suram (Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog comment)
36. This may (in part) explain why some of my patients are still vitamin D deficient in spite of taking up to 1 tsp. of fermented cod liver oil a day. FCLO has primarily D2.– Chris Kresser (Google+ post)
37. My vitamin D levels never climbed above 30 with the fermented cod liver oil. The June 2015 test was 19.4 after a winter of supplementing with about 1 tsp of fclo every day. – Annette (text message)
38. Two different people reported that WAPF Board Member, Dr. Thomas Cowan tells his patients to take supplemental vitamin D3 in addition to taking FCLO.
One was from Julie D. (on the Complete Patient blog and via Cheeselsave Faceboook)
The other was an email that was forwarded to me from a different individual who wanted to remain anonymous. I will be posting screen grabs of those soon…
39. When I has at the height of taking FCLO several years ago… Testing during that time showed by vitamin D level to be 18! I firmly believe at this point that FCLO tanked my vitamin D levels. – Dianella Howarth (Cheeseslave Facebook)
40. Super low vitamin d – Lisa Nikulicz Abels (Cheeseslave Facebook)
41. I tested low Vit D at 24 a year ago. – JaJosc (Cheeseslave comments)
42. Three years after taking GP FCLO daily, 1 tsp or more per day, my vitamin D was only 24.5. It made no sense because I was drinking raw milk, eating pastured eggs, lots of pastured butter, etc. every day. – Amy (Cheeseslave comments)
43. Kate and I were both vitamin D deficient when we had testing done after being on FCLO for a year or two. That was the only test we did so I don't know how long we were vitamin D deficient. Probably the whole time, which would account for her cavities developing and my scoliosis. – Ann Marie Michaels (Cheeseslave)
44. I just had my levels checked by my midwife and vitamin d was insufficient, I thought that my FCLO and HVBO would have covered it but now I'm supplementing with D3 not bothering with the CLO anymore. – Autumn Eve (Healthy Home Economist Facebook)
45. WAPF did their own testing in November 2015, and the results are on their website showing that Dr. Daniel’s report was correct. However, they haven’t updated their website information and are still promoting FCLO.
I myself took FCLO but had to stop due to it making me sick. I continued to give it to my children for years. I had one of my children’s Vitamin D levels checked early last year before the report came out, and they were low, even though she’d been taking the product for so long. Once the report come out I stopped giving it to them and I can’t trust the product again. We’ve stopped taking CLO completely.
This recent article details the timeline and has links to all of the reports. – April (Healthy Home Economist blog)
46. I had been taking FCLO since 2009. In 2010 I had my blood work done and found out my Vitamin D was 25. I always took the recommended dosage. Since about 2011 I had stomach problems. Gas and bloating and it was painful. I thought it must be dairy, so I went off dairy and it was still there. I basically just lived with it. Well earlier this year it just kept getting worse to the point where I was in so much pain and on more than one occasion I ended up vomiting. In April I went to a nutritionist to see if she could help. We did my blood work and my Vitamin D was 21. I couldn’t believe it. I had been taking the FCLO and getting as much sunlight over the years as possible. So she recommended that I stop all supplements and start taking high doses of liquid Vitamin D3. In the mean time I also went to see a GAPS certified practitioner to see if there was some reason why my Vitamin D was so low because all of my other numbers were fine. In the meantime Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s report came out and I just couldn’t believe it. According to her report there was little Vitamin D3 in the FCLO. If it wasn’t for her report I probably would have never even questioned that it would be the FCLO. I have been off the FCLO for three months now and all of my stomach issues are gone. I also had problems with my teeth, they seemed to be translucent and not absorbing calcium. About two weeks after taking the Vitamin D3 they looked normal and weren’t translucent any more. I am going to get blood work done in about a month and hope to see improvement in my Vitamin D level.
I have been an Azure customer since 2012 and really like the company and it’s integrity. I believe you should err on the side of caution and at least post a warning on the page that has Green Pasture products. I am sure there are many out there who haven’t heard what has been going on. – Michelle (Azure Standard comment)
47. I have to say my Vit D levels were great (87) and Vit B levels also before starting any of the supplements recommended by the ND. Now Vit D levels are 50 and Vit B levels were 1490! – Yvonne (Cheeseslave blog)
Problems with Eyesight and Other Signs of Vitamin A Deficiency
1. I also had to start wearing reading glasses a year or two after I started taking the FCLO, which I always presumed was due to aging (I was in my early 40s). Also, failing eyesight can be caused by vitamin A deficiency, and I always had slight “chicken skin” on the back of my arms, which I couldn't figure out because I was taking vitamin A and getting it from my diet. – Ann Marie Michaels (Cheeseslave)
1. Fermented cod liver oil led me to hemorrhage after giving birth. All was good – they got it under control quickly. But, I would listen to your midwife. I’m now a fan of non-fermented cod liver oil. – Julie (Nourished Kitchen blog comment)
Note: Hair loss can be caused by vitamin D deficiency and also by inflammation
1. I lost almost all my hair, have been taking as much as 2 tsp a day intermittently since they first started making it. In 2007. My alopecia Dr at Vanderbilt says it is autoimmune/ inflammation causing the hair loss. I thought all this was partly because I wasn't consistent enough taking the oil. I thought it was the most important supplement I could take, all the while trying to figure out what toxin I was continuing to expose myself to. That is how brainwashed I was. I stepped down as chapter leader this week. They continue encourage others to drink the “kool aid”and We have to keep pushing back to keep the information coming out! You are doing a great job to keep it out there! Oh and hair is starting to come back. It has been about 8 weeks since Kaaylas report and hair cycle takes 6 weeks, but due to the follicle damage for years, I expect it to be very slow. So far so good! – Patti Guinn Heinisch (Cheeseslave Facebook)
C-Reactive Protein Test (Inflammation)
1. C reactive protein 27.5. This is an inflammation marker that should be less than 3 and a high number indicates you have a much higher risk of death. Drs thought I had lupus but I tested negative. Trying to figure out why C reactive protein so high. – Patti Guinn Heinisch (Cheeseslave Facebook)
2. My c-reactive levels are finally dropping after being over 4 for at least 6 years. I've been taking fclo in varying amounts as long as Green Pastures was selling it. I never linked my inflammation to the cod liver oil until all this started. I stopped immediately in August and tested the end of Sept. The crp dropped below 4. Then I tested in Oct and it was in the normal range below 3. This is the first normal crp reading I've had in years. It's making me sick to think about what the chronic inflammation has done.
