Liver: Nature's Most Potent Superfood | Chris Kresser
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Liver: Nature’s Most Potent Superfood

by Chris Kresser

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Conventional dietary wisdom holds that the micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and trace elements) we need from foods are most highly concentrated in fruits and vegetables. While it’s true that fresh fruits and veggies are full of vitamins and minerals, their micronutrient content doesn’t always hold up to what is found in meats and organ meatsespecially liver.

The chart below lists the micronutrient content of apples, carrots, red meat and beef liver. Note that every nutrient in red meat except for vitamin C surpasses those in apples and carrots, and every nutrient—including vitamin C—in beef liver occurs in exceedingly higher levels in beef liver compared to apple and carrots. In general, organ meats are between 10 and 100 times higher in nutrients than corresponding muscle meats. (That said, fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients like flavonoids and polyphenols that aren’t found in high concentrations in meats and organ meats, so fresh produce should always be a significant part of your diet.)

In fact, you might be surprised to learn that in some traditional cultures, only the organ meats were consumed. The lean muscle meats, which are what we mostly eat in the U.S. today, were discarded or perhaps given to the dogs.

A popular objection to eating liver is the belief that the liver is a storage organ for toxins in the body. While it is true that one of the liver’s role is to neutralize toxins (such as drugs, chemical agents and poisons), it does not store these toxins. Toxins the body cannot eliminate are likely to accumulate in the body’s fatty tissues and nervous systems. On the other hand, the liver is a is a storage organ for many important nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron). These nutrients provide the body with some of the tools it needs to get rid of toxins.

Remember that it is essential to eat meat and organ meats from animals that have been raised on fresh pasture without hormones, antibiotics or commercial feed. Pasture-raised animal products are much higher in nutrients than animal products that come from commercial feedlots. For example, meat from pasture-raised animals has 2-4 times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from commercially-raised animals. And pasture-raised eggs have been shown to contain up to 19 times more omega-3 fatty acids than supermarket eggs! In addition to these nutritional advantages, pasture-raised animal products benefit farmers, local communities and the environment.

For more information on the incredible nutritional benefits of liver and some suggestions for how to prepare it, click here.

APPLE (100 g) CARROTS (100 g) RED MEAT (100 g) BEEF LIVER (100 g)
Calcium 3.0 mg 3.3 mg 11.0 mg 11.0 mg
Phosphorus 6.0 mg 31.0 mg 140.0 mg 476.0 mg
Magnesium 4.8 mg 6.2 mg 15.0 mg 18.0 mg
Potassium 139.0 mg 222.0 mg 370.0 mg 380.0 mg
Iron .1 mg .6 mg 3.3 mg 8.8 mg
Zinc .05 mg .3 mg 4.4 mg 4.0 mg
Copper .04 mg .08 mg .18 mg 12.0 mg
Vitamin A None None 40 IU 53,400 IU
Vitamin D None None Trace 19 IU
Vitamin E .37 mg .11 mg 1.7 mg .63 mg
Vitamin C 7.0 mg 6.0 mg None 27.0 mg
Thiamin .03 mg .05 mg .05 mg .26 mg
Riboflavin .02 mg .05 mg .20 mg 4.19 mg
Niacin .10 mg .60 mg 4.0 mg 16.5 mg
Pantothenic Acid .11 mg .19 mg .42 mg 8.8 mg
Vitamin B6 .03 mg .10 mg .07 mg .73 mg
Folate 8.0 mcg 24.0 mcg 4.0 mcg 145.0 mcg
Biotin None .42 mcg 2.08 mcg 96.0 mcg
Vitamin B12 None None 1.84 mcg 111.3 mcg

459 Comments

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  1. Chris,

    I just can’t bring myself to feed our 6-month old RAW liver, but have no reservations with cooked and pureed. Is there any major nutrient loss from doing so, and how much would you recommend?

    • A six month old should be nursing. Babies do not have the stomach acids to digest foods till around 9 months and as long as they are nursing they can eat as little or as much of everything you are eating and their mama’s milk will make sure they are balanced & healthy.

      • This is at odds with Chris’ Healthy Baby code that suggests soft-boiled egg yolk, CLO, mashed, ripe banana, and/or raw liver (frozen & grated) as first “solid” foods at 6 mos.

        This is intended to supplement BM, which our LO is consuming 24-30 oz per day.

    • I would never feed a baby raw liver. The risk of infection, however slight it might be, is unacceptable. Cooked liver is very high in nutrients. The nutritional difference between raw and cooked is slight and safety of cooked is much better.

  2. Chris, I just read somewhere that cooking in cast iron does not lose as many nutrients. I use stainless steel cookware, but to cook liver, etc. is it best to use cast iron? Thank you

  3. Good morning. I’ve been diagnosed with severe anemia due to heavy blood loss because of a uterus problem. My iron level has dropped from 11 to 7.8. I was eating beef liver, but just read that chicken liver is higher in iron and better to absorb? Can someone please help me understand what is best to eat? I can’t take iron supplements, and docs are discussing a blood transfusion and/or iron intravenous treatments, which I really don’t want. My health is really declining due to my severe iron deficiency. Much help appreciated. Thank you

    • IV iron is not a bad thing, after my celiac diagnosis my haemoglobin was only 7, they gave me iron infusion , and after a few months my haemoglobin came up to 13.4!

