How Much Cod Liver Oil Do I Need?

This post contains affiliate links

How Much Cod Liver Oil Do I Need? - Holistic Squid In my last post, we’ve established that fermented cod liver oil is good for you.

But how much cod liver oil do I need to take? 

The information out there can be a bit confusing, so I’ve sifted through it for you, and here’s what I’ve concluded…

In their article entitled Cod Liver Oil Basics and Recommendations, The Weston Price Foundation recommends a varying dosage of FCLO based on the individuals health and needs, stating, “Fermented cod liver oil contains many co-factors that may enhance the body’s uptake and usage of vitamins A and D; in fact, many have reported results equivalent to those obtained from high-vitamin cod liver oil with half the recommended dose.”

With that in mind, WAPF recommends the following daily dosage ranges for fermented cod liver oil:

  • Children age 3 months to 12 years: 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Children over 12 years and adults: 1/2 – 1 teaspoon or 5-10 capsules
  • Pregnant and nursing women: 1 – 2 teaspoon or 10-20 capsules


Understanding FCLO Capsules and Dosage

According to Ramiel Nagel, author of Cure Tooth Decay-:

One capsule of Fermented Cod liver oil = approximately 1/8 teaspoon, so 4 capsules = 1/2 teaspoon. Note: this is slightly less than the WAPF estimations. So what to do?

In a recent newsletter, I discovered some words of wisdom from Dave Wetzel, owner of Green Pasture (the only company that currently produces and sells fermented cod liver oil):

Most that take the capsules will take 3-6 caps per day. If you are taking the liquid most common range is 1/2 to 1.5 tsp per day”¦ I know some that take 3 tablespoons per day, others do well at 1/2 tsp.  All people are different in needs and function.

In the old days we did not try to figure out or deduce FCLO to one or two molecular structures. We got the spoon out and took it. When under stress we went and took out the bigger spoon.

So the gist here is that your dosage will vary based on your current state of health. Use the recommendations above as guidelines, and adjust according to your body’s needs. If you are pregnant or nursing, you will need to take approximately double your pre-baby dosage. If you are struggling with dental issues or other health problems (acute or chronic), it is likely that you will need to be on the higher range as well. When in doubt, consult with a qualified health practitioner.


What about the FCLO and high vitamin butter oil combo?  How much should I take?

If you are taking the liquid or gel blend of the fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil, you can simply double the dose of what you would take if you were taking the FCLO alone. You get the combo version here.

When it comes to the capsules, however, it’s not as easy as multiplying by two. As mentioned above, the FCLO capsule contains 1/8 teaspoon of FCLO – which is equivalent to 500mg. One capsule of the Blue Ice Butter Royal contains 750mg or 1/6 teaspoon of the FCLO and butter oil blend.  This means that one cap of the blend contains 1/12 teaspoon of FCLO, so to get 1/2 teaspoon of FCLO you will need 6 capsules of the FCLO/Butter Oil blend.  Pregnant and nursing moms and those with health issues may need up to 24 capsules of the blend if they intend to take 2 teaspoons of FCLO with each dose.

Remember, the same rule applies for the blend as for FCLO alone – use these recommendations as guidelines only, choosing the appropriate dose for you based on your health and your body’s need. When in doubt, consult with a qualified health practitioner.

~Click here to learn where to buy fermented cod liver oil~

Ok. Now we know WHY to take fermented cod liver oil and how to determine the dose.  Up next… Top tricks for getting FCLO down with a smile on your face. Got questions?  Shoot them below!

Like What You've Read?
Subscribe to Holistic Squid by email and never miss a post!

Disclaimer and Affiliate Endorsement Information

Related posts that may interest you


  1. Jaime Lynn Braden via Facebook says

    I want our family to start taking this very soon. I have a 21 month old daughter though and am trying to figure out how to get her to take it. I saw that Green Pastures has flavored versions as well but do they taste good? Can you mix the liquid into anything to “hide” it for my daughter. Like in her mix or oatmeal?

    • Tiffany says

      I read that you shouldn’t give babies the flavored versions due to the additives??? I’d go with the plain version. Read some posts that some use eye droppers and give in between bites of food during meal time or some simply give straight no chaser and over about a week or so baby starts to not mind it. I think I’ll try that route when I start my baby as well.

