Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil: product review & recommendation

I was asked several times over the last year for an Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil review. Folks – including myself – wanted to know: is it all it’s cracked up to be? Does it live up to the hype? Will it help me?
Well, my opinion is: Yes – and I love it!
And FYI: I’m not paid to say that.
EVCLO bottle
Cod liver oil is among the top superfoods I recommend. It’s a phenomenal source of vitamins A and D, which are critical for the immune system, the skin, and for a well-nourished pregnancy.
It was an integral part of how I healed my skin and an important part of my fertility and pregnancy nutrition plan. It provides nutrients in which almost everyone is deficient in the modern world.
It’s a source of healthful omega fats in proper amounts and, in my opinion, it’s a much better source of those fats than fish oil (I discuss the critical difference between fish oil and cod liver oil in my book, Eat the Yolks.) 
But not all cod liver oils are the same. So why do I like the Rosita EVCLO specifically?
If you’ve listened to the Balanced Bites Podcast, which I co-host, you’ll know that for a long time, I was skeptical of Rosita’s EVCLO. I’ve recommended a different brand of cod liver oil for some time** – you can check out the archives of the Balanced Bites Podcast for more talk on this topic.
**To be clear, I now recommend EVCLO as well as the brand I’ve recommended for years. You don’t have to throw your bottles of the other brand out, but I encourage you to try Rosita EVCLO! I have had excellent results with both, but no one product works for every single person. That’s why I’m thrilled we now have a CHOICE that we didn’t have before.
I’ve tried other cod liver oils – the ones we find at most health food stores – and I don’t recommend them for two main reasons: first, I’ve been unable to verify their processing methods (who wants to ingest a heat- and chemically-processed oil in the name of health?! #interrobang), and second, I haven’t had the same results with any of them. Whether their nutrient content is comparable, I can’t say; but my experience with them – and my trust in their processing methods – hasn’t been positive.
So, by the time I heard of Rosita’s EVCLO, I had simply given up on finding another option for a traditionally processed, thoughtfully produced product with excellent nutritional value.
When it came to EVCLO, I had my skeptical suit on. While the product wasn’t yet for sale in the United States, I truly didn’t intend to try it when it was – because many a cod liver oil brand had disappointed me already.
Yet I was curious about other Rosita products, so I reached out to the company directly and was able to try one of their other products – their ratfish liver oil, which was shipped to me direct from Norway from a fantastic gentleman named Bengt. (fun, right?)
It was a truly amazing product that I used both dietarily and topically. However, it was a bit cost-prohibitive for me for ongoing use. Once I’d finished the ratfish oil (well, once my dog had eaten the remainder of the vial), I forgot about the EVCLO and went back to my old cod liver oil.
Fast-forward to 2015. I continued to hear about Rosita’s EVCLO at nutrition conferences, through repeated inquiries on the podcast and my blog, and through the great Beverly Meyer. I decided it was finally time to give it a try. So I bought it for myself and gave it a nice, long go.
I’m so glad I did.
Dan, the man behind Corganic, the U.S. retailer from whom I buy my EVCLO, is a passionate real food advocate. Here’s Dan (background) on a trip to Norway fishing with the Rosita crew. More photos here.
Dan in Norway EVCLO
Dan and the folks at Rosita tout the EVCLO because it’s “fresh, wild and raw.” Yes, that’s their tagline, but I’ve found it to be totally true.
Here’s all the FAQ you could ever want, and here’s the breakdown:

  • It’s fresh because it is bottled within 48 hours of the fish being caught in remote (read: clean) waters of Norway.
  • It’s wild. Rosita does their own fishing (know your fisherman!)
  • It’s raw because no heat, chemicals or mechanical processing is used to obtain the oil.

This is right up my alley. I like to know my food is fresh, I like to know who produces it, and I like it to be minimally processed.
Additionally, I’ve heard from several folks who can’t tolerate other brands of cod liver oil (due to intolerances to fermentation byproducts) being fully able to tolerate EVCLO.
Here are the personal benefits I attribute to taking EVCLO:

  • My skin remained clear. My other recommended brand of cod liver oil was instrumental in helping me clear my skin, and I had absolutely no problems switching to EVCLO – even with the hormonal wackiness of pregnancy, my skin stayed clear.
  • My immune system stayed strong throughout the winter.
  • My keratosis pilaris didn’t return. It often flares in the winter, and it didn’t this year.
  • I had no issue taking EVCLO during pregnancy. The other brand is – well – pungent, and could be difficult for anyone with food aversions to take. There’s hardly any fishy flavor, and none of the odiferousness of the other “fermented” brand.