Here's 4 tests in their dropping order of crp:
6/29/15 (taking FCLO) – 4.13
Late August 2015 – Stopped taking FCLO after Kaayla Daniel report came out
9/18/15 – 3.23
10/23/15 – 2.42
The highest was 6.12 in 2011… I was taking at least 1 tsp clo and 1 tsp skate then and often a bit more in the evening of skate trying to deal with osteoarthritis.
– Annette (text message)
3. My hsCRP, the one for cardiac, went very high (17). I stopped when Kaayla’s report came out. I haven’t had any more TIAs, my knee is fine, my CRP is normal now. – Loretta, see more on this story in Heart Disease & Strokes (Cheeseslave comments)
4. I had been dealing with an autoimmune disease flare do had doubled down on fclo. I was borderline diabetic, sites in my mouth and down my throat, and inflammation markers through the roof. I'm not totally blaming the fclo, because I'm not cured since being off of it, but I don't think it helped! – Merideth Esh (Cheeseslave Facebook)
5. My crp came down from 63 to 45 in the 6 months since I have been off it. – Merideth Esh (Cheeseslave Facebook)
Other Lab Tests
1. While I was on Green Pasture’s FCLO/butter oil blend, my lipid peroxide level was elevated out of range. Despite a scrupulous diet and lifestyle, I had a couple other cardiac warning markers that simply didn’t make any sense at all. Foods can indeed be responsible for causing such issues. I have switched to Rosita FCLO (Norway) and Organic3’s Extra Virgin Butter Oil (USA) and will be re-testing in a few months. I would advise all consumers to monitor their blood for lipid peroxides, inflammatory markers, and vitamin D level. I worry about all the children taking cod liver oil if indeed there is a rancidity problem. You may not see any effect in their health now, but it is not wise for them to have their blood vessels exposed to any rancid oils potentially found in cod liver oil. — Elizabeth (Healthy Home Economist comment)
2. My omega 3 index was low recently, despite a well-balanced diet and nearly a decade of FCLO. Which could mean the omega 3’s were low, OR that they were overpowered by trans fats (not in my diet, except butter) or omega 6’s (certainly present to some degree in FCLO) or lost in a battle with rancidity. — Deborah Gordon (Healthy Home Economist comment)
3. This could explain my recent blood results that showed transfat. There should have been NO reason for me having transfat in my blood. — Diane (Healthy Home Economist comment)
4. I was taking FCLO a couple of years ago. A cholesterol test came back with very high levels of oxidised LDL. My husband who was taking OmegaRx has very low levels, as our diets are very similar and our cholesterol profile was also similar it made me question the FCLO and I decided to stop taking it. I dont know if it caused it however, I dont want to take the chance. — Julianne Taylor (Chris Kresser blog comment)
5. Before taking FCLO my blood pressure always ran on the low side. Since taking it, for the past 4-5 years, my bp has been in the 140+/90+ range with every appointment. After a month of D3 (and no FCLO obviously) I was back to my normal 110/70. I firmly believe at this point that FCLO tanked my vitamin D levels. – Dianella Howarth (Cheeseslave Facebook)
6. My a1c is down from 6.7 to 5.6 — I always had great sugars until Dec of 2014. I started fclo in April of 2014. Merideth Esh (Cheeseslave Facebook)
7. Tested high cholesterol. Did GAPS for way more than 2 years. I have been on WAPF diet for 8 years. Religious about it. Took GPP infused for about 8 years but not high dosesl. My blood work showed I had inflammation in my body. I was shocked. I stopped taking FCLO when Kaayla’s report came out, I believe it was August 22. My acupuncturist from Korea thinks it will take three months to get rancid oil (if it is rancid oil) out of my body at the cellular level. I will follow up with bloodwork again at end of Nov or early Dec. and be able to see any changes in the bloodwork. I am currently taking 5,000 IU vit D supplement and a different CLO and butter oil. Still eating good fats, lard I render myself from a trusted local producer, bone broths I make myself from trusted local producer, organic fruits and vegetables. So I am hopeful that my bloodwork will improve. – JaJosc (Cheeseslave comments)
Note: Ovarian cysts can be caused by vitamin D deficiency
1. Ended up with a hysterectomy 4 months ago due to ovarian cysts and nodules. – Patti Guinn Heinisch (Cheeseslave Facebook)
Food Allergies, Skin Rashes, Eczema & Other Signs of Inflammation & Poor Immunity
1. My third pregnancy was by far my healthiest. WAPF diet, minus most grains. No prenatal vitamin (per nourishing traditions) but did my own concoction of mag, folate, frozen liver pills and (2t/day) FCLO. I felt awesome the entire time. Also had my first drug free birth! This baby (now 1yr) is by far the my sickest. Food allergies/sensitives: dairy, egg, corn, wheat, pepper, tomato, potato, and I'm also suspicious of coconut milk, chocolate and nuts. His reaction to even the slightest of any of these foods is HORRIBLE itchy rash that lasts about 5-10 days. He's up every few hrs at night – itchy and uncomfortable. EVERY night! I've postulated about various potential causes but am curious if FCLO could have been a player in all this. Would love to know if anyone else has experienced anything like this… – Sarah Brenia Tosick (Cheeseslave Facebook)
2. I tried putting it on my skin, on my leg and I got terrible rash that lasted a few days. I thought it was just me, that I am very sensitive. Unfortunately, I gave my son capsules for a couple of months and now when I think of it, he was the sickest that year- fevers, colds…. Last year I didn't give him any as it was too expensive and he didn't miss school much. – Sanja Biondic (Cheeseslave Facebook)
3. Severe fatigue and worsening food allergies all occurred while I was taking fclo. I was taking 2-3 tsp per day at times, and than sporadically in the last year. – SteveandPaula Runyan (Cheeseslave Facebook)
