I am writing this as part of my own Cod Liver Oil journey which began today. I recently purchased a liter of Carlson's Cod Liver Oil to replace my daily intake of Walmart Norwegian Salmon Oil. (People often ask for specifics so I am listing this here to save the aggravation of repeating it fifty times. Remember I am a random geek and not a doctor or nutritionist - so please see your doctor or do your own research before taking CLO.)
I chose it for a couple of reasons: One is that the one I purchased provides information on purity, particularly the testing for heavy elements like mercury. Another is that it is probably more effective that what I had been taking. Third is that it provides natural Vitamin A and D.
(Some CLO has the natural vitamins removed only to be replaced by much higher doses of manufactured vitamins. As long as the ratio of Vitamin A to D is 10:1 or less this is probably not the case - at least from a reputable manufacturer.)
Prior to the 1950's children were religiously dosed with Cod Liver Oil (CLO) on a daily basis to prevent rickets. Rickets, for those old enough to remember, is a softening of the bones in children that can cause deformities and other problems. Cod liver oil, which is high in vitamin D, was administered to prevent this.
I found this old ad somewhere on Google from "The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal" published in 1874:
This appeared as part of the following advertisement:
Interestingly it would appear that what I have been writing about in this blog, namely Vitamin D and Iodine, was on the minds of doctors in the 1800's.
So I have to ask myself why were they offering this to patients?
One reason is that rickets was a common affliction and Cod Liver Oil's Vitamin D content did much to address this. However, why all these other versions - and particularly why Iodine?
Iodine was "officially" discovered in 1811-1813 (the date varies depending on the source). It was known prior to that but no one knew exactly what it was, i.e., was it a mineral or element. It was a controlled substance for a while and considered to be a stimulant.
Lugol's solution was probably the most well known use of iodine (from wikipedia) first made in 1829, is a solution of elemental iodine and potassium iodide in water, named after the French physician J.G.A. Lugol. Lugol's iodine solution is often used as an antiseptic and disinfectant, for emergency disinfection of drinking water, and as a reagent for starch detection in routine laboratory and medical tests. It was common in the biology class for testing for the presence of starch.
Ultimately, around 1924, it was added to salt (making the Iodized Salt you can buy today) to reduce iodine deficiencies found in the Great Lakes region of the US. So its likely Iodine was added to Cod Liver Oil because of its wondrous though not understood effects.
One thing clear is, that much like today, there was a "wild west" atmosphere in the 1800's regarding "getting rich" from things like dietary supplements. Financial issues and profit both then and now heavily influence peoples actions and choices.
On the iodine front I am gradually increasing my intake of Lugol's 2.2% to 3-4 drops per week. I have notice some interesting personal results. One is that I am using my "high beams" much less at night - my night vision seems to have significantly improved over the last few weeks. I noticed this a while back when driving home late at night. Normally I would have to use my high beams most of the way but no longer.
I can anecdotally report some other interesting things:
One is my daughter - Iodine seems to have made her much more energetic and, God forbid, almost "perky" - a dramatic and rapid improvement. Needless to say this was not her prior condition (which was a more Goth-like one of quiet repose and grumpiness).
She herself claims to sleep much better as well. She also provides some to her children as a supplement and reports, which I can confirm, additional profound effects: reduction in anxiety and reduced ADHD-like behavior among the ones I also have observed.
Googling "ADHD iodine" yields a number of interesting results.
I plan to write about this more as the experiment unfolds...