Everything You Need To Know: Ratfish Liver Oil

Chimaera Monstrosa

The Ratfish, or Chimaera Monstrosa, is an extraordinary and rare fish found in parts of the North Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans close to the bottom at depths of 300–500 meters. Chimaeras are a group of cartilaginous fish; their skeletons are made up primarily of cartilage, rather than bone tissue. Their bodies are covered in a network of lines (see image below), inspiring their name derived from the Ancient Greek ‘Chimera’; a mythical creature comprised of stitched together body parts from different animals.

The fish has smooth skin, a long pointed tail and rodent-like sharp pointed teeth designed for crushing the shells of their prey giving them the name of “ratfish.” The liver of the ratfish is very large, constituting approximately 60% of its total body weight, and contains an exceedingly high proportion of oil.

Ratfish Liver Oil

The liver oil of certain shark species, or Elasmobranch fishes, such as the ratfish has been widely used in the past in Scandinavian medicine because of its strengthening, wound healing, and immune supporting properties. This rare oil was used for maintaining general health as well as for specific purposes, including the treatment of general debility, infections, irritations of the respiratory and alimentary tracts, and glandular disease. It was also applied topically to decrease inflammation and pain, to promote the healing of wounds, and as a skin elixir.

Ratfish liver oil is one of the finest natural antioxidant lubricants known, having been used topically and consumed orally by the Norwegian Vikings and Scandinavian fishermen for centuries. They regarded this oil as a rare and very special gift from the ocean, naming it the “Gold of the Ocean.”

The substance in the oil that accounts for these amazing benefits is known as alkylglycerol (AKG) and is found in the liver oil of ratfish as well as certain shark species. What sets apart ratfish liver oil from shark liver oil however, is the much higher quantity of these special compounds (up to 33% AKGs), which are in fact rare naturally occurring ether lipids with potent antioxidant benefits.



Benefits of Alkylglycerols

“Several clinical trials have shown the ability of alkylglycerols to help support the immune system by improving the body’s natural responses towards bacteria, fungi and yeast such as candida”

AKGs may also increase the total antioxidant status of blood and help to support the production of certain immune system supporting agents known as cytokines, eg interleukin 12 (IL-12) and interferon gamma (IFN- gamma).

The substance in the oil that accounts for these amazing benefits is known as alkylglycerol (AKG) and is found in the liver oil of ratfish as well as certain shark species. What sets apart ratfish liver oil from shark liver oil however, is the much higher quantity of these special compounds (up to 33% AKGs), which are in fact rare naturally occurring ether lipids with potent antioxidant benefits.

IL-12 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine which down-regulates, and therefore reduces, the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines including tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-11 (IL-11). Both TNF-alpha and IL-11 are proteins that contribute to inflammation. Although inflammation is an essential part of the body's healing system, chronic low-grade inflammation is intimately involved in all stages of atherosclerosis, the process that leads to cholesterol-clogged arteries; as well as contributing to Alzheimer's disease and a variety of other chronic health diseases. IFN-gamma is released by white blood cells of the immune system, including lymphocytes and macrophages, and has known anti-viral and anti-tumour properties. It also provides protection against bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

AKG’s have also been shown to have other beneficial effects including supporting the production of all types of blood cells (haematopoiesis), sperm quality improvement, reducing radiotherapy-induced injuries, and anti-tumour and anti-metastasis activities showing the potential clinical importance of AKG as a complement to conventional radiation therapy in cancer treatment (Joelsson I. Effect of Alkylglycerols on the Frequency of Fistulas Following Radiation Therapy. Lipidforum; Lund, Sweden: 1988. pp. 1–7.)

AKGs have been studied as anti-tumour agents in several clinical trials (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2953404/ (Mar & Drugs, 2010). It has been shown that AKG can significantly reduce the injuries due to radiation toxicity, enhancing the overall survival rate and survival time in irradiated uterine cervical cancer patients (Brohult A, Brohult J, Brohult S, Joelsson I. Reduced mortality in cancer patient after administration of alkoxyglycerols. Acta Obstet. Gynecol. Scand. 1986;65:779–78 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3544664/).