4. I suffer from Lupus and MCS ( multiple chemical sensitivities). For me, the worst is rancid oils and my symptoms are quite consistent-swollen lips, blurry vision and acute respiratory distress. Following WAPF guidelines, I was taking TWO FCLO capsules a day in hopes of controlling inflammation. As I struggled with increasing symptoms, I systematically removed all oils from my diet except coconut oil and butter. No change. When I came across Dr. Daniels' report, I immediately stopped taking the FCLO. Within 2 days my symptoms disappeared and haven't returned. Anecdotal, yes, but strong enough to convince me. A challenge test would be revealing, but my last encounter with Green Pastures FCLO, nearly put me in ER. – Lenna Knowlton (Cheeseslave Facebook)
5. I am finding this very interesting. While pregnant with my son I took fermented cod liver oil (it was a stretch for our budget). After birth he devoted a bright red rash. I tried everythig to get rid of it. Nothing worked. Finally I ran out of fclo and he slowly got better. I never thought it could be the fclo. Sarah Oesch Vega (Cheeseslave Facebook)
6. For what it’s worth, taking FCLO is what tipped the hat with my histamine responses. I would take my dose at night and within minutes, I would start sneezing and itching so bad that I had to take a Benadryl to calm my body down and sleep. (This is not faulting the FCLO, as my body was obviously in a state of distress.) However, because of that response, my ND advised me to take Nordic Naturals cod liver oil…not fermented. I also take a liquid Vitamin D supplement and eat real butter. Since making the switch, I have felt much better! I’m not sure where GP product’s will end up on the nutritional scale for vitamins, but there are other ways to get those omega 3’s! – Casey (Wellness Mama comment)
7. I noticed that when I give my son FCLO he gets a lot of congestion so I took some last night and woke up with allergy like symptoms or a cold and I am not allergic to any food and are on a full gaps so I think it’s not good for our bodies. I will stop that immediately. – Lily (Wellness Mama comment)
8. Interested to see how this turns out. We took the very expensive FCLO for 2 full years while on GAPS and then all of a sudden all 3 of us taking it couldn’t tolerate it anymore, meaning symptoms of food cross contamination that had disappeared started returning. If it was just one of us in the family, I could see blaming it on a food intolerance cropping up. But the fact that all 3 of us were having an adverse reaction told me all I needed to know. I’ve become a cynic, though, for ANY supplements because I have found they all seem to have loopholes for safety or cross contamination issues. – KTB (Healthy Home Economist comment)
9. I DO wish I had seen some of the health transformations that I hear from others, but the FCLO we take diligently each morning (along with the butter oil) is one of those things we do because it must be good for us– not because we can tell any difference. In fact, in the same time period that we started these I have battled leaky gut, and hormone imbalance. I too will wait for more info before deciding though. — Heather (Healthy Home Economist comment)
10. Thank you so much for posting the story about girl with exacerbated eczema. That’s exactly what happened to me. My dermatologist discovered it, and it was mostly gone in 8 weeks. I suffered with it for over 7 months… continuing to eat my daily dose of FCLO… thinking it would help me. i just kept getting worse. The itch was unbearable. Once I was off of it, my extra 35 pounds just slid off me!!!! All that inflammation was making me fat and ugly! All that money, all that faith…destroyed…at least it didn’t destroy my health permanently! https://www.facebook.com/cathy.raymond/posts/10153530635770837?pnref=story — Cathy Raymond (Kelly the Kitchen Kop comment)
11. I had to stop taking Green Pastures FCLO because I realized that it was affecting my ability to think clearly. I believe brain fog is the term. After I stopped taking it (the unflavored capsules) this cleared up. I now use EVCLO from Rosita Real Foods and I much prefer it to the FCLO. I haven’t had my vitamin D level checked since I made the switch so I can’t comment on that yet. But the Rosita product is much easier to take with no side efffects. — Suzane (Chris Kresser blog comment)
12. My family had been taking FCLO/butter oil blend since it came out. Before we took it, I would give my son regular cod liver oil. He almost never got sick. When we switched to the FCLO, both of my children started to get sick several times a year. Last fall, I ordered two bottles of Rosita CLO. When we finished these bottles, I bought regular Carson’s CLO and also give them a spoonful of Kerry Gold grassfed butter. My son has not been sick one time this year, and my daughter has been sick once. It may just be a coincidence, but I do think it has something to do with the CLO, and this was even before these reports came out. — Monique Verdin Klosterman (Chris Kresser blog comment)
13. I believe the FCLO helps to give me migraines. I cannot be sure though. Stopped taking it. — Gd (Chris Kresser blog comment)
14. I took FCLO daily since July 2011. In July 2014, I started with eczema on my face, it continued to spread and worsen. I tried many different things to try to fix it, topically and dietary. Nothing worked and it only got worse and more inflamed. I was feeling pretty frustrated and miserable. I even took more FCLO to “help” with my leaky gut. Then Dr. Kaayla's report came out and I read on Kelly the Kitchen Kop's blog how someone's child had a similar problem as mine and stopping FCLO cleared it up. I stopped immediately. It has been a bit over 2 months now and my face is most of the way cleared up! So glad this was brought to my attention because I would have never suspected the FCLO since according to all the natural health gurus this was the number one best thing for our health. – Amy (email)
15. When I has at the height of taking FCLO several years ago I got an incredibly strange, 8 day stomach infection. Testing during that time showed by vitamin D level to be 18! So I took a lot more FCLO, thinking that would raise my numbers. Shortly after that I entered an autoimmune hell that I have been slowly clawing my way out of. I haven't been taking FCLO for a year and a half now, and had been feeling better. Just recently (right before this report), I started taking a vitamin D3 supplement and felt so much stronger.