    • Brenda,
      I had severe blood loss after delivering my 2nd child. My hemoglobin dropped from 12 to 4.9. The doctor recommended a blood transfusion. I chose not to get the transfusion. When I returned home, my father cooked chicken liver broth with spinach for me every day, which I drank. About 3 weeks post-partum, I got out of bed one morning, and a stream of blood poured out of me. I had to go back to the ER. An ultrasound revealed that a small piece of the placenta was still in my uterus and was causing my post-partum bleeding to continue. While in the ER, the doctor tested my hemoglobin because he was concerned about my previous low levels. The test results showed (even though I was still bleeding everyday for 3 weeks) my hemoglobin had still increased to 10 in only 3-weeks of drinking chicken liver broth. Just so you know, I did not take the iron pills I got in the hospital after my delivery because they were synthetic. I’m not telling you or anybody to turn down a transfusion or IV treatments, if that’s what you want. But it sounds like you are looking for a more natural way to heal, and I hope that by me sharing my experience with the healing power of food, you will have the courage to try it too. May God bless you in your healing journey!

  4. Hello!

    Does chicken liver fall into the same nutritional value as beef liver? It is much easier for me to find organic chicken liver and it significantly cheaper. Many thanks!

    • The nutritional profile is not exactly the same, but any liver from any animal is a nutritional powerhouse. I wouldn’t worry too much about the slight differences.

  5. Hi Chris – Does cooking and then freezing your liver deplete vitamins? Essentially, I buy grass fed beef liver from a farm where it gets shipped to me frozen in an airsealed plastic bag that has way too much meat for one sitting. I normally cook it all and then freeze it into individual servings. My question is am I losing any health benefits by doing this?

    Please advise!

    • You should never thaw meat and than re-freeze ! You can cook it all and than freeze it again but you will lose taste and nutrients. No meat should ever be thawed and froze again! This can cause food poisoning. Maybe you could ask to have smaller portions froze or froze individual packs, the that way you can thaw what you need. Good luck!

      • There is no danger from refreezing meat. As long as it was thawed properly, there is no increased health risk. It’s the method is thawing, not freezing, that can cause food poisoning.

        Re-freezing does reduce the quality of the food slightly, but it would still be perfectly edible. The nutritional quality may be reduced slightly, but liver would still be extremely nutritious even after freezing, thawing, cooking, and refreezing.

  6. How much liver is to much a day and why?
    Someone I know is eating 8 oz a day of raw smoothie. Is that safe? If it’s not then why?

    • No that’s not safe. Mainly from the very high level of vitamin A s/he’s ingesting. Secondly, the raw liver possesses a greater chance of infectious disease than if it was cooked. Thirdly, liver contains elevated levels of heavy metals. Which probably isn’t a problem with a weekly meal, but at 8 oz a day s/he could be accumulating a large amount of heavy metals.

      I wouldn’t eat more than 10000 IU vitamin A from livers in a day, which is about 1oz beef liver or 3oz chicken liver.

    • Carrots give beta carotine which the body precisely converts into vit A , only as much bit A as you need. You can overdose on Vit A pills but not on beta carotine. See.

  7. I’m often told that liver is not good, liver keep the poison and protect the body, and liver matters is very dangerous, the toxic can remain in animal liver… and this article tells me liver is good, even superfood?
    I will give this article to my mother.

    • My classmates parents are very healthy and her folks eat liver regularly; they are both in their upper 80’s. A friend’s dad eats off the land (garden, cattle) and he eats a lot of liver and is 95 & in great health. She said he has always stayed away from bread and sweets and eats mostly produce and protein. I eat it regularly & always get a burst of energy afterwards. I cook & freeze because we get a side of beef & it is packed with 5-6 pieces. I actually like it better at room temp after thawing out; doesn’t have as strong of a flavor as it does right after cooking. If I can feel the energy after eating it, then I don’t feel I need to eat it raw to get the benefits. People get carried away with these things; eating cooked is much better than not eating at all.

  8. The National Institutes of Health provided this information on Vitamin A, the type in liver is preformed A, not carotenoids, like beta-carotene found in dark leafy greens and bright orange veggies and fruit.

    Observational studies have suggested an association between high intakes of preformed vitamin A (more than 1,500 mcg daily—only slightly higher than the RDA), reduced bone mineral density, and increased fracture risk [1,4,39]. However, the results of studies on this risk have been mixed, so the safe retinol intake level for this association is unknown.

    Total intakes of preformed vitamin A that exceed the UL and some synthetic retinoids used as topical therapies (such as isotretinoin and etretinate) can cause congenital birth defects [2-4]. These birth defects can include malformations of the eye, skull, lungs, and heart [4]. Women who might be pregnant should not take high doses of vitamin A supplements [2].

    Unlike preformed vitamin A, beta-carotene is not known to be teratogenic or lead to reproductive toxicity [1]. And even large supplemental doses (20–30 mg/day) of beta-carotene or diets with high levels of carotenoid-rich food for long periods are not associated with toxicity. The most significant effect of long-term, excess beta-carotene is carotenodermia, a harmless condition in which the skin becomes yellow-orange [1,24]. This condition can be reversed by discontinuing beta-carotene ingestion.

    Supplementation with beta-carotene, with or without retinyl palmitate, for 5–8 years has been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease in current and former male and female smokers and in male current and former smokers occupationally exposed to asbestos [26,40]. In the ATBC study, beta-carotene supplements (20 mg daily) were also associated with increased mortality, mainly due to lung cancer and ischemic heart disease [26]. The CARET study ended early, after the investigators found that daily beta-carotene (30 mg) and retinyl palmitate (25,000 IU) supplements increased the risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality [40].

    Source:
    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/

    Hyperdosing on preformed A from liver or supplements does not seem to be prudent, but eating foods high in carotenoids : cooked dark leafy greens, cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit and spices (paprika, cayenne) and, maybe even an occasional glass of carrot juice makes sense.