I’m thrilled to lend my support to Corganic and Rosita. It’s a wonderful product. It has a clean, light taste, NO aftertaste, and it is produced with transparency, by good people, in a manner I can truly support.
You can buy it here, or learn more here.
Thanks for reading!

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37 Responses

  1. I want to add cod liver oil to my regimen, but saw that there is some rosemary oil added as an antioxidant (1 drop per 150ml). Is that a small enough amount that it’s probably not a concern during pregnancy? Obviously just looking for an opinion, not medical advice. Thanks!

  2. Hi liz! I’ve recently started binge listening to all the old BB podcasts and was just going to order the fermented brand based i what I have heard you say about. I’ve always suffered with keratosis pilaris and Id really like to find something to help clear if up but now after seeing this post im confused about which I should try. I’m a little worried about the taste so based on that do you think the EVCLO would be easier for me to take? I know the fermented brand has flavors like cinnamon are those still super fishy tasting? Thanks so much in advance!

    1. Hey Jaclyn! Go with the EVCLO and just chase it with some tart cherry juice or something! The other brand has flavors but the taste is still…ummm…strong 🙂

  3. When you say “fishy” taste if I can’t handle sardines then would I be able to handle this? would it help to mix with something? Does it smell fishy? This has always been my problem with certain supplements is that I can’t bear the scent so I don’t even take them. I really need to take the EVCLO but not sure I will be able to stand the taste?
    Also will this help with acneic skin at all? Is there a good time of day to take it? With or without food?
    Thank you so much! Love the blog

    1. I think you could handle it, simply because it’s just straight “down the hatch” – vs. having to chew, chew, chew, swallow! Make sense? It DOES have a light fishiness, like anything oceanic, but it’s in no way offensive if that helps.
      YES, it should be great for the skin. While I can’t guarantee it would address your specific need (acne can manifest for different reasons and in different types) one of the top superfoods I recommend in my Purely Primal Skincare Guide is cod liver oil (right now it’s fermented cod liver oil, but I’m working on updating the files for that one if you’re a guide owner). You can take it any time – it’s like a concentrated superfood, not medicine or supplement, so it’s just going to enhance your nutrition no matter when you take it!

  4. I’m currently taking Garden of Life mykind Organics Prenatal Multi. They contain 5,000 IU of Vitamin A. Will taking fermented cod liver oil, along with my prenatals, be too much Vitamin A? Also, I know in previous Balanced Bites episodes, you have talked about taking Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil. What would be best for me, if we are looking to conceive in the next year or so?

    1. Hey Amy! Sorry for the delay in answering. You should be fine with the CLO. If it were me, I would just take a Tsp. of CLO about 2x/week – you do NOT need much! I’m shifting my recommendations for pregnancy to the Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (you can get the CLO, plus butter oil separately, through Corganic.com) because I’ve found the fermented flavor just doesn’t agree with most of my pregnant friends and advisees!

  5. I still refuse to check this cod liver oil out and remain loyal to Fermented Cod Liver Oil from Green Pastures! The old world’s tradition ways of making and taking cod liver oil! I also take the blend of Fermented Cod Liver Oil
    and High Vitamin Butter Oil

    1. Hi. I have been a faithful buyer of green Pastures for 7 years and have just been informed by one of its major supporters, Dr Ron, that tests have been done on their fermented cod liver oil and the results are super scary and outrageous….please take a look
      http://www.drrons.com/
      For myself, i like to have all the information so that i am not in the dark and can decide for myself and to help others do the same
      Blessings (^.^)

  6. I’ve been wanting to try this brand of EVCLO! Sounds great. I’m hoping it will help my vitamin D levels. I’ve been taking about 8k+ IUs sublingual spray from mercola and also green pastures FCLO but it is still stuck at 26 ng/mL =/

    1. Hey Kristen! Check your red blood cell magnesium – if your magnesium is low, your D could get stuck!
      Hair tissue mineral analysis might be good too. Check out Wendy at “Live to 110” – she has TONS of info!

  7. I’m 16 weeks pregnant and would like to start taking EVCLO again. I stopped once I got pregnant because I couldn’t find a definite answer one way or the other if it is safe to take during pregnancy. So, now that my OB says it should be ok, I’d like to start taking it again. How much should I take a day? My prenatal has 5000 IU of Vitamin A (beta carotene). Is it ok to take 1 tsp of EVCLO/day along with my prenatal?