This report made me just sick with anger and worry about whether it has all been this simple – and what the hell I did to myself. Other than a few mild allergies, I was really healthy before all of this. Our family also got colds constantly. It seemed like we were always sick. We just assumed it was because the kids had started school and so they were bringing everything home. But now that we aren't taking it, we don't get sick very often any more. – Dianella Howarth (Cheeseslave Facebook)
16. I had a horrible reaction when I took it. My heart raced, I got dizzy, chest got tight, I was flushed and sweaty. I had to crawl to my bed to lay down. I didn't have my phone so I couldn't call for help. It was horrible. It took awhile to have the really bad reaction. I didn't realize you could have a reaction so I didn't put it together right away. It was horrible though. – Mary Byrne Seekins (Cheeseslave Facebook)
17. My 2 sons & I took it but my oldest still caught EVERY SINGLE COLD sometimes 2x. So we gave up. But found manuka honey & he has been sick ONCE whereas he would normally b sick 5x by now! – Jennifer Gordon (Cheeseslave Facebook)
18. I never was consistent taking FCLO daily. And if sickness coming on I would for sure take and even up the dosage. But now the light went on. I always got this very irritating rash on the inner side of both of my wrists. Itched like the dickens and no matter what I used to put on it to try and sooth it, it would not stop or go away. I also would have a rash come an go in my inner thighs and the upper outer thigh areas. I had that rash for all the years I took FCLO and never once connected them. And now I've not taken FCLO for probably 4 – 5 months and poured the last of what was left in the bottle when Kaayla's report came out. Since not taking it that rash in all areas is gone and has never come back. There was nothing else in my diet I could even point too, too have caused me to have a rash. I never made the connection till tonight reading your post. – Pamela Nelson (text message)
19. I faced a myriad of health issues after my daughter was born, having taken this during the pregnancy. It wasn't until your post the other day that I started wondering if I have been a victim. I was super healthy prior to pregnancy, no issues during, and suddenly being diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis, advised to start taking RA drugs?! Super low vitamin d? Thankfully have chosen a holistic route (and discovered other ways to treat mysterious symptoms not involving chemo drugs and am 90% cured with no arthritis….it's a long story), but now I'm pretty pissed if this was the cause. Fortunately I stopped taking it months ago during my second pregnancy and so far my symptoms remain steady (which is good, was afraid of another flare up). – Lisa Nikulicz Abels (Cheeseslave Facebook)
20. I started my 4 month old on it as my milk dried up and I used the WAPF goat formula.. My son is healthy and fine but he did develop a skin rash which he still has (he's 18 months now). I took him off it two weeks ago after I read all of your posts. Will be interesting to see if his skin issues clear up. – Irena Jurcic Tunjic (Cheeseslave Facebook)
21. The extreme sores started two months after starting fclo. I'm talking on my tongue, mouth, and throat. I could hardly drink water. I do have crohns disease so all this CAN happen on its own, but never have I had a worse flare. I lost 40 lbs in two months (I'm already thin). I felt like I was dying. Again, could be flare, but I'm much better now! I'm back to crossfit and living my life. Not in the bathroom ten to twenty times a day throwing up and having diarrhea 🙂 my inflation markers are still crazy high, but I am working on them! – Merideth Esh (Cheeseslave Facebook)
22. My daughter will be a year this week and it took a long time for me to feel somewhat ok. I did take FCLO during most of my pregnancy. I have read a lot about hormone imbalances setting off RA symptoms postpartum and I have a history of psoriasis on my scalp and keratasis pilaris on my upper arms that would be considered autoimmune, so I just figured it was something I was predisposed to. Of course there is no way of knowing if FCLO added to my health troubles, but I did stop taking it shortly after the birth. The reason I stopped was because my holistic chiro had me on 6000! mg of fish oil to combat the inflammation, along with turmeric and a few other things. I couldn't afford to do that amount with FCLO so I switched to Nordic Naturals and bought in bulk. It took a long while for me to not have to take that amount, but my symptoms have finally abated, although I still will get a flare from time to time. I never went back to FCLO. I did give my daughter some when she started doing solids in an egg yolk. She promptly threw it up. That's when I threw out the remaining capsules. I also had to be really careful about what I ate for months postpartum to combat inflammation. But there were also times that I felt so terrible that I would eat whatever was available and quick. It felt like a no win for a long while. Prior to the pregnancy I had been the healthiest I had been in years and had taken FCLO for that time. So who knows. I do know we won't be buying anymore though. I also am pregnant again and am hoping for a much better postpartum this time. – Marie Parker (Cheeseslave Facebook)
1. I made myself take fclo in my last pregnancy and my daughter was born with three holes in her heart. I'm so grateful I stopped taking it before the second trimester. Can't imagine how much worse things may have been. – Doaa Um Hamzah (Cheeseslave Facebook)
Trouble Digesting FCLO: Nausea, Heartburn, Burning in Throat, Stomach Pain, Etc.
1. I'd purchased two bottle of fclo. We only made it through one bottle before I went back to my Carlsons. It gave me awful burps and made me feel bad. Only taking it for about two weeks probably didn't do too much damage. – Jennifer Edlund (Cheeseslave Facebook)
2. It gave my daughter and I major heartburn. – Hannah Elliott (Cheeseslave Facebook)
3. When taking fclo about two years ago, I had burning in the throat, nausea and I though to myself that it tastes like it's rancid. – Sanja Biondic (Cheeseslave Facebook)
4. My LO coughs and cries from the burn of FCLO every time so I don’t give it to her. – Sarah (Wellness Mama comment)
5. I tried the cinnamon tingle FCLO and it gave me stomach cramps in diarrhea. After a few doses I couldn’t ever bring myself to try it again. – Becky B. (Wellness Mama comment)
6. I have never been able to tolerate FCLO. I was told by friends, who got great results, to get the HVBO so I could get better absorption but even that did not help. I have a history of autoimmune issues, bowel issues, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, etc. so I finally invested in a integrative holistic practitioner and found out I have the MTHFR gene mutation, leaky gut, yeast overgrowth, and a whole slew of other issues. What this means is my toxic load is through the roof so as you stated above, I cannot handle the fat metabolism and stress on my gut. – Gina (Healthy Home Economist comment)
7. I have long been a member of the Weston Price Foundation, and have closely followed Dr. Price’s diet recommendations. For many years my family consumed a daily dose of fermented fish oil, but about four years ago, I found that I could no longer stomach this oil. It made me sick! When I switched to regular fish oil, from a very dependable source, I was fine. I’m not sure why this is so, but I tested it several times over. Maybe there is some truth to Dr. Daniel’s report. – Susanne T. (Healthy Home Economist comment)
8. I have noticed that there have been more complaints of constipation on the wapf formula in the last several years (and this is something that I have actually discussed with Sally–she said that this used to not be an issue). Could the change in the recommended clo be the reason? — Meg (Healthy Home Economist comment)
9. All I have to say is that my husband and I took this product for the first time this AM. Result: Incredible burning of the throat for an hour. Nausea, and a feeling of general illness. Anyone else have such reactions? — Ruth Lemay (Chris Kresser blog comment)