  9. Article stated “folic acid” in liver. I hope not! You mean folate. Folic acid is a cheap synthetic chemical that causes problems with an estimated 1/3+ of the population who have the genetic issue. It is added to all flour in the US, and is in most multivitamins and B vitamins. Google 5-MTHF

      • Folic acid is a synthetic B vitamin found in supplements and fortified foods. Curiously, mainstream media and government agencies use the term synonymously with folate, the natural form of multiple B vitamins commonly referred to as “vitamin B9.”

        This has led the entire nation to believe that folic acid is a naturally occurring vitamin (which it isn’t), and that it’s healthy to supplement with (which it isn’t).

        Unlike natural folates (which are directly metabolized by the small intestines), folic acid requires the assistance of a specific enzyme named “dihydrofolate reductase”, which is relatively rare in the body.
        Source:
        https://draxe.com/folate-vs-folic-acid-1-healthy-1-dangerous/

        Jims3d is correct. Research MTHFR gene which will give more insight on folate metabolism and how genes dictate the methylation process. There’s very affordable DNA testing through genealogy companies like 23andme, Family Tree DNA…or just ask your doctor to test you.

  10. I love organ meats, gelatin cuts(oxtail, bone marrow), and bone broths. I’m no longer eating a keto diet however when I did I made sure to include all parts of the animal in my diet. Eating just muscles will raise your methionine levels which can increase homocysteine and put you at a greater rick of a heart attack. See, muscle meat whether grassfed or not is high in methionine but eating organs and drinking bone broths has proline and glycine which balances your methionine. in addition to this folate(B9), choline(found in eggs and liver), and B12 lowers methionine as well. Anyone eating a keto diet needs to know this. I’m now just carb restrictive at about 125 grams a day instead of just 40 a day. However I still make sure to eat liver and drink a couple glasses of bone broth a week. If you don’t have access to quality organs and bones I recommend you eat more eggs and fish as opposed to meat.

    • Excellent post, Barry. If you have a source for your information, please pass it on. I would appreciate it. It all makes sense to me…
      My husband, has had some triangular issues with symptoms of insulin resistance increasing blood pressure and blockages in kidney arteries… he got surgery for recently.
      I have been trying to get my husband onto a keto/paleo diet because his BP spikes in the presence of carbs, and he loves meat. I have been going the fish direction and serving high quality grass-fed beef, and with my chicken bone broth in the oven overnight, just so happens. Argh! I am thankful that he is responding, but he loves his carbs. Taking his postprandial BP helps him to see the light that diet is important. He hates supplements, and this is too bad… Not sure I can get him to eat organ meats. I will try.

      • Training an adult palate to love organ meats is no small task. I’d suggest freezing liver/heat/etc and then mixing in 1/4-1/3c grated offal into 1lb of ground beef. My kids and hubs never notice. 😉

  11. It remains me of the article I read a long time ago about a person who joined Eskimos in remote location over the winter. He started to eat only the extremities of the seals – and became sick due to vitamin deficiencies. Eskimos told him “you need to eat the whole animal as the animals live in the natural environment and are not deficient in anything”. So he reluctantly started to eat all animal parts and on his return the doctor’s examination showed that his health was in perfect order. – This reminds me of my childhood living in the communist country. My parents did not want to become communists so my father was punished for that. For that reason money were not plentiful. During the communism the vegetables or fruit were non existent for at least 9 months/year except for an occasional cabbage and potatoes. I was always wondering why we were in a very good health. No wonder => my mum on a very low budget had to buy a cheep meat consisting of many animal organs. I just wonder how healthy were the communists who had enough money to buy the steaks but could not buy the vegetables/fruit anyway as there were none.
    JN

  12. Chicken liver and other meat, dairy and eggs are so good for you that vegans in study after study live longer and have less disease…

    Isn’t amazing that as Okinawans move away from Japanese yams, vegetables and fruits to more meat and processed foods that disease is increasing and life is getting shorter.

    • Richard, your statement brings up another weakness found in observational studies: there is a confluence of factors that could play a role in health and longevity. You say that “as Okinawans move away from Japanese yams, vegetables and fruits to more meat and processed foods that disease is increasing.” How do you know the determining factor is grass-fed organ meat when you yourself said that another factor was processed foods. Are they equal? Indeed, Okinawans have not only increased their intake of conventionally raised meat (i.e., unhealthy product–unlike grass-fed meat and pastured eggs) and processed foods, but have also increased their intake of whole grains. Their lifestyles have also become more sedentary. More Okinawans smoke tobacco and drink alcohol than did in the 1950’s.

      Genetics also play a role in longevity and health. Okinawans may be adapted to a diet higher in carbs and lower in fat, but it doesn’t make grass-fed beef unhealthy for all humans. Their diet and lifestyle were largely Paleo before the addition of processed foods and grains like wheat.

      • If you were truly paying for your own health care, which most are not, I would care less what lifestyle you think is right for you.
        Observational studies of large populations are not perfect nor are they advertised as perfect. However, studies of one or two components of a diet are less perfect.
        Studies of dna impact on health indicate that it is no more than 25%. You blah, blah till you are blue in the face and then try to explain to me why Japanese and Okinawans that move and consume the Western Diet reflect the same rates of disease as they age…What happen to your it is genetic????
        I have studied the area of nutrition to the point I am satisfied that nutritional research is not going to provide many better answers in my lifetime than studies of the five Blue Zones.

        • Richard, nobody here is saying that the modern western diet is healthy! Of course the Okinawans have become unhealthy if they are eating diets high in sugar, refined flours and all the rest.