    • Rebecca says

      Maybe just have her try it without anything. My daughter started taking it when she was one year old or so and has always seemed to like the taste – seriously, licks the spoon clean (although it took some getting used to for me). Its difficult to hide in things as it has a strong flavor. We like the Oslo Orange here, but you little one may not be as picky as you might think she would be. Also, the only things added to this are organic orange and organic lemon oil. I know citrus can be allergenic for young babies, but for an almost 2 year old I doubt it would be a problem. If you are uncomfortable with anything else being in it, jut go for plain.

    • Rachel says

      My 21 month old has been taking it for almost a year now, which probably some bearing on her reaction, but she loves the stuff straight and plain. We use the syringe it comes with and follow it with some high vitamin butter oil. When I ask her if she would like her cod liver oil, she always comes running. If I were just starting her though, she might not be so eager – I have heard of someone giving a shot glass full of fresh pressed orange juice to chase the taste away.

    • Lauren says

      I don’t know if this will work for you or not, but I take the FCLO with a few drops of lemon juice mixed in, then I suck on a lemon for a second immediately afterward. Then, if I really want any taste to go away, I eat a teaspoon of peanut butter. The peanut butter really seems to mask the taste and overpower the taste of the cod liver oil. Maybe you could mix your daughter’s dosage into some peanut butter? By the way, my FCLO is the “cinnamon tingle” version.

  2. Amy Deren via Facebook says

    My daughter takes nordic naturals and we were told by our naturopath to give her 1/2tsp a day she’s 2.5 yrs old.

  3. Deena Barselah via Facebook says

    Thanks! I recently started taking the FCLO-Butter oil blend in the cinnamon tingle flavor and have no issues getting it down, which I was really happy to find! I just put the amount on the back of my tongue and take a sip of my morning water, kvass or apple cider vinegar tonic. Easy! Do people take on an empty stomach? Is that okay?

  4. Meredith Patterson Rusthoven via Facebook says

    Deena, I do the same. I don’t mind the taste at all. Delicious. And I have taken it on an empty stomach.

  5. Amanda Edwards Bussard via Facebook says

    I’ve heard that the high butter/FCLO blend makes the FCLO more readily available. Is this true? Would the dosages be the same compared to regular FCLO?

  6. Laura Greiner via Facebook says

    yes, if it best to take with the butter oil, why would you get just the FCLO? I am pregnant and taking the blend in capsules but wondering if I should just take the FCLO? thoughts? thanks!

  7. says

    Thanks for this post. Before I was making my own little gel caplets with FCLO and Butter oil in them (because it was cheaper to make them myself). Now that is no longer necessary because this last time around I ordered fermented cod liver oil with the orange oil. This is an amazing product – I am able to take it straight from a spoon. But I am wondering is it the same concentration? Does the orange oil dilute the FCLO and should I take more? I am nursing and have been trying to take 2 teaspoons per day. I have only been taking 1 teaspoon of butter oil per day (I read somewhere that was the ratio), but it sounds like you are advocating a 1 to 1 ratio. I guess I can give that a try. Would love your feedback. Thanks.

  8. Emily says

    Every morning I give my 4 year old daughter 1 tsp. of Garden of Life’s Old World Cod Liver Oil, and myself a full tbsp. I love this company, but their CLO isn’t fermented. Am I wasting my money???

  9. Heather says

    I started FCLO/Butter Oil blend with my DD when she was a year old. She took it without a problem…we ran out for a while and now I use the cinnamon tingle flavor. It’s MUCH easier for me to get down, but at 20 months she seems to think it burns a little. Not a problem, though! I’ve found two things that get a 1/2 teaspoon down no problem for her. One is knowing she will get some sort of fruit afterward – the girl LOVES her fruit! The other is calling daddy in to watch – she loves to show off how she takes her oil like a big girl! :)

  10. Julie Harding says

    We’ve been taking the FLCO and butter oil for about a year now. My son is 2 & my daughter is 5 now. It took a little convincing to get my daughter to take it at first (I confess, we bribed her w/ candy!) But my crazy eats anything son licks the butter oil out of the lid until I can get it away from him! It makes me laugh every time…hopefully he can’t overdose on it.