Another study showed a clear apoptosis/necrosis-inducing effect (ie reduction of tumour) in three different cell lines of human prostate cancer. (Krotkiewski M, Przybyszewska M, Janik P. Cytostatic and cytotoxic effects of alkylglycerols (Ecomer) Med. Sci. Monit. 2003;9:131–135 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14586289/).
AKG’s have antitumor activity that may be based on different mechanisms such as increasing apoptosis (breakdown) of neoplastic cancer cells and inhibition of angiogenesis (which contributes to cancer growth).

Whilst there is still more research to be done, there is no disputing that alkylglycerols seem to be beneficial and powerful natural compounds that offer a host of intriguing benefits, which have been known to us Nords and our ancestors for centuries.

Continuing On Health Traditions

Here at Rosita, we are all about continuing on the natural, healthy traditions of our ancestors and that’s why our range of raw and unprocessed products includes a high quality Extra Virgin Ratfish Liver Oil sourced specifically from the Chimaera Monstrosa ratfish species.

Our RLO (Ratfish Liver Oil) is a raw, unprocessed liver oil obtained from wild-harvested, sustainably sourced Norwegian fish, and is extensively tested by independent laboratories for heavy metals and other environmental contaminants.

Frequent third-party testing shows that Rosita Ratfish Liver Oil is free of harmful levels of contaminants; even without the distillation process most fish oil products must undergo to remove contaminants. Because Rosita use only wild caught ratfish, chemical processing to ensure purity is not required. The result is clean and pure oil, with all of its naturally occurring beneficial compounds intact and in their most bioavailable forms. Thanks to the inherent purity of the source ratfish liver, Rosita’s liver oil contains no detectable heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead and no other organic contaminants such as dioxins and PCBs. The oil is 100% pure with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and is therefore as pure and unrefined an oil as you can get, ensuring that you get all of the rare natural nutrients just as they are found in the natural world.

We take our inspection process seriously, hand-selecting only the best liver quality livers before storing within a dark, oxygen-free environment at a temperature just slightly warmer than the ocean. This helps the livers to naturally release the delicate oils without the need for chemicals, heat or pressure. Any contaminants are meticulously removed using an ancient, patented method and then each batch is independently tested for purity before bottling. This practice is extremely costly, but we strongly believe in producing the highest quality products.

The oil contains a complete range of raw omega fats including omega 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 11 and are particularly rich in the long-chain omega-3s (EPA and DHA), which our body can’t make alone, helping to support the brain & nervous system. As they’re naturally extracted by hand (using zero heat, chemicals or mechanics) the naturally-occurring active nutrients in the oil is in the exact form you’d find them in the livers of wild, living fish; for example, vitamin A is in the form of retinol and vitamin D in the form of cholecalciferol (D3). This natural filtration process also reduces the fishy tasting proteins whilst still retaining the good fats, helping to support blood vessel & pineal gland health.

Rosita Ratfish Liver Oil is not only an excellent source of AKG’s. fatty acids & fat-soluble vitamins, but it also contains heart healthy phytosterols. The most abundant phytosterol that it contains is campesterol. Phytosterols have been shown to maintain total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels within the normal ranges, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, supporting the healthy functioning of the immune system, and reducing inflammation.

As a nutritionist I use Rosita’s ratfish oil myself for immune support whenever I am feeling run down and I always highly recommend it to clients who are in need of immune support protocols. A wonderful product to have in your nutrition tool kit.

By Mays Al-Ali

Mays Al-Ali is a registered nutritionist, nutritional therapist & naturopath and certified yoga, breathwork and meditation teacher. She is the founder of the Healthy Mays clinic working with clients to help them achieve their health goals such as gut health, hormone & histamine balancing, weight loss & disordered eating, liver cleansing, stress, anxiety, insomnia and so much more. She loves teaching yoga & hosting transformational wellness nutrition and yoga retreats.

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