          Most people in the west do no eat liver anyway. Yes, a vegetarian or pescetarian diet can be healthy, and maybe vegetarian is the most ethical choice, but you also cannot deny that liver is exceptionally high in important nutrients.

          • More is sometimes less. Overdosing or excess consumption of fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A and D can be detrimental to health. The same holds true for iron, copper, carnitine and choline.

            Best bets for safely loading up on micronutrients is regularly eat cooked kale, collards, raw arugula and other greens while getting regular, safe (no burn) sunshine. In this way, you also get the antioxidants, polyphenols etc.. Chris mentioned and… lots of prebiotic fibers, healthy gut anyone?

        • Of course Okinawans get sick if they start eating a Western diet. Are you seriously that ignorant? What does a western diet even have to do with grass-fed liver? Just because you study veganism doesn’t make you a complete nutrition genius. Maybe you should go to school, get a college education, and learn how to interpret research without bias

          • Come on…… that reply was a bit harsh, don’t you think? You are stooping to his level, Now you really should apologize —– you were very rude. He was only voicing his opinion –without mentioning YOUR college education (or lack thereof).

            • I guess Obitan’s ego took over and felt the need to attack.

              The assumption that the body with all it’s intricacies is easily understood by anyone is a misconception. How ridiculous not to acknowledge how complex the human body truly is. We can talk of generalities, but have to take into account confounding complexities, such as: Family history, region, genetics, existing diseases and even how polluted the organism is at the time.

              One size does not fit all.

              Nancy Ryer RN, BSN

    • It is not that meat is so bad, it is that plant based eaters have more respect to what else they are putting in their mouths, less smokers less alcohol less drugs, less mixed fat/protein/flour/sugar as in fast foods.

      • Really? Did you get that out of a comic book? Okinawans smoke more than people in the US…
        They also drink more green tea, exercise more and sit less.

        Rather that trying to identify the one or two things that might be crucial it makes more sense to accept the whole lifestyle less the things we might have good evidence on like smoking. In another hundred years or so of research maybe science can be more specific but at this time I will look hard at the five Blue Zones and not research trying to prove details like saturated fat, dairy, meat, fish, eggs and other specifics that will remain unproven for many decades.
        The five Blue Zones have many commonalities, that is good enough for me.

        • The Blue zones are a hoax. They were carefully selected to include meat eating communities and most are myths. They have deliberately excluded various parts of the world. I personally know India has so many communities that are vegetarian (and some eat meat like once a month or on few times a year) that live way above 100 years but none are mentioned.
          There is a community of my close friend in South India where people live upto 135 years. He said very reluctantly after a lot of urging that they used to bury the old alive cause sometimes they just won’t die. They won’t be eating anything and will just lay alive motionless. The last person they buried alive was 125 year old lady some 40 years ago.
          Now nobody lives that long at the current generation are dying at 65 because they eat a lot of meat even though its only tender lamb and wild fowl but it clearly affects them This community is proof that genes don’t matter at all its the diet and the environment. They lived in pristine environments and everything grew around them until they were rediscovered again. They ran away from muslim invaders to southern parts that were remote as it had vast plains. They crossed over till they reached the mountain ranges which are inhabited from the other sitde but they never cross over.
          There are some 300+ Raw vegan communities (quite a few of them eat honey) that live long lives above 100 even these have not been included in the Bluse Zones.

    • Why are you comparing the health of vegans to that of the general population who don’t even eat offal.

      At least be intellectually honest enough to compare the health of vegans with people eating health conscious omnivorous diets that includes pasture raised offal and free range eggs.

    • Richard you are an idiot…google traditional Okinawan diet. Lots of pork…yes!!!!! I said lots of pork!!!!!!!!!..organ meat and muscles. Soooo..shut up about meat being unhealthy. Meat is what we are made of. Now their pigs aren’t raised in factory farms and their diet is varied and doesn’t consist of factory style feeds. So…I mean come on man do some reasearch before you start spitting out so bs you read on one site.

      • The scientific analysis of the Okinawan centenarians’ diets are 96% plant based, with most of the 4% of animal sourced calories as fish. Stewed pork with the fat skimmed off during a long cooking process, is served on special occasions/holidays- roughly .5 – 1% of total calories.

        Many of the centenarians, survived a very tragic war torn food shortage, when sweet potatoes were over 65% of their diet over a number of years.

  13. Hi, Chris. Thankyou for the info. I read somewhere that pregnant women must avoid eating liver. Is that so, and do you know why.

  14. Because of the extremely high Vitamin A content in liver, one should not eat it more than 1-2 x/month. This is not betacarotene which can be consumed ad nauseum, but Vitamin A which, in excess, can become toxic in the body. It can lead to liver problems, hair loss, confusion and loss of bone density.

      • Including only grass-fed animals, wild fish and unprocessed but excluding those with toxins/antibiotics, four ounces a week seems reasonable given that the cooking method does not result in raising the meat to very high temperatures.
        That would not be much more than 12 pounds annually and that is far from the current number in the US.

