Lýsi is the name for fish liver oil; typically cod, but occasionally shark. While it’s true that lýsi is rich in Omega 3, the list of ailments it is reputed to cure is long, ever-growing, and often dubious. What used to be a fortifying and natural Vitamin D supplement that was poured into the mouths of school children as they sat at their desks (yes, really) has now taken on a life of its own.
Once lýsi became available in pill form, it started being marketed as an essential kit of good health for children, athletes and the elderly. This marketing worked a little too well, as it was reported in 2014 that Icelanders take far more than the recommended daily dosage of the stuff. Further, the lýsi inside the pills was found in 2012 to often be rancid, and thus totally ineffective.
Lýsi can be good for you, though, provided you take it the right way and in the right amounts. You should take it in liquid form, and no more than two teaspoons per day (one teaspoon for children under five). If the flavour makes your squeamish, hold your nose as you drink it and chase it with a strongly-flavoured drink, like fruit juice. In addition to the nutritional benefits, it’s a taste that is distinctly Icelandic. You should definitely try it at least once, anyway.
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