Cod liver oil
As well as providing omega3 EFAs DHA and EPA, cod liver oil provides vitamins A and D. Look for fermented cod liver oil as the quality will be better.
The vitamin A in cod liver oil is in its natural preformed state, making it easier to absorb for people with digestive problems that other supplements. Vitamin A is also available in liver, kidneys, dairy products, eggs and oily fish. Marine liver oils are the richest sources of it, so cod liver oil is a good option. There is also the question of the toxicity of vitamin A, in high doses to consider. Although vitamin A is available in fruit and vegetables as well as the aforementioned foods; but to convert carotenoids from fruit and veg into vitamin A, we need magnesium, zinc, several amino acids and other nutrients which means that people with MS are not absorbing vitamin A correctly, because they are usually deficient in all of these substances. On top of this, many toxins can block the conversion from carotenoids into vitamin A, and people with MS are already very toxic. When it is working correctly, the liver is also able to store vitamin A for up to three months, but again, in people with MS this is not the case.
So there is little risk that taking cod liver oil will raise your level of vitamin A to a toxic one. An adult needs to take 20 times the RDA of cod liver oil to reach a toxic level of vitamin A. If you have MS it is highly likely that you are deficient in vitamin A. If all this is not enough to convince you, remember that people with MS have difficulty with fat metabolism – that is why they need to avoid saturated fats. And people who have trouble digesting fats are almost always found to be deficient in vitamin A. And gut disease is a symptom of vitamin A deficiency, because without this vitamin the gut lining is unable to do its job correctly. Malabsorption and leaky gut syndrome are common results of a deficiency in vitamin A. Lactating mothers need higher doses of vitamin A making many infants deficient in it; leading to future digestive problems for them. Vitamin A is involved in immunity, and used to be called the “anti-infection vitamin”. Infections especially with high fever destroy vitamin A in the body. If you are susceptible to ear and chest infections, your vitamin A reserves are always being depleted.
The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight, and we must not avoid the sun; skin cancer is caused by processed food and toxic lifestyles, just like all cancer. The trans fats in vegetable oil and margarine is often stored in the skin and are responsible for the skin cancer dilemma, those and some chemicals used in sunscreens. In the winter, we need to make sure we are consuming food sources of vitamin D – cod liver oil and eggs and liver are good sources. Butter is also rich in vitamin D but harmful to people with MS because it is high in saturated fat content. Cod liver oil is by far the richest food source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is very important for people with MS, who are always found to be deficient in it. So make sure you get plenty of sunlight on your skin in the summer, and supplement it with cod liver oil when you do not, such as in winter. As for toxicity, only synthetic forms of vitamin D such as vitamin D2 can be toxic. The body knows how to deal with natural vitamin D, and vitamin D and A, if they are present in the right amounts; will not allow each other to get out of control. This explains the widespread deficiency of vitamin D in the West – an overload of vitamin A from fortified foods (processed foods) leads to a deficiency in vitamin D. avoid these foods and use only natural sources like cod liver oil, eggs and sunlight to get these vitamins.
According to Dr Natacha Campbell it is sensible to double the doses recommended for cod liver oil for the first few weeks of taking it. These recommended doses are: 1/2 tsp for adults, 1 teaspoon to 1.5 teaspoons for pregnant and lactating women, 1/4 teaspoon for children and 1/3 teaspoon for small children and babies. Babies and small children can have the dose rubbed onto their skin, the nappy area being the best place, as the skin will absorb only what the body needs. If you do not use ferment cod liver oil, use one with a vitamin A to D ratio of 10:1. Consult manufacturers first.