    • Hilarious to me one could think this is true. Vitamin A is a vitamin. Beef liver is a whole/natural food. Anyone ever hear of any case of any person ever dying of eating, “too much liver because of the vitamin a?” Have some common sense. Your body stores vitamin a in the liver, so it’s easy to see why liver is so high in it. But what causes toxicity? One dose? NO. Weeks, and typically months or years, of extremely high vitamin a intake. This is because vitamin a has to build up to toxic levels in your own liver, levels which are way higher than you could ever eat in one sitting of liver. Liver is a very small portion of the animal, and should be eaten in relation to that fact(says common sense, get what common sense is now??).Liver should not be over consumed. What food is not in this category?? None. You can die from a water overdose. Keep the liver eating to at most 2x per week, not month as was suggested. If you can die from an average of 4 ounces of beef liver a day the stuff wouldn’t be sold in every single US supermarket, and my grandpa wouldn’t revere to it as a superfood. Also, mountain lions routinely kill deer and only eat the liver and heart. Oh and by the way, our human ancestors who evolved the quickest ate brains. And brains are so high in omega 3 fatty acids you would not believe me. Organ meats are just that, organs. They are not “meat” in the sense that meat is muscle. Rather highly functioning tissues and some of them store certain substances, liver stores vitamin a, d, b-12, and iron. “Too much of a good thing” might of stemmed from eating liver everyday. But a few ounces a day is not toxic and can be a backdoor way to revitalize your own liver. We are what we eat, right?

      • Great that you asked….yes, Arctic Explorers consuming liver did contract Acute hypervitaminosis. A severe condition resulting from consuming too much vitamin A during a short period of time which not only causes sickness but even can lead to death. Trying doing a little research before commenting and you might be amazed at the truth rather than speculating!
        I take it you know that different liver has different amounts of iron….have three ounces of goose liver daily and you will exceed your daily limit.
        You do know high levels of iron in the blood causes problems????

        • Well that was also because they ate the liver of polar bears; which are toxic because of their very high vitamin A levels that polar bears have specifically evolved to tolerate. I’d say beef liver – a serving the size of your palm once a week and you should be fine.

      • Dr Bailey, We raise and retail grass fed beef and as such have freshly frozen liver at all times in 1lb of sliced and frozen, vacuum packed potions.
        I am a healthy 74 year old male and eat about one bag per week, generally lasting four breakfasts, lightly fried, blue rare or pink in middle. It only takes about a minute to prepare. I am somewhat addicted to it and when I run out I drink one or two raw eggs from our farm yard hens. I also have about 1.5 onz of frozen beef Marrow and knuckle bone broth, thawed in about 15 onz of boiled water, with turmeric and pepper/salt to taste. I also have a small bowl of non cooked raw oat meal/ yogurt, which I believe keeps the bugs in my hindgut or colon healthy.
        A full breakfast often keeps me going all day except for drinking coffee/ tea water.
        The marrow broth portions test about 500mg/100g of Omega 6;3 balance of less than 1.5 to 1 and over 500mg/100g of CLA.
        I feel fine but have not visited Dr since mine retired 4 years ago when I last had full blood work done for insurance purposes. Then I had a clean bill of health and supposedly the blood work of someone in their 30’s. I virtually only eat grass fed beef and in season garden greens or wintered stored brassicas.
        I feel fine but I keep reading about liver toxicity and wonder about the symptoms because I do not seem to have the strength and stamina of last year. I have been eating a similar breakfast for at least 12 years and credit the broth in particular for reversing arthritis joint pains developing in my 60’s when Dr told I was candidate for joint replacement due to arthritic situation of my mother years before, who had a sweet tooth. Dr warned me then I was eating too much beef and candidate for diabetes and heart disease. In blood tests of late sixties when still eating some fast foods on road Dr indicated I was an anomaly and that my diet would eventually cause problems. I had quite a discussion because I had been told in my youth to eat beef daily if possible for a long healthy life, as my forebears had done and was going to continue. In light of recent press on animal fats, I am now convinced the old grazier/farmers of 60+ years ago were correct, ‘ live off the fats of the land, from grazing animals, with cloven hooves, that chew their cud’.

        • hi,

          what do you mean by this?: ”I feel fine but I keep reading about liver toxicity and wonder about the symptoms because I do not seem to have the strength and stamina of last year. ”

          you mean the liver you still eat does not give you the same benefits as before?

          • The best way to prevent build up of chemicals,vitamins,and toxic is to do coffee enema.Coffee enema let your own liver realist all this toxic built up.I know a body’s builder who consume 10 capsules per day of grass fed desiccated liver for years without any build up,or side effect.That,because he does coffee enema 4 times a week.I also do coffee enema for my IC pain,and I feel great!.No more pain.

        • Your oatmeal (its fiber and phytosterols) certainly helps your body flush out some of the extra cholesterol and fat from your rich diet.

      • I think you will find you are wrong. It is known that excess Vitamin a is toxic being oil/fat soluble it can not escape.
        I have read that one portion a month will you you all the benefits you need. Acute toxicity occurs after consuming large amounts of vitamin A over a short period of time, typically within a few hours or days. Chronic toxicity occurs when large amounts of vitamin A build up in the body over a long period of time. Symptoms of acute vitamin A toxicity include: drowsiness, irritability, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, increased pressure on the brain.
        A 4-oz serving of liver contains 18,928 IU of Vitamin A. This is almost 400% of your RDA,
        Eating a moderate amount of liver one or two days a week will not create the consistent, daily excess needed for chronic Vitamin A toxicity.
        The vitamin A content in beef liver is very high, with 100 grams of raw liver containing over three times the recommended daily value. As a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin A accumulates in your own liver and can cause serious health issues at high levels. These include dizziness, nausea, headaches, liver damage and — for expectant mothers — a risk of birth defects. High levels of iron can also be seriously toxic, producing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, among other symptoms. The effects of overconsuming liver are usually slow or chronic, rather than acute, but you might experience an acute reaction if you overeat beef liver while taking supplements that contain the same range of nutrients.
        I won’t go on, it is very easy to research.