10. we are now pregnant and I had my plan: cod liver oil and eat liver or take dessicated cod liver pills everyday. Ordered my $60+ “green pasture” fermented cod liver oil orange flavor and could not believe how horrible it was!!! Threw it up and probably got 5 total servings down. Now I have not been nauseous or have issues with throwing up during my pregnancy. Most disgusting product ever and now I can officially feel ok throwing the bottle away. hoping my diet and the vitapearls are enough fish oil for my baby. Thanks for this info. — Angela (Chris Kresser blog comment)
11. I took FCLO when I first learned about it, a few years ago. I did not immediately connect the ensuing chronic throat irritation with taking this until after some time when I had a severe burning in my throat at the time of actually taking it. Then I started to wonder if this was why my throat was inflamed. I stopped taking it and the thrat irritation went away. I also learned of EVCLO and bought this which I have no problem with. The taste of the FCLO was truly disgusting. — Susan Rozanski (Chris Kresser blog comment)
12. I had to stop FCLO after nausea every time I took it in spite of having food in my stomach. I switched to EVCLO this past winter. It’s much better and I often add a drop of essential oil to cover the fish taste (although admittedly it’s very fresh-like). — Kristen Suzanne (Chris Kresser blog comment)
13. My daughter took FCLO for maybe a year or less. We went through 2 bottles. aprox age 2-3. She would randomly throw up in mornings 1-3 times and be fine by noon. (she has only thrown up once in her life and we were both sick) I found out that every time she threw up, I had given her FCLO the evening before. I thought maybe her stomach was too empty and made sure to always give it with something or with dinner but that did not help. Once we stopped the FCLO she has not thrown up again in 9 months. It did not happen every time she took it and my best guess was that maybe it wasn’t all rancid but she was getting rancid pieces that she could not handle. We switched to Rosita’s EVCLO and have had no problems. I find this all very interesting given our history… — Kelly (Chris Kresser blog comment)
14. I can’t keep it down either, the smell is horrendous! The taste worse… — Molly Malone (Chris Kresser blog comment)
15. It was absolutely disgusting! It burned my throat, and it didn't help that I was already nauseous from pregnancy. After that one dose, even the smell of the fermented cod liver oil would turn my stomach. My husband often complained that the fermented cod liver oil made him nauseous. He had to try to find ways to take it to minimize the nauseousness… The last straw: Upon taking a dose of particularly dark cod liver oil last summer, I had severe stomach cramping and diarrhea. Afterwards, I couldn't bring myself to take another dose. — Sarah Smith (Nourished & Nurtured blog post)
16. It tastes awful, makes me burp (which indicates it's not being digested properly) and leaves literally makes me stink (It emanates from my pores). — Alison (Nourished & Nurtured comment)
17. I began to have absolutely terrible heartburn when taking Green Pasture's FCLO. When I emailed the company to find out what's going on and if there was anything I could do to eliminate this, I was pooh-poohed away by two different people including Dave Wetzel himself saying he'd “never heard of” this happening. Since I was shoved aside I kept taking the FCLO thinking it was in my head and my heartburn was from something else I was eating. Turns out I have GERD, and actually did damage to myself taking the oils for as long as I did.
I wouldn't trust Green Pasture at all if they don't even know their product can do this to their customers. Their reputation took a nosedive for me and I won't be recommending them to anyone anymore. — Ryissa (Nourished & Nurtured comment)
18. Since about 2011 (2 years on FCLO) I had stomach problems. Gas and bloating and it was painful. I thought it must be dairy, so I went off dairy and it was still there. I basically just lived with it. Well earlier this year it just kept getting worse to the point where I was in so much pain and on more than one occasion I ended up vomiting. I have been off the FCLO for three months now and all of my stomach issues are gone. – Michelle (email)
19. I took it only 2 or maybe 3 times. I bought some of the “caramel” infused FCLO/ coconut oil blend, knowing that many folks have expressed problems with the smell/ taste. I wanted to give some to my husband and kids but knew I needed to try it first. I have no problems with natto, a food which I have also heard folks complaining of the taste/ smell (including my husband who has lived in Japan), but I could not stand the liquid FCLO oil blend and it burned my throat. I had sharp stomach pains later but wasn't sure if it was the FCLO. I refrigerated it, hoping to try again and thinking that when it was solidified I could swallow it better without having to taste it so much. No luck. Each time I experienced throat burning (yes, comparable to when I have had other oils that were definitely rancid). Each time I had terrible sharp stomach pains a while later. I knew there was no way I could ever get my kids or husband to get it down this way. It sat in the back of my fridge until we moved this past summer, when I think it got tossed out. – Katy Bingham (email)
20. Bought the FCLO/HVBO Blend, tried it for 2 days, 2 capsules a day, once with breakfast, once with lunch. On the second day after lunch, I feel so nauseated that I need to go to bed right away, I’ve never had such reaction before. I stop taking the pills, I felt much better couple of days later. – Beckman (Chris Kresser blog)
21. I write to you as I recover from some incredibly uncomfortable food poisoning symptoms after taking green pastures fermented cod liver oil.
After taking 2 servings on day one (of 2ml) when I tried to sleep that night I woke up at around 2am with really bad acid re-flux. I quickly googled a cure and found that some people have tried apple cider vinegar (luckily I had some) so I sipped some of that and after 10 mins (feeling absolutely awful and very close to vomiting) I was able to get back to bed. The next day I woke not feeling too bad so I decided that I’d probably just overdone it and instead, early in the day this time, took a single 1.5ml dosage with some food. I didn’t feel anything up until bedtime.
That night was pretty much sleepless as I developed sharp pains in the stomach and cold sweats. I got out of bed early the next day telling myself I’m done with the FCLO (angry because I paid $80 AUD for it after an emphatic recommendation by the staff at a local health store)
I felt incredibly drained and told myself ‘you just need to get some food in’ well as soon as I took my first bites of the eggs I had made for myself i had instant gurglings and pain in the stomach and ran to the toilet with diarrhea. So the rest of the day was spent either on the can or lying in bed. In the evening I had a similar experience to previous nights but this time with constant stops to the toilet.
It is now 5:34am, the same morning, I haven’t had a wink of sleep and i’ve just emailed work saying I will be sick and unable to work tomorrow (of which i get paid pro rata so now a payless day!)
I don’t know what can be done, but i’m tired and angry about it! – Zak (Chris Kresser blog)
22. Thanks for doing all this research. I used FCLO after reading about it on yours and other websites. I didn’t use it for long because it gave me a lot of stomach issues that took few months to clear up, but I always felt like I should give it another try….now I know I can stop worrying and look for something else. – Agnes (Modern Alternative Mama blog)
23. Thank you for doing the studying for this! I and my children, got sick after starting on GP FCLO. I had high hopes, with teeth, health, etc. we could not take it anymore. I took it to my nutritionist/kiniesiologist. She tested it and said, it was really bad. Though it was muscle testing, she used. Since then, whenever i see stuff on FCLO, my brain says “snake oil.”
