Cod liver oil alternative

Can anyone advise of a suitable alternative to cod liver oil for vegetarians. I need something to keep my joints working! I'm breastfeeding at the moment so will have to check with health professional before using anything but any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • I use products from Radiant Health called Basic Essence. Contains the correct ratios of omega 3 and 6 oils. Made from various seeds.
    There is a capsule form which is suitable for vegetarians and a liquid oil form that is suitable for vegans.
    Fairly expensive though. £25 for a month's worth of capsules. Though find the liquid version lasts for 3 months for the same money.
    Available mail order or in Harrods.
    See their website, hope this works
    Radiant Health!


  • Will give it a go thanks, can't put a price on keeping well I suppose...
    Cheers again.
  • Just a note, I have just checked out the Basic Essence products and unfortunately the capsules are made from 100% Gelatine and so are not suitable for vegetarians, however the liquid does seem to be, as mentioned, suitable for vegans. I have e-mailed the company to check this out and also to see if it's suitable for me while I'm breastfeeding.
  • I was out buying Cod Liver Oil this morning and I'm sure I saw some pills where they said the casing was OK for vegetarians. Guess they could use it for other substances too.

    I vaguely remember from somewhere that you can get the omega oils from Flax seed, but I could well be wrong on that one.
  • no you're not wrong Iain, but there might be some reasons why the omega fatty-acids from flax seed etc aren't the most appropriate

    there is a more balanced vegetarian option: Neuromins - derived from algae - but unfortunately it still comes in gelatin capsules and the only way to get at it is to use a srynge

    I might be wrong but I don't think there is a vegetarian-acceptable casing at the moment - see also vegetarian glucosamine - for better or worse I don't think it exists
  • ....."the real benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids is found in the long-chain fatty acids that are either precursors to eicosanoids (like EPA) or structural components of the brain (like DHA). The ability of short-chain fatty acids (like alpha linolenic acid or ALA) in flax seed oil to become metabolized into the longer-chain Omega-3 fatty acids is a very inefficient process. It is estimated that you would need 10 times more flax seed oil than fish oil to get the same eicosanoid modulalting benefits. The further processing of short chain Omega-3 fatty acids into DHA is even more difficult. As a result, I always recommend taking fish oil over flax seed oil.

    ....If you are a vegetarian, then there is a new generation of algae oils, which are rich in DHA. It is much easier to retroconvert DHA into EPA than to produce EPA from the short chain Omega-3 fatty acids found in flax oil....."

    ......"The best vegan equivalent for fish oil would be algae oils that are rich in DHA. The DHA can be retroconverted (although slowly into EPA). This would be a far better choice than using flaxseed oil rich in alpha linolenic acid (ALA) since its conversion into EPA and DHA in humans is very inefficient"
  • ...otherwise Jeanie, the nearest widely available vegan alternative seems to be Udo's Oil - available from any health food shop - see also

  • - but I must warn you - this really does taste foul - think liquid paraffin and then some
  • Not sure what I was on about re veggie capsules - I had a look for them when I was down the shops today and couldn't find them anywhere!
  • thanks for all the advice, we veggies are a problem!! ;-)
    I shall definitely look up Udo's oil, whatever that is! I'll get back to this forum if I find a suitable substitute.
  • Wasn't there a film about Udo's oil, or am I going completely mad?
  • try the vegetarian society

    for info about this and other supplements - they probably have more info
  • I am guessing here so stand to be corrected, but suspect that Basic Essence and Udo's oil don't contain the fat soluble vitamins which cod liver oil would contain.
    You may may need to take them separately.
  • Iain

    Don't you mean Lorenzo's oil with Nick Nolte?
    About the kid who couldn't process oils so had to be given various oils until a chemist in England devised a way of getting him the exact oil with the correct number of carbon atoms.
  • Ahhhhh!

    Yep - that was it. Can't say I spent that much time over New Year thinking about it, but it was irritating me!
  • Hi you need to get some virgin olive oil down you this is good for your joints and skin, blood the lot
  • Is that right? I'll get myself a glass! seriously, does olive oil help and if so do you have to have it raw,ie; over salads etc. or does it work if you cook with it too?
  • Grind up flax seeds and scoff . . .in something?

    Seven Seas do a flax seed based vege supplement, which is Gelatin free, and is available in Tescos. Walnut oil is also rich in Omega-3 and makes a cracking salad dressing (and chocolate cake too, but the less said about that the better).
    Olive oil should be consumed in everything . . .for no particular reason other than it's v. tasty!!!
    Why do companies make vege safe capsules to house the squashed livers of dead fish? Makes no sense to me . . .

  • If you are right about olive oil, it may explain why a fat lump like me runs injury free
  • Just to update anyone who's interested, I got a response from Basic Essence and apparently their Basic Essence in liquid form is suitable for vegetarians and although they cannot make any health claims I quote 'We have many customers, who have arthritic and joint problems, who tell us their conditions have greatly improved since taking our oils' 'The oils are organic and produced from seeds'
    They are also suitable when breastfeeding, which I'm sure all you guys are pleased about!!!!!!!! but it does help me as I am!
    I will give the olive oil a go and see how I go from there, and I may try out the B/E liquid, anything as prevention is better than cure as they say....
    Thanks for all the advice :-)
  • It doesn't matter you can use the oil in or your cooking. Give it ago in day you will feel the differance to your skin and joints its magic trust me!
  • My veggie mate takes Seven Seas Star flower capsulesa nd claims they do same as CLO.
  • So what's CLO that the same as CLA?
  • Trinity

    Suspect CLO is cod liver oil.

    Am now onto taking Udo's oil cos it is easier to get hold of instead of faffing with mail order etc.

    But will probably to back to basic essence once I get my mail order delivery problems sorted.
  • Boots sell own version Flaxseed oil capsules omega 3 and are Gelatin Free, tablets are a little big.

    Also seven seas make a version, which are again Gelatin Free and smaller tablets.

    these are also available at Boots and are normally found in the same section as the rest of the vitamin tablets.
  • interesting thread
  • Hiya Nuts especially walnuts are great.Easy to buy and no fishy smell.Also many runners cyclists give up becuse of stiff joints.Running helps lubrication and cartilage regeneration but its essential to run very slowly for 15 mins especially in the cold to warm up We are like petrol engines in this respect.Warm up essential.
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