        • I was quite famished today and commited a 1st by eating probably close to a pound of cooked turkey livers. Then two apples and some cheese. And just before I ate the livers, I ate a about 9 ounces of cranberry sauce. I was fairly exhausted from a long walk and reporteded for jury duty, and I hardly ever eat like a wolf, normally! But OMG! The amount of preformed vitamin A I overdosed on with those livers! Will I pull out of it??? ha ha ha ha. Glad I looked it up and found out how much of this fat stored vitamin I injested. It’s alarming, and I already have osteopenia! Didn’t know it may accelerate,bone loss!

  15. I wouldn’t consume beef liver because of the horrific, protracted, daily cruelty and misery those poor feeling beings endure. The loneliness, heartbreak and torturous pain these animals endure is so shocking and so extreme, we have to be fairly segmented in our hearts and our consciousness to even discuss eating them. In other words: unfeeling and numb to the reality. I feel this issue, and the shocking amount of resources required to maintain these farm animals and attendant degradation to the Earth, supersedes all others for any thinking, feeling and sane human being; and thus that any discussion of its “benefits” is disingenuous and misleading. It’s not going to be very good for your health if the biosphere collapses. I agree that chicken liver is quite nutritious, and can be helpful for anemics.

    • Everything you mentioned has absolutely nothing to do with the cow liver that the author advises eating (pasture, grassfed) and everything to do with what he tells you NOT to eat (grain/corn-fed, large commercial operations). Pastured cows live incredibly blissful lives, and it is reflected in both the taste and nutrient profile of their meat and organs.

      • So true 90% of all meadow animals in New Zealand are out in the fields eating grass, during miking they get a small amount of grain.

      • How many cows live like you mention including when in the feedlot just before being slaughtered????
        Most cows get a high amount of hormones and other drugs in the period before slaughter no matter if they were grass-fed up to that point.
        Instead of speculating why not look at some research done on cow liver commercially sold in the US?
        One fact that is disturbing to people trying to eat healthy is the fact that the number one use of antibiotics in the US is for farm animals. If you look at the studies concerning milk what do you think is in the liver?

    • To challenge your arguments I would suggest reading The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith. She was a vegan for 20 years till she took the time to really examine how food is produced. She says
      “Certainly, most people who consume factory-farmed meat have never asked what died and how it died. But frankly, neither have most vegetarians. The truth is that agriculture is the most destructive thing humans have done to the planet, and more of the same won’t save us. The truth is that agriculture requires the wholesale destruction of entire ecosystems The truth is also that life isn’t possible without death, that no matter what you eat, someone has to die to feed you.”
      Eating pasture raised cattle and other animals can arguably cause less death than the plowing of fields, clearing of forests and growing of plants (especially vast monocrops like grains) which causes the death of birds, rodents, bugs, worms, and trillions of microbes in the soil, as well as fish from the waterway destruction to irrigate.

    • As my local free-range farmer likes to say, “My cows only have one bad day.” He is right. Until their “time” they enjoy life wandering around a beautiful grassland eating and pooping…what cows do best.

  16. Comparing “red meat”(which is a pretty silly generalisation) and beef liver with apples and carrots doesn’t mean that the micronutrients of ALL vegetables are lower.. Such a ridiculously small scale shows literally nothing but that apples and carrots have less of certain nutrients that beef liver.

    • It does show that meats–particularly liver and organ meats–can be much better sources of nutrition and then many of us have been led to believe. Animal foods may not be the bad guy they are portrayed to be at all…

    • I think it shows that all whole foods are ok to consume crap food manufactured in factories is the cause of most of our illness, eat whole foods steer clear of manufactured franken foods.

  17. It is always better to have a Vegetarian Diet.

    whole grains
    legumes
    nuts
    fruit
    vegetables
    water

    Eat at the same time every day. And do not overeat.

    Exercise, sunshine, temperance, trust in God, which is a great stress reliever.

    That is all you need.

    That is what Seventh Day Adventists do and that is why out of all the groups in America, they live on average 10 years longer than the general population.

    • The Seventh Day Adventists also abstain from alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes and encourage exercise.

      Those factors alone will increase their lifespan – just think how much longer they could live if they added liver to their diets 😉

      • Excellent comment,Coco. In what you say is the problem with almost all modern nutritional studies, dating back to the 1950s. They have been poorly done and organized and things that are highly nutritious and needed by the body, like fats– particularly saturated — are not the villains we have been duped into believing . Yes, half of my diet is raw vegetables and fruits ( smoothies in my Vitamix are big). But I now know by researching, to eat fatty meats, cheeses, coconut oil, and plenty of nuts. And and no wheat or other starches. Plenty of fat is just as important as phytonutrients and fiber.

      • Mormons also compare favorably life span wise and they eat a lot of meat but also should avoid unhealthy drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc. Studies are generally done on Utah mormons so the benefits of southern, whatever they are, don’t apply. This in spite of the fact that if you go to any event/socal were snacks are available, there is usually nothing that has any healthy redeeming qualities but there’s always a prayer/blessing over the junk food that it will be good for them. Irony.

        Price Odwolfe Weston

      • They also eat nuts and seeds but I like to see the study that proves consuming liver on a regular basis leads to a longer life…

    • You mean the 7th day adventists who live in southern california. The 7th day adventists are actually a rather large religion. The formula doesn’t seem to work for the rest of them. Hmm maybe its something else in the environment that they live in.

    • Nothing is always better for everyone, that’s something many people wanna believe or make people wanna believe -> fasting (IF), vegan, vegetarian, high protein, high carb, high fat, X amounts of fruit/vegs/fish oil/veg. based O3’s/…, supplements, meal frequency, meal size, food choices, amount of raw food, water, salt, sleep, physical training etc. Obviously nothing works always better for everyone – also as life goes on and we get older/change our daily routine/have different quantities and qualities of sleep and stress, the nutrition will change aswell.