We take cod liver oil, in our home, just not fermented. – Lisa (Modern Alternative Mama blog)
24. I had too many compliance issues with the spoonable CLO (one child would actually vomit it up – all over me) to continue long enough to get used to it. We take the capsules, and there are no compliance issues there at all. We take them at night right before bed and any “fish burps” pass in our sleep. – Local Nourishment (Kitchen Stewardship blog)
25. I've tried every method imaginable to get my kids to take fclo, and this is the one that works! My kids actually sometimes would swallow it in just a certain way so it would burn their throat and make them throw up. We've been taking it with OJ (instead of milk) for over a month now and it's working like a charm, no vomit. Thanks, Genevieve! - laurajean223 (Mama Natural YouTube video)
26. Hey, guys. I have a question: I was wondering if anyone has ever had a NEGATIVE experience ingesting the Green Pasture’s FCLO (I’m taking the Cinnamon tingle butter oil blend)? Recently, I have started feeling like my blood pressure has been very low… but my heart has been racing, I’ve been getting itchy, I have vomited a few times, I’ve had migraine headaches, which I’d never experienced in my life and I have had trouble breathing. This cleared up during a vacation period where I forgot to take the FCLO. I pretty much thought that anything else other than the FCLO/BO was the culprit. I had also been taking a teaspoon, so decided to cut that in half. A little while ago, I took a half teaspoon (as I just have this nagging feeling that I shouldn’t have to give it up). Very quickly, my hands/cheeks began to itch and I became wheezy. :/ I’m sure this product is wonderful for most people, but I am thinking it’s just not for me… has anyone discovered that they are affected negatively by it? Could it just be the cinnamon blend? There is a part of me that really feels like I’m ‘supposed’ the be taking this (I hope that makes sense); I want to believe all of the fantastic health claims. I suppose I feel a bit discouraged if this is, in fact, making me ill! Have any of you had a negative reaction when taking this? I still kind of feel like, “Can’t be the god-send that is FCLO, right…?” :/ Hmmph. – Boogins (180 Degree Health forum)
27. I tried to take this in orange juice, grape juice, with vinegar and salt as a quick shot thinking it would be just like a small bit of caesar salad dressing, with super vinegar-loaded, salty, super spicy hot sauce…I tried putting it in smaller portions into tiny mashed potato ‘balls' and taking it like a ‘pill'…nothing, I repeat, NOTHING covered the taste or even masked it. I threw up on at least three occasions, and otherwise gagged. Oh, but it doesn't stop there, either! No, my friends – each and every time I took this FCLO, I had violent, raging stomach pains. Not like the nausea I would experience while taking it, more like a stomach goblin was running around my gut with needles for fingers, raking through my insides – yeah, that bad. So, I went back online to see if anyone else was experiencing this – and, to both my dismay and relief – I was not alone. Apparently, no matter how good your process is…whether or not your particular micro-biome (your body's system of friendly gut bacteria) reacts well or terribly to ANY fish or fish oil that's been fermented is completely uncontrollable. Now, these are not cold, hard facts. This is just one of the explanations I found relating to what I experienced. Another explanation could just be that I got a bad batch…I don't know. I had to stop taking this because of those three issues though: smell, taste, pain – and I couldn't give this to anyone else I knew because although they had wanted to try it as well, their minds changed quickly after seeing my reactions to it on several occasions! Overall, I like this brand's concept, I like their packaging, their reputation, and I like the idea of the product…but I probably won't risk purchasing this again for the price. – Disco Panda (Amazon)
28. Might be healthy for you, however it tastes absolutely horrific and gave some family members diarrhea.. the taste is so bad that we have all stopped taking this supplement = waste of money. – Henrik (Amazon)
29. This burned my throat so I returned it. I thought I was getting sick but when I tried it the next time, the burn got worse. It was raw red. Maybe I was allergic to it or it had gone bad but this was not for me. – Amazon customer (Amazon)
30. Although the kids tolerated the taste, the only effects we saw were nausea and vomiting. At first we thought the kids just had the bug that was going around, but as soon as they were better we started back on a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon and the nausea and puking resumed. – Muta (Amazon)
31. This made my stomach hurt terribly, could not take it after the first day. – Buster60641 (Amazon)
32. I took only one pill and got really sick. I got severe abodminal pain and diarraia for a couple of days. It took over a week to get back my health. And I have never been this sick in my entire life. I know a lot of people have great expereince with this product. But becareful and think before you take this if you haven't taken fish oil beofre. The good think is Amazon refund me after I file a complaint about this product. – Mimi (Amazon)
33. Was really excited about trying FCLO, but this caused the worst nausea and abdominal pains I have ever had! Never taking again. Wish I could return them. – Joyrunner (Amazon)
Heart Disease & Strokes
1. I am really think the fact that I got so much worse in the last few years has to do with fclo. Yes, I finally got tested and diagnosed with MTHFR compound Heterozygous gene mutations, but the worst of my heart palpitations… Quit fully at the beginning of summer. I rarely now have a hint of a palpitation. Just a hint every week or two. – SteveandPaula Runyan (Cheeseslave Facebook)
2. Also was having inexplicable heart palpitations. They stopped when I stopped taking it when all of this came to light. I worry still about the effect on my baby since I was taking during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Switched us both to ROSITA EVCLO. Seems to be working well. No more issues for me. – Elizabeth King O'Sullivan (Cheeseslave Facebook)
3. I took Fclo for about a year and ended up wearing a heart monitor for chest pains. Scary. – Lynn Zimmerman Yaremchuk (Cheeseslave Facebook)
4. When i took FLCO starting in oh, i guess 2010-ish, it of course burned my throat going down. At the end of last year, start of this year, i figured I would go hard/be diligent about taking FCLO. Right after, i begun having heart palpitations, to the point where, in January, i rushed myself to urgent care from work because my heart wouldnt slow down. They couldnt find a reason for my heart racing, but i stopped taking the FCLO. I havent had that scare again, but from time to time, my heart will jiggle a little, so i figure its still healing. I dunno if it was related, but now hearing people's stories, it seems like dots are connecting. – Tamara Pickens (Cheeseslave Facebook)
5. Very frequent heart palpitations: all this despite a clean WAPF style diet basically minimal personal care products or other exposures. – Patti Guinn Heinisch (Cheeseslave Facebook)
6. In the same period I was giving the FCLO to my husband, he ended up with Afib and surgery to correct it along with other symptoms affecting his vascular system that did not go away until we stopped FCLO. — Lynn (Healthy Home Economist comment)
7. I have been taking it for 9 yrs. and now have an irregular heart beat. I follow a Weston A. Price diet drink raw milk, bone broth, coconut oil, never eat trans fats or conventional foods from the supermarket, eat pastured eggs and have scrimped to pay the outrageous price for a fraud. I am furious at Sally Fallon, who refused to have this oil tested, and at the Weston A. Price Foundation, of whom I have been a member for the past 10 years. Shame on them! So many people ripped off and health being injured. — Kathy S. (Kelly the Kitchen Kop comment)
8. In the beginning of this year, I began having shortness of breath, tiredness, irregular heartbeats (superfast beating which I can calm down only by lying down and breathing slowly and purposely). At first, I thought it was because of lack of sound sleep (I have 18-month old son) and work stress. But over time, I realized that the irregular heartbeats seemed to come up 15 mins or more after I downed the FCLO, high vitamin butter oil, and fermented skate liver oil (1 capsule each after meal). I began getting suspicious but I still kept taking them, believing they are good for me and trusting the label and the WAPF recommendation. So I thought it was my body that could not digest it, and I started adding bitters and taking Renew Life's Super Critical Omega that has lipase in it. I reasoned that the bitters and the lipase will help me digest the Green Pasture's products.