  11. Peggy says

    I mix FCLO with skate liver oil in a 3:1 ratio. I get orange flavor of one product and cinnamon in another and don’t need to “hide” it at all. It’s yummy! Also, I keep the combo in the fridge so it’s more semi-solid, which makes it much easier to swallow without a lot of tasting. A cinnamon-orange burp beats fishy burp anytime!!

  12. amy says

    I am breastfeeding right now and have just started taking the FCLO / Butter Oil blend capsules as I could not stomach liquid FCLO. However, I also can’t imagine taking 24 capsules per day! First of all, it feels very excessive to swallow so many capsules. Secondly, it would cost a fortune as there are 120 capsules per bottle which cost nearly $40 per bottle. 24 capsules per day would last 5 days!!!! Truly, $240 per month on FCLO????

    I also wonder how the body responds after it stops taking these high doses of Vitamin A and Vitamin D via FCLO on a long term basis. Would it more easily succumb to cancer and degenerative disease?

  13. John walker says

    I take a teaspoon of green pasture fermented cod liver oil. Does anyone know the vitamin A and D iu’s in that dose?

  14. Alison says

    Hello there,

    Thanks for a great post. Just wondering why your recommended dosages for the Royal Blend significantly differ from here. (see near bottom recommendations)

    The way I read it, they are suggesting to half the dosage of normal cod liver oil recommendations, as the overall vitamin levels in the blend are much higher, than say what WAPF rec. Or am I misreading it?

    With thanks alison

    • says

      Hi Alison – I don’t know that site makes the recommendations that they do. My advice is that your dosage will vary based on your current state of health. Use the recommendations above as guidelines, and adjust according to your body’s needs.

  15. says

    Very interesting read! I think I’d probably have to get the cinnamon flavored to help with the taste though! Thanks for the great post!

    JoLynn Braley
    The F.A.T. Release Coach

  16. beth north says

    oh my gosh. i wish I would have seen the above picture before purchasing them. they’re huge! how am i going to get my son to take 6 of these a day. I broke one open and…YUCK!

  17. says

    Interesting post! I am looking into taking fclo and was also interesting in the butter oil as well. I am struggling with acne/hormone balance and have heard it helps with keratinosis polaris. Is it better to take them together? What is the recommended dosing or ratio of butter oil to fclo? It’s probably cheaper to buy them separately in liquid form instead of taking a bunch of capsules daily. Thanks for the info!

  18. Jennifer says

    Hi, I was just wondering if you know what the vitamin A and D amounts are in the FCLO/Butter blend capsules? Thanks!

  19. joanne says

    I am nursing my 6mo and take 2 tsp of FCLO daily. I eat plenty of fats (grass fed butter and meat, egg yolks, cook with tallow and bacon grease) Do I still need the Butter Oil??


  20. Ana says

    My doctor just told me that taking cod liver oil is unsafe during pregnancy due to the high content of vitamin A, but I believe FCLO is what helped me get pregnant. Is the medical community off base? I want to provide my baby with the best nutrients.

  21. Jana says

    I agree with what someone said above about the cost being excessive were one to take the full “recommended” dosage of the FCLO/Butter Oil Blend capsules. We’ve been taking FCLO for years and have gone back and forth between the liquid and capsules. For the three of us, 2 adults and one young adult, taking 2 capsules each per day is already 6 capsules a day, which means one bottle only lasts 20 days for us, not even a full month. At $47 per bottle, at the most minimum dosage (forget the correct dosage of 10 each) it costs quite a bit to keep us in FCLO. I wish Green Pastures would make bigger bottles of capsules so one would last longer for a family (and presumably be more cost-effective). When you take other supplements (I have adrenal fatigue so take a whole slew of other ones) too, the cost of it all is so high. Wish it was a bit less expensive to stay/become healthy (though I know that super-cheap food/supplements isn’t right either).

  22. kasia says

    me and my 18 months old daughter are love fermented cod liver oil from green p. Iam 8 weekes pregnant and start to wonder if cod liver oil safe for baby???is rich in vitamin A !!! someone help please….