      Some people actually died from vegan diets or diets which are very low on fat. Some people thrive on meat, some people thrive on a veget. diet, some on a vegan diet, some people need to switch for a few months to a vegan or vegetarian diet to get rid of some toxics and to relieve the system, some people need to start eating a little bit of meat due to various reasons – those people actually feel e.g. a significant energy boost as soon as the nutrients get absorbed.

      Though, the amount of meat consumed nowadays and the daily consumption are not only not necessary but also in most cases not healthy (aswell as the daily consumption of the same foods like chicken, milk, whey, eggs, corn). People quite frequently crave a lot of meat/protein, but that’s mostly due to weak digestion and therefore only a small amount of amino acids and nutrients gettin absorbed – I tested bcaa’s now for quite a while along with digestive enzymes, hcl and more raw food and I was able to reduce my meat consumption (body feedback) from 7days/week @ ~600g/day to ~4 days/week @ ~400g/day – not exactly the same amount and frequency every week because I rather listen to my body than to look on a nutrition plan or read suggestions from people on the internet who may have no idea what they are talking about and/or live at a place where the weather and the foods growing there are completely different and/or have a different origin and/or have a completely different response to stress and/or state of health and/or allergies/intolerances etc etc…

      Generalizations have brought a ton of problems and people seem to get crazy about nutrition/health nowadays and follow dogmas (IF, high fat, fish oil, vitD,…) blindly. As, for example Precision Nutrition have already realized and Paul Chek knew for a long time, it’s about individualization and listening to one’s body, adjusting as life goes on and things change up. That stuff is coming more and more.

      • You get the last word on this topic Thomas. You have covered it well and summed it up. There is not one size that fits all and the dietary needs of each individual is constantly in flux. I would characterize my diet as ecclectic. I have been eating what I broadly call a plant dominant diet (about 90% calories from animal sources). I have experimented with vegan, paleo, low carb, high fat, mono eating, ketogenic, intermittent fasting, prolonged fasting, kosher and probably others I’m sure are not readily coming to mind not out any ideological allegiance to any particular diet (I’m not even Jewish but a partially kosher diet played a crucial during a serious health crisis I went through years ago). I have even tried praying over my food and I am not religious. That is the problem that people often adopt a diet the way they do a political ideology or religious belief without thinking individually and critically as to if and how it actually affects there own body negatively or positively. I am constantly adjusting my diet – adding and removing foods – and sometimes adding back foods that I had previously removed. I am researching about beef liver now because I recently started eating it but I have now removed it and I am now considering substituting chicken liver instead. I am open to any information or suggestions. Glen

    • I just had a dear SDA friend die in his 60’s prematurely, he started with glaucoma and other things happening in his eye- optic nerve deterioration- which led to him falling in the bedroom and breaking a hip- all deficiency effects. Ultimately he gave up and went to heaven (we hope) . According the Ellen White, this was impossible. He should never have had these issues. So I don’t buy the SDA blather. Weston Price showed the healthiest people all over the WORLD and they were not vegans, they ate up to 80% of calories in animal fats. Look up Nutrition and Physical Degeneration free PDF, this was a 9 year study. He came home and put his knowledge to the test , there are pictures on that too.

    • Take a look at the book called, Eat Right For Your Blood Type”. It’s very interesting how they explain that different blood types create different nutritional needs. Type A should eat as a vegetarian, where type O is the original blood type and better suited to eat meat as our early hunters had to do.

  18. Hi Chris,

    I love your blog, podcast, and book. Thanks for all that you do!

    I agree that beef liver is the best source of vitamin A, but I think this post is misleading. First, using IU is not the best unit because it does not account for bioavailability. The IU value for plant-based foods will always overestimate the retinol equivalent and the IU value for animal source foods will always underestimate it. Retinal Activity Equivalent (RAE) is a better, though not perfect for every food. It assumes a 12:1 ratio of conversion of beta-carotene from fruits and vegetables to retinol. Read the overview of Vitamin A, RDA, IU etc. here: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/#h2

    Second, I’ve heard you mention this before, so I was surprised that you did not emphasize the wide range of bioavailability and vitamin A equivalency of beta-carotene depending on “the food matrix, food-processing techniques, size of the dose of b-carotene, and the amounts of dietary fat, fiber, vitamin A, and other carotenoids in the diet as well as by characteristics of the target population, such as vitamin A status, nutrient deficiencies, gut integrity, and genetic polymorphisms associated with b-carotene metabolism” (Haskell, 2012). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23053560

    Third, posting a chart that says carrots and apples have no retinol is obvious, but confuses people. What we should care about is the amount of retinol equivalent absorbed from the apples and carrots. This is not trivial. Even assuming a vitamin A equivalency ratio of carrots of 28:1, raw carrots have approximately 8285 mcg of beta-carotene, so this would convert on average to about 296 mcg of retinol. For an adult non-pregnant, non-lactating women with an RDA of 700 mcg RAE this is nearly half of her requirements for the day. I am aware that one study found the conversion of beta-carotene to retinol in raw carrots to be as high as 77:1 when the beta-carotene content was greater than 6 mg, but most of the beta-carotene (6 g) would be converted at about 28:1. Sources of beta-carotene in oil or in biofortified crops have much greater retinol equivalencies, as low as 2:1. See this article for a simple chart showing the average retinol equivalencies of beta-carotene from different sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25270992

    And the USDA Food Composition Table:
    US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27 (revised). Version Current: May 2015. Internet: http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl

    • Thanks for clearing this Ty! Since childhood I have been hearing that Carrots are good for the eyes because they have lot of vitamin A and I was surprised to see the table above.

      • You’re welcome Sumesh!