Then I saw David Gumpert's article and Dr. Kaayla Daniel's report. It devastated me because I have been giving GP's products to my wife and son, even before and during pregnancy.
Now, my family has stopped taking all these products. I am very worried that I have damaged my son's young heart by giving him FCLO in the homemade formula and directly in his meal. I am very upset now, I feel very guilty for giving my family bad food, I should have listened to my intuition earlier this year.
Like Dr. Ron, I used to be active and able to do cardio exercises but now I'm just tired a lot and gets dizzy if I exert too much physical strains. – Anonymous (email)
9. My experience has made me scared. i took FCLO for 14 months. I started having TIA attacks [transient ischemic attacks]. One side of my tongue would go numb for an hour or so. Also my arm and leg went numb on same side. this happened several times. My knee got so painful I could hardly walk on it. Doctor wanted to give me cortisone shots but I refused. My hsCRP, the one for cardiac, went very high (17). I stopped when Kaayla’s report came out. I haven’t had any more TIAs, my knee is fine, my CRP is normal now. My vitamin D status is not an issue because I was supplementing with D3 5000 iu. I believe her report saved my life, because i never would have suspected the FCLO. – Loretta (Cheeseslave comments)
10. Many people know my story by now. But I would like to reiterate something. I have been a physician for 34 years. I have been involved with supplements all of that time, and I have treated through diet all of that time. I have watched how my own body reacts to food all of that time. I have written two carefully researched books on natural foods and health. Now I say unequivocally to your viewers and your readers: so called Fermented Cod LIver Oil cause my heart failure. Period. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever. I took it, I got sick. I stopped it, I got better. Same Weston Price – Paleo – Primal type diet the whole time. For God's sake, doubters, we know it's rancid now. Wake up. – Dr. Ron Schmid (Ann Marie Michaels' Facebook page)
11. In November 2015 I was 49 years old and began researching ways to better my health. FCLO was one of the supplements I found and I began taking it regularly. About 5 months into taking it, I began having increasingly worse heartburn and burping, but never connected it to the FCLO I was taking. Sometimes the episodes were so painful it made me feel panicky and all I wanted to do was drink cold seltzer water and stop moving until the pain subsided. One night the pain was so bad that I ended up in the bathroom sobbing and throwing up. I went to my doctor and after answering his questions, he wasn’t convinced the pain was stomach-related and ordered an EKG. Imagine my surprise when I was told that the EKG showed I had most likely had a heart attack in the recent past. The painful episodes have continued, but have not been as bad as that one, and I started to wonder if something I was taking could be causing the pain and stopped taking my vitamins and the FCLO until I could do some research, which led me to this site. Since I stopped taking the FCLO, the “heartburn” pain has decreased significantly which tells me I am on the right track. I am scheduled for a cardiac perfusion stress test to determine if this was definitely a heart attack and how severe it was. I am devastated to think that a supplement that I was taking could have led to this, but I am grateful to have found the information in this site. If anyone has any recommendations on a brand of Cod Liver Oil that is safe I would appreciate any suggestions. (Cheeseslave blog)
12. In November 2015 I was 49 years old and began researching ways to better my health. FCLO was one of the supplements I found and I began taking it regularly. About 5 months into taking it, I began having increasingly worse heartburn and burping, but never connected it to the FCLO I was taking. Sometimes the episodes were so painful it made me feel panicky and all I wanted to do was drink cold seltzer water and stop moving until the pain subsided. One night the pain was so bad that I ended up in the bathroom sobbing and throwing up. I went to my doctor and after answering his questions, he wasn’t convinced the pain was stomach-related and ordered an EKG. Imagine my surprise when I was told that the EKG showed I had most likely had a heart attack in the recent past. The painful episodes have continued, but have not been as bad as that one, and I started to wonder if something I was taking could be causing the pain and stopped taking my vitamins and the FCLO until I could do some research, which led me to this site. Since I stopped taking the FCLO, the “heartburn” pain has decreased significantly which tells me I am on the right track. I am scheduled for a cardiac perfusion stress test to determine if this was definitely a heart attack and how severe it was. I am devastated to think that a supplement that I was taking could have led to this, but I am grateful to have found the information in this site. If anyone has any recommendations on a brand of Cod Liver Oil that is safe I would appreciate any suggestions. (Cheeseslave blog)
Tooth Decay, Cavities & Bone Loss
1. When my son was taking fclo that was the only time he got cavity. He is 13 and that's the only cavity he ever had. Never before or after. I would never connect the dots without all of this. – Sanja Biondic (Cheeseslave Facebook)
2. I have been taking fclo for pretty much as long as it's been out. At least 8 years, at least several times per week. I just had my top two wisdom teeth pulled because they had huge cavities in them (actual holes) and my bottom wisdom tooth just had to get a filling for another cavity that formed. – Christine Sullivan-Kennedy (Cheeseslave Facebook)
3. I'm in the same situation with my 6 year old daughter. She has taken Green Pasture Blue Ice butter oil/fermented cod liver oil for SIX MONTHS and the cavities are still there. Honestly, I'm quite disappointed. — Mar Ballesteros (Nourished & Nurtured comment)
4. I also had problems with my teeth, they seemed to be translucent and not absorbing calcium. About two weeks after taking the Vitamin D3 they looked normal and weren’t translucent any more. – Michelle (email)
5. I took FCLO through my pregnany and gave it to my son when he was around 5 months. I am young and we ate decently (80/20 rule). My little boy seemed healthy in every respect. His first tooth came in around 6 months with a cavity already formed. This was unheard of by my doctor and anyone else that I asked about it. I upped his dose of FCLO and his cavity has gotten worse. I can't prove that it was the FCLO, but I can't disprove it either… We stopped taking it a week or so ago. His turbulent emotions and tantrums that I thought were normal have slowly gone away in the past few days. Maybe causation? Will we ever know? – Risa Matz (email)
6. After taking FCLO for 4 years (fall of 2008 through the fall of 2012), I was diagnosed by my doctor with scoliosis. I was also shocked to find out our 8-year-old daughter, who had been on the stuff from age 1 to age 5, had developed 3 MASSIVE cavities. – Ann Marie Michaels (Cheeseslave)
Gallstones and Pancreatitis
Note: Rancid fats cause gallstones and gallstones cause pancreatitis. Eating rancid fats causes gallstones (see source below) and pancreatitis is caused by gallstones (Source: Mayo Clinic).