  23. Ladonna says

    I take the cinnamon tingle gel. How much should I take if my vitamin d level is 25? I use take 1/2 tsp of the FCLO/BO BLEND

  24. joyce wang says

    sorry one more question, how do i evaluate my “state of health”? i am not ill or have any chronic disorder, i don’t feel tired or stressed all the time, i don’t get sick often but i do get sick once in a while. My biggest concerns is that i am aging a bit fast, im a bit overweight and i couldn’t really have a very stable milk supply to nurse my baby. Should I increase my dosage to above average?

    separate question that i have always wanted to ask someone professional…..if i just want a very simple something to eat for dinner, maybe because i’ve had a big lunch or didn’t get to work out today, what’s the best choice (1) glass of milk (2) couple eggs (3) a piece of meat or fish (4) piece of fruit or vegetables (5) or should i still just eat a combination of different things to be healthier?

    thanks very much!

  25. Joelle says

    Emily, do you have any suggestions as far as how much for my 6 and 8 year old sons should be taking of the new Iced Caramel FCLO product that Green Pastures makes? I know it has FCLO, skate oil, coconut oil and butter oil in it. I am trying to make sure that they are getting enough but cannot seem to figure it out in my head.
    Thanks for all you do!

  26. Keely says

    Green pastures now offers coconut oil infused with fermented cod liver oil, butter oil, and skate liver oil; since it’s in coconut oil I put it in empty capsules while warm and liquidified then keep it in the fridge so it hardens. So much easier for us to take and cheaper than capsules!

  27. Monica says

    Thank you so much for breaking the dosages down into a one page summary. It’s so easy to get the info.

    I do have one question. I know I’m supposed to take the fclo with the grass fed butter. Is there an alternative to taking the butter or a butter capsule? What about coconut oil…is that even a close alternative? I just find the coconut oil easy to come by but the grass fed butter is tricky to find. Thanks in advance for helping me out.

    • says

      Hi Monica, thanks for your question. It really is better to have either butter or butter oil capsules. There’s a great one from Green Pastures. You need saturated fat to really help with the absorption.

  28. says

    Hi Bridgitte, thank you for your question. This article was from 2008, and his point about the ratios still stands. This is why FLCO is currently the only CLO I recommend because when it is unprocessed, the ratios of A:D are not dangerous. Hope this helps clear things up for you.

  29. sara says

    my 10 and 11 yr old can swallow capsule, is it ok to give them Green pastures FCLO capsule?
    Also i have see on different brand of CLO the strength, e.g. 500mg, etc. is there are recommend dosage for kids in terms of mg.

  30. NHarris says

    I take out what we need and put it in the freezer to make it really hard. Then I scoop out the dose for each person and bury it in vanilla yogurt. Putting it in the freezer makes it more like a capsule without the outer covering and burying it in yogurt really masks the taste. Then everyone gets a quick sip of OJ to chase it down. The kids almost never get juice so it is a treat for them to get a couple of sips every night. We use cinnamon tingle. Even my 2 yr old lines up for his!

  31. Mindy says

    Hi Emily, my OB nurse just told me FCLO can induce labor so I need to be careful about taking it when pregnant. She also asked “Why?! Yuck!” and if it gave me diarrhea (?NO?!), so I’m inclined to think she’s mis/uninformed! Have you heard this before? Do you think there is any truth to this? Thanks!

  32. Phil says

    Regarding the dosages for FCLO and high vitamin butter oil – the author’s math is way off: The Blue Ice Royal blend is not a one-to-one mix but rather two thirds FCLO and one third butter oil. SInce the blend capsules are larger (750 mg), each capsule contains the same 500mg FCLO as the FCLO-only caps. Also: 500mg = one-tenth of a teaspoon, not one eighth, therefore a standard half-teaspoon dose will require five capsules of either the Blue Ice Royal or the FCLO-only product.

