Difference Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil

Human beings have been fond of eating fish since ancient times. In many countries, it is an essential part of their meals. People get many things from fish like flour and oil.

Those oils are used to cure many diseases. Fish oils like cod liver oil is a very famous oil derived from fish.

Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil

The main difference between cod liver oil and fish is that cod liver oil is obtained by pressing the liver of a codfish while fish oil is obtained by pressing the whole body of a fish. Both types are very rich in fatty acids. People with low stamina and energy should include them in their diet.

Cod Liver Oil vs Fish Oil

As the name suggests, cod liver oil is obtained from the liver of a fish known as codfish. The oil is very rich in fatty acids, DHA, EPA, and Omega-3. Cod liver oil is to complete the deficiency of vitamin A and vitamin D.

In modern times the cod liver oil capsule can also be found.

The oil is derived from the tissues of fish known as fish oil. Fish oil is mostly consumed by a human beings to reduce the risk of inflammation in the body.

Fish Oil contains a significant number of different vitamins. The capsules that contain fish oil are available in the market.

Comparison Table Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil

Parameters Of ComparisonCod Liver OilFish Oil
TasteThe taste of cod liver oil is not fishy, it tastes like a little bit of fish. Fish oils have tasted like other items of seafood. Fish oil also doesn’t taste so fishy.
PregnancyCod liver oil has not been suggested to be taken by pregnant women because it can be harmful.Fish oil can be consumed by pregnant women because it is not harmful.
Expiration dateThe cod liver oil is not said to be consumed after 3 to for months when it has been opened.The fish year lasts longer and can be consumed for almost 2 years after it has been opened.
SourceCod liver oil is obtained directly from the liver of a codfish.Fish doesn’t contain oil itself, it accumulates the acid by eating other fishes.
CureThe cod liver oil is considered to cure cancer, anxiety, but no experiment had verified it.Fish oil is considered to cure inflammation and depression, it is also not verified yet.

What is Cod Liver Oil?

Cod liver oil is considered to be a dietary supplement. There are many grades in which cod liver oil comes. The color of cod liver oil is pale and strong when it is for consumption by humans.

These colors signify the fact that they can be consumed by people without obtaining any harm.

Cod liver oil also has some mild flavors added to it. In ancient times, the process of obtaining cod liver oil was different than now. People used to light flames and put the branches of birch trees over them.

They would lay the fresh liver of codfish on the branches and the oil would drip from them into water.

Due to the high amount of Omega 3 and other fatty acids, cod liver oil became popular for trade purposes. It was kept in the barrels for better taste and quality.

Cod liver oil is only used for three months after it is opened and it should be kept in the refrigerator.

It also comes in the form of soft gels and capsules. Cod liver oil can cause fishy burps, avoided many brands have launched different flavors like lemon, orange, and mint.

The other disadvantage of consuming cod liver oil is that it can make the blood thinner and upset the stomach.

What is Fish Oil?

Fish oil is not obtained from a particular part of a fish but by pressing the whole body of a fish. Soil is found in the tissues of oily fish.

Fish oil requires proper maintenance to store them for a longer period because if they are not properly stored they can produce oxidants.

Fish oil is very useful in the reducing process of the rate of VLDL synthesis in the liver. Fish oil can cure depression and anxiety but not a single experiment has verified that.

The Omega 3 acids are not produced by the fish itself, rather it is found in the food that the fish eats.

Fishes like sharks, tilefish, Swordfish, tuna are very rich in Omega 3 but because of their eating habits sometimes they can accumulate toxic substances like PCBs.

Fish oil is also used for the feeding of farmed fish. Fish oils are sold as a part of dietary supplements for consumption by human beings and other fish being held on the farm.

The fishes found in cold water are very oily and are a great source of EPA and DHA. When the amount of PCBs was found in the samples of fish oils while checking for dioxins and PCBs, new guidelines were revised again for the use of fish oil.

Main Differences Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil

  1. The cod liver oil does not last long; it can be only used three to four months after opening it, while fish oil can last for 2 years.
  2. There is notion that cod liver oil can be used to cure cancer and inflammation while fish oil is considered to be curing thickness of blood and depression.
  3. Cod liver oil is not considered to be good for a pregnant woman while a lady who is pregnant can use fish oil in her diet.
  4. For the production of the cod liver oil only the liver of the codfish is used while to extract fish oil the whole body of a fish is pressed.
  5. There were rumours that cod liver oil can treat cancer and fish oil can provide relief in depression, but both factors aren’t verified.
Difference Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil


There are several types of vitamins the human body requires in the process of getting good health. Sometimes vegetables aren’t enough to provide the number of vitamins and minerals necessary to the growth of a body.

Fish has been always known for their fatty acids and other essential vitamins such as A and D. People also extract oil from the body of a fish that can be easily consumed.

To make this process easier, fish oil also comes in the form of a capsule. These capsules have fish oil filled inside of them. Fish oil is very beneficial to nourish the body properly.


  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/1173883
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230003001004
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