“Eating Rancid Fats – Rancid fats are olive oil or canola oil which is not cold pressed and stored in an opaque container. Usually, foods fried at a typical fast food center are fried in rancid oils. These oils generate free radicals which hamper not only your gallbladder but also your entire body. Your body fails to digest rancid fats and causes harm to the health of your gallbladder significantly.” (Source)
1. Wow. So what do you recommend using in the homemade baby formula?? A few yrs ago my daughter was hospitalized for pancreatitis from gallstones. She was eating so healthy but taking green pastures cod liver oil. We stopped giving it to her after bc we weren't sure. Could it have contributed to the problem. – Hannah Klamm (Cheeseslave Facebook comment)
2. Wow… I never made the connection before but I had gallbladder and pancreas issues in my late 20's/early 30's.. all during the years that I took the FCLO… And haven't had any issues since quitting it… That's just wow. – Kayla Howard (Cheeseslave Facebook comment)
Skin Rashes and Eczema
2. I’ve taking regular cod liver oil with no problem, but I recently bought the green pastures fclo in cinnimon and I broke out in hives (which is NOT normal for me). I eat fermented foods daily and have never had any issues with high histamine foods. Is it’s possible this is just an allergic reaction or is this brand indeed rancid? (Wellness Mama)
3. Hi!!! I recently bought the blue ice fermented cod liver oil for our family. My daughter is 15 months old and I tried putting it in a smoothie but she didn’t drink it so I tried spoon feeding with banana on top. Didn’t work and she spit it out. Soon after she developed a red rash on her face. It went away after about half hour but do you think bc it touched her skin it could have caused an irritation? I hope she’s not allergic because would love to give her some.
Also is it ok to take while pregnancy? I’m 33 weeks and was wondering if I could take it.
Last and final question! It hardened in the fridge, so instead could I store outside fridge And does it go bad bc of the temp change? Thank you in advance!!!! (Holistic Squid blog)
Note from Cheeseslave: Holistic Squid's response was disturbing:
“Hi Kat – if it just irritated her skin, it’s probably fine. Try it with elderberry syrup.
And yes! You can definitely take it while pregnant. In fact, many folks highly recommend it.
You can store it outside of the fridge without any problems. Hope that helps!”
Granted, this was from 2013 before the whistleblower report came out… but advising someone to give a baby a product that makes her vomit and break out in a rash? And this is more evidence that David Wetzel, owner of Green Pasture, was telling everyone that you can leave the product out at room temperature.
4. My son is now 7 months old, and we are doing everything we possibly can to provide him and our family with a WEPF diet. However, I have a question regarding FCLO that I haven’t been able to find anywhere– not on the WEPF site, or, unfortunately on your blog. I introduced my son to FCLO when he was 5 months old, and he took it like a champ. If anything, he loved it. We were doing it daily until some major hectic life event occurred, and I forgot to give it to him for 4 days straight. So, when I remembered to give it to him again, at 6.5 months, he suddenly developed a reaction to it: his outer mouth (possibly even inner, for all I know) and his neck, upper chest were red. It eventually went away after a few hours, and he didn’t seem uncomfortable. I was just wondering if you had ever heard of anything like this before? – Daniela (Mommypotamus blog)
5. Developed weird skin rashes! Started using this product because Carolyn Dean and Dave Asprey recommended it. I started getting some weird rash on my body. I didn't think it was the COD so I continued taking it but it got worse. I developed new rashes all over my body. After taking about half the bottle I stopped. Now about 20 days later almost all the rashes are gone. I'm 34 and I don't have any allergies that I'm aware of but it seemed like an allergic reaction. I've taken omega 3, krill, vitamin A, D, K2 before and didn't get a reaction. I'm also very aware of detox symptoms but this was something else. This product has great reviews on other sites so I guess it's good but I would be careful and I'm not recommending it. – Stefan Årud (Amazon)
6. I tried this product and that evening I broke out with a severe rash type on my legs. I sent the company an email and called numerous time and got a voice message back that they have no idea what had happened, referred me to the faq questions on the website. Three days later I still have the rash, Maybe I should have had a beer that evening. – NANA (Amazon)
1. I saw a ND she recommended I take Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil back in February of 2015. Without going into too much detail I finished the initial bottle then purchased probably another 3 in total 4 from 2/15-6/16. My new PCP ordered a Mammogram (last one done 2014) results came back…BREAST CANCER! I had the biopsy(was considered DCIS Stage 0-non-invasive) then a lumpectomy in Oct 2016 with the removal of a large mass and Sentinel node. I asked the surgeon did my supplements cause this? She just answered “just because” no medical reason I had DCIS. How about that answer. – Yvonne (Cheeseslave blog)
Share Your Health Problems After Taking FCLO and I'll Add to This Post
Have you experienced health problems after taking Green Pasture fermented cod liver oil? Please comment below or email me at annmarie @ cheeseslave dot com. I will update this post. If you would like to remain anonymous, please just let me know and I will not use your name.
Healthy Home Economist
Kelly the Kitchen Kop Post 1
Kelly the Kitchen Kop Post 2
Kelly the Kitchen Kop Post 3
Chris Kresser blog
Nourished & Nurtured
Modern Alternative Mama
Mama NaturalYouTube video
180 Degree Health forum