  33. Lili says

    Is there any benefit in taking FCLO if I can only afford to take the 2 capsule serving suggestion on the bottle? With 4 kids plus myself who need to be taking it, I simply cannot afford to buy 2-3 bottles PER PERSON every month! That is outrageous. I understand it is high-quality, but seriously, most people can’t afford it. For that reason, I have simply avoided FCLO altogether and have just been buying Carlsons from Vitacost and taking the recommended serving. I haven’t seen any obvious benefits in taking it, so I’m looking at Green Pastures again, but the price is just not feasible financially if we have to take 2-3 servings per person per day.

    I tried Green Pastures FCLO ONCE. I got the chocolate flavored “gel.” For starters, it was DISGUSTING. I couldn’t get my youngest kids to go near it, and even *I* had to swallow it down with water. I thought the fish-flavored chocolate was worse than just a plain fish flavor would’ve been.

    The bottle also says to “keep refrigerated,” but when I did that, it solidified, which made it impossible to pour, but I couldn’t scoop it out either since the bottle opening was smaller than the smallest measuring spoons I have and even for the scoop that was included with the bottle. The whole process of having to remember to take the bottle OUT of the fridge and let it “thaw” for an hour before we could even take it was just aggravating. What gives?! Am I the only one who has an issue with this?

    But my main question is: will we reap any benefits if we can only afford to take 2 capsules a day, or would it just be a waste of money?

    • says

      Hi Lili – Thanks for your comment. Sure. Or you could take a high quality fish oil, a vitamin D supplement, and eat liver weekly. Also, I don’t refrigerate mine.

  34. Megan says

    Thanks for the info! We take the new coconut oil blend, but I worry we aren’t taking enough. Do you know the dosages for that? Right now my husband and I take 3 tsp/day and my 2 and 4 year old get 1 tsp.

  35. Xochi says

    What brand of FCLO do you use? Also, would you recommend starting out with less them building up? I am currently nursing a 6 month old baby, so according you your recommendations I should be taking a lot, but I’m thinking I should start out smaller.

    • says

      Hi Xochi – Thanks for your comment. It’s always a good idea to start with an amount you feel comfortable, and work your way up. Also, you can see which kind of FCLO I use at the bottom of the post. Hope that helps!

  36. Jennifer says

    Hi, we got the mint to try. I gagged a little at first, my husband took it like a champ. I got just close enough to our 1 1/2 year old to get a little taste and she completely refused it! :/ I tried mixing it with butter, chocolate and peppermint mints (usually she loves this combination, I make them myself for us) and still refused it. I read about taking it with elderberry syrup but how would that taste with the mint? Any suggestions that we could try with her?? Thank you!!!

  37. says

    I read the beginning of the article and peoples comments on how much to take etc but other than taking it for the A and C vitamins I saw no other reason to take it. I can take Vit A and C in many other forms without assaulting my body with Cod Liver Oil. I took it once as a child (God only knows why my mother felt I needed it) and I decided then I never wanted to take it again. So I will need more convincing as to why I need it than to get these two vitamin supplements from it. Thank you

  38. Jamie says

    Wondering what dosage of FCLO/Butter blend capsules from Green Pastures would you take with a prenatal while pregnant? I have two different ones I’m trying out to see which one I like better. I’m confused at how much to take of the FCLO/ Butter Blend. The two different prenatals contain different ratios of A. One has a 50/50 of retinyl and beta carotene (interestingly is listed as 5000 IU of Vit A but only 63% of preg women daily value) and the other is a cultured whole foods prenatal with 5000 IU after a daily dose and listed as 100% DV).

    Based on those factors, can I still be liberal with my FCLO/ butter blend capsules? Liberal meaning what you recommended in dosage for preg women? Or should I be more cautious? Right now I’m erring on the side of caution and only taking about 3 capsules a day.
    Thanks for you advice!

    • Jamie says

      Also would you recommend one of the prenatals I described over another? I am also trying hard to keep with a balanced whole foods diet, but of course am always wondering how much i actually take in through foods and if it’s enough, hence the prenatal/ FCLO dilemna. Thanks!

      • says

        Hi Jamie, I am answering on this comment with your previous comment in mind as well. I always recommend to my prenatal patients that they should halve the dose recommendation from WAPF so if you’re taking a prenatal as well, you’re not pushing the upper limits. You only mention Green Pastures in your previous comment and I am familiar and comfortable with that brand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>