Cod Liver Oil for Kids: Health Benefits Vs Side Effects


Cod liver oil reduces the risk of type 1 diabetes, remedy for vitamin d deficiency, accelerates wound healing, heals gastric ulcers, helps in brain development and strengthens the immune system.

Parents try their best to give their kids a healthy and nutritious diet for optimal growth and development. However, sometimes your kid might not get sufficient nutrition through diet alone. In such a case, you may consider opting for various ways of providing nutrition to your kid and cod liver oil may be one such option. In this article, we will discuss everything that is there to discuss about cod liver oil for kids. Read on to find out what that is.

cod liver oil for kids

In this article:

11 Health Benefits of Cod Liver Oil for Children
Cod Liver Oil Dosage for Kids
Side Effects of Cod Liver Oil
Nutrition in Cod Liver Oil for Kids



Cod liver oil is oil that is extracted from the liver of a codfish. This fish is available in the colder regions of the world. The most famous species are Pacific cod and Atlantic cod. Codfish is used for its meat, but it is more popular for its liver oil. This oil has immense health benefits. Also, this oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin D amongst many other vital nutrients.

11 Health Benefits of Cod Liver Oil for Children

Cod liver oil has numerous health benefits for kids. Some of the health benefits of cod liver oil include:

Reduces the Risk of Type 1 Diabetes

Using cod liver oil when your kid is a year old can reduce the onset of type 1 diabetes in them. By consuming cod liver oil, the onset could be delayed or completely removed by the anti-inflammatory effects of long-chain n-3 fatty acids. At present, type 1 diabetes is a major concern for parents of young kids, as they are more susceptible to this disease.


Remedy for Vitamin D Deficiency

Cod liver oil is the man-made food supplement with the highest concentration of vitamin D.  Vitamin D is vital for proper bone development in children. Lack of this vitamin is associated with the development of rickets and therefore, cod liver oil, being a good source of vitamin D is very good for bone development in children.

Accelerates Wound Healing

Topical application of cod liver oil can accelerate the healing of wounds. The wound healing capability of cod liver oil is usually faster than that of standard treatments for wounds. Therefore, vitamin A in cod liver oil plays a vital role in wound healing.


Heals Gastric Ulcers

Apart from healing regular wounds, cod liver oil also helps in healing gastric ulcerations. Induced gastric ulcers when treated with cod liver oil, showed a significant improvement in ulcer healing activity. Therefore, if your kids are suffering from ulcers, then give them cod liver oil for treatment.

Helps in Brain Development

Cod liver oil is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids which include ALA, EPA and DHA. These fatty acids play a vital role in brain development, particularly for infants during pregnancy. Consumption of foods which are high in Omega 3 fatty acids during the last trimester and also during first postnatal months increases the cognitive functions of kids later.

Reduces Depression

Consumption of cod liver oil is not just good for bodily health and brain health, but it is also helpful in improving mental health as well. In order to reduce the risks of depression later in life, make your children have cod liver oil.

Strengthens the Immune System

Cod liver oil strengthens the immune system. Children are particularly susceptible to various seasonal diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. The onset of such seasonal diseases or viral or bacterial infections can be reduced greatly by giving cod liver oil. Vitamin D present in cod liver oil not only helps in strengthening bones, but it plays the role of immunomodulator i.e. stimulating various immune cells.

Treats Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Cod liver oil can also be very helpful in reducing upper respiratory tract infections in infants and toddlers. Kids are susceptible to these infections, so cod liver oil can come in handy during this time.


Cod liver oil, according to some studies could be an effective treatment option for tuberculosis (TB).



In some cases, cod liver oil is also known for preventing inflammation. However, verify with your doctor before giving it to your kid.

Coronary Artery Disease

Daily intake of cod liver oil may help prevent coronary atherosclerosis. There are fatty acids in cod liver oil which act as potent antioxidants. The buildup of plaque in the circulatory system is a result of inflammation. Therefore, regular intake of fish oil can help protect against arteriosclerosis. They also provide protection against blood clots.

Cod Liver Oil Dosage for Kids

The dosage of cod liver oil for babies and kids is as follows:

  • For Infants: You may give ¼ to ½ teaspoon of this oil on a regular basis.
  • For Older Children: You may give 1 to 2 teaspoons of cod liver oil to kid depending.

Side Effects of Cod Liver Oil

High Amounts of Vitamin A

This oil is rich in vitamin A and consuming more than required amounts can lead to various problems such as double vision, softening of the skull bones, pain in the bones, poor weight gain etc.


High Amounts of Vitamin D

The amounts of vitamin D in this oil may lead to various complications such as rapid heartbeat, dry skin, dry mouth, lack of urination etc.

Gastric Disturbance

Taking this oil supplement leads to heartburnnauseastomach ache, bloating etc.

Weird Aftertaste

It has got a very peculiar taste and most kids hate it. It may leave a very weird aftertaste that may make your child feel like vomiting.

It has Anticoagulant Properties

This oil contains anticoagulant or blood-thinning properties, and it may cause the risk of bleeding in your kid.

Mercury Contamination

There is a risk of mercury contamination by giving this supplement to your child. Therefore, before you decide to give this supplement to your kid, you should discuss all the pros and cons with your doctor.

With these side effects, it can be advised to take cod liver oil or cod liver pills only consulting your doctor. Your doctor who knows yours and your kids’ medical history is the right person to advise you.


Nutrition in Cod Liver Oil for Kids

According to the National Nutrient Database from the US Department of Agriculture, the nutrition found in Cod Liver Oil includes

Nutrition Value Per 100 g Nutrition Value Per 100 g
Energy 902 kcal Total Lipid (fat) 100
Vitamin A, (RAE) 30000 ug Vitamin A (IU) 100000 IU
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) 350 ug Vitamin D 10000 IU

Therefore, to conclude, cod liver oil has its pros and cons, but always remembers that it is important to consult your doctor before starting the medication.


Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy Babies and Empowered Women!!

Cod Liver oil for Children
Article Name
Cod Liver oil for Children
Read the benefits of cod liver oil for kids and the safe effects associated with it.