    1. I would really only take 1/2 tsp twice a week, on days I didn’t eat liver, and away from the prenatal. I did CLO 2x/week, and about 4oz. liver per week, usually spread across 1 or 2 days. I hope that helps!

  8. Hi!
    My son, who is almost 2, has enlarged adnoids, a pretty constant cough lately, and a chronic runny nose. I have been doing some reading about helpful remedies, and came across CLO as a very effective means of reducing inflammation of his adnoids, which is supposed to also help rid of his other symptoms. I have been reluctant to buy in-store brands because of uncertainties about their claims and processing methods. After reading about this EVCLO, I think I am going to give it a try. Do you feel comfortable giving this to your children (and what dosage would you recommend)?
    Thanks!

    1. I have indeed given this to my little one, just a dropperful when I think she needs an extra boost! I would start with a little and move up to a bit more if it were me, and I probably wouldn’t give more than 1/2 to 1 tsp, but you have to go with your gut! More won’t hurt, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t know anything about adenoids, but I wish you luck!

  9. Hi Liz! Thanks so much for all your info . Are you still recommending Rosita over Green Pastures? I am dealing with acne, hormonal issues, and Hashimoto’s and want to get back on CLO. I used the fermented kind a few years ago and I remember it giving me some stomach upset. I’m glad I stumbled on this blog post even though it is about a year or so old. I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

    1. Yep, still recommending Rosita! I’m updating my skincare guide to reflect that. However, I think 3 times a week is plenty for CLO, because keeping overall PUFA intake low seems to be a good anti-inflammatory strategy. I think desiccated liver pills are a smart addition a few times a week for more vitamin A (or liver, if you don’t mind eating it).

  10. Hi Liz! I just received my shipment of Rosita and Dr Ron’s Smooth Operator (yay!) I had a question – should I be taking CLO only three times a week – it says daily on the bottle? I also have sardines a few times a week (easiest lunch ever thanks for the tip!) Thanks! X

      1. Prefect thanks! 🙂 It’s crazy, I had a really bad flare last week right when I started to change out my diet and my skin’s healing much quicker than it usually does – and all because I’ve added sardines and CLO and dumped a bunch of unhealthy things! Really looking forward to seeing how my skin progresses! X

  11. Hi Liz! I messaged you on Instagram before seeing this post – you’ve answered almost all of my questions already! The only thing left is that I’m wondering if taking the EVCLO two-ish times a week is enough for proper amounts of DHA during pregnancy? I’m at 11 weeks and want to make sure I’m covering all my bases :). Thank you for all that you do!!!

      1. Very interesting. I just had an appointment with my OB yesterday and she said pretty much the same thing. Great minds ;). I will keep it up for the other health benefits and stick with my salmon & sardines! Thank you!

  12. Hi Liz
    This Norwegian newsarticle from last summer informs about the Rosita oil:
    “Dangerous levels of contaminants detected in fish oil
    The Norwegian FSA has demonstrated very high levels of PCBs and dioxins in three types of supplements based on fish oil.”
    [spam filtered link]

  13. Liz, do you still recommend this, or cod liver oil in general? I haven’t heard you or Diane talk about it in a year or so, so I’m guessing you don’t personally supplement with it anymore. Do you recommend it at all, especially asking for prenatal?

    1. I do think this is useful, but I don’t use it daily! I think once a week or so is fine. If using during pregnancy, I actually would stick with the recommended IU of vitamin A for pregnancy. I know several traditional resources recommend much more vitamin A, but my science team & I just don’t see this confidently reflected in the scientific literature!

  14. Hi Liz,
    I’m taking 1/2 teaspoon of rosita cod liver oil a day while pregnant. I do not take prenatals. I’m 30 weeks pregnant. Is 1/2 teaspoon a day safe while pregnant? Thank you!

    1. I personally think you don’t need to take that much. But you could do the math on how much vitamin A is in 1/2 tsp and cap it at 3,000 IU of vitamin A from CLO per day if you want to stay within the general recommendations of most healthcare professionals (I personally think the recommendations of Kresser and WAP Foundation on retinol in pregnancy are probably excessive). But that’s JUST an opinion!

  15. Hi. You mentioned that taking CLO only occasionally is the most research-based approach. Can you recommend any sources for this info? I’d like to read more. Thanks.

  16. Hi,Liz.
    I bought Carlson’s cod liver oil … but now I’m not sure about that. Should I stop taking and sending the bottle out?

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