        One more thing I noticed. Studies have found that 27-45% of people may be low responders of beta-carotene (poorly convert beta-carotene to retinol) (Lietz at al., 2012: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/142/1/161S.short). However, even if this is the case, it does not mean they convert no beta-carotene to retinol. In fact, Lietz et al. only state that conversion efficiency can be reduced by as much as 59% in the low responders.

        Cheers,
        Ty

  19. Does flash freezing affect the taste and texture of liver? We regularly ate beef and then calf’s liver before we had ever heard the terms grass and grain fed and organic and before the so called cholesterol issues. We purchased organic, grass fed beef liver at our local farmers’ market a few weeks ago and both the taste and texture seemed different. I realize that it may have been due to the cow having been grass fed, but I also read a comment elsewhere about how flash freezing can adversely affect taste and texture. Experiences and comments?

    • We have been exclusively grass fattening all our calves since BSE on 19.5.2003 and retailing to local customers since. When we first started we could not give liver away and most went for dog food. Following word of mouth from health challenged customer we can no longer meet demand. Even more so since articles such as this by Chris Kresser.
      The livers are the most closely inspected organ under our Provincial system and butchers slice and package in approx 1lb vacc pacs as soon as they are chilled and set up to easily slice. they are then frozen, not flash, We then collect three weeks later when we collect the butcher aged cuts, retail ready. Customers really like the product and I have discovered from customers, it is absolutely delicious only lightly browned in butter or tallow, with the middle left pink to raw. I now have some several times a week for breakfast with bone broth, turmeric, black pepper tea afterwards.
      Now 73 and not had colds or arthritis pain for years since starting this protocol, and I am exposed to customers with flue, colds and other infections on a regular basis.
      I am now certain that it is because of the high carotenoid greens and wild medicinal plants, naturally present in our fattening pastures. Ground beef trim tests 220mg/100gram omega 3 in 6:3 balance ratio and bone marrow tests almost 900/mg/100g Omega 3 in 1.5to1 in 6:3 ratio. Regular grain fattened beef is ave 45mg/100g in much higher (up to 20to1, 6:3 ratio and ave grass fed is only 61mg in 6;3 balance.(Mark Hyman) For those who argue grass fed is not worth the hype and all you need is a fish pill to balance, I would suggest they do some in depth research.
      I also suggest that grass fed/fattened ruminant meat and fats led to our evolution, brains and civilization, not fish or other meats. Also grain fed meats cause fatty liver syndrome as is now becoming prevalent in humans due to vegetarianism and high carb processed diets.
      Once customers have tasted grass fattened beef liver from gradable young animals, most will not eat chicken or pork. I used to eat it occasionally but now cannot stand the taste.

      • Your anecdotal talk has no meaning. Everything you are saying is coming from your own assumptions and imagination.
        Eat what you want but don’t write your dribble and expect people to take it as gospel…

        • Masahiro Nomura
          October 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm
          Sorry you do not like my anecdotal dribble.
          Some may be anecdotal but the test results shown are actual independent tests done since 1996 when we first found scientific evidence that the anecdotal evidence is right of countless generations of grassland herders.

        • Sherry,
          Sorry, I just noticed your comment.
          We are as far east as you can go on the North American continental land mass. We overlook the Northumberland Strait, on the Gulf of St Lawrence, In the beautiful Province of Nova Scotia.

  20. Everything in moderation. You will not live forever. Eat and hydrate the best you can and enjoy your life. Try not to spend it obsessing about grass fed, free range, steroid free, vegan, paleo, vegetarian, ..don’t go to the extreme end of either spectrum.

  21. Gastroparesis is the disorder that gives me legs cramps before I get really sick. I’ve been eating liver for about a month now and my cramps have gone away. As well as my anemia -no longer cold -yey! Great article, thanks!

  22. Whoa the only people worse than vegans and vegetarians are the low carb paleo dieters like Kresser. I wonder how much grass he smoked to write this article. Didn’t kill as many brain cells reading this as the three eggs a day end up in the grave article but this was still mind numbing non-the-less. If I ever want a heart attack, high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure I know what nutritionist to consult – Chris Kresser!

    • I’ve been doing paleo for close to 3 years now. Blood pressure, cholesterol are normal, and my six pack is a hit with the younger women.
      Thanks for stopping by and adding nothing to the discussion.

      • Uh right Nikko I’ll take your word for it. I’ll just be over here with my ultra high vitamin and mineral levels. I’ll be over here with my abs, ability to run an hour a day, have an IQ of 120, low blood pressure, and an above average lung capacity because I’ve eaten the opposite of what Kresser recommends. I added info to the conversation, but because of the lack of plant food you have your brain is in a state of mental impairment. Maybe that’s the point of Kresser, maybe he wants us to do the opposite of what he recommends since no one can be moronic enough to listen to completely listen to him. You paleo-dieters can eat yourselves to an early grave I’ll be over here enjoying a very long life.

        • Despite your supposedly high intelligence, you’ve only shown how ignorant you are in regards to a paleo diet. You should look up Dr. Terry Wahls to see how life changing it was for her.
          My parents come from a village where eating liver and other organ meats is a staple in their diet. For some reason these people tend to live well into their 80’s without any health issues. Maybe you can explain that since you’re such an expert on the matter.

          • Nikko you’re lying, or they lived off of more than organs, or you’ve mistaken the words plant food for organs. That lady you mentioned looks decades older than she actually is. I never said I was an expert, I just know more than you and maybe Kresser if he actually believes the stuff that he says, that’s not a hard thing to do. As for ignorance, I’m not claiming that Paleolithic humans lived off a selective diet like the one’s you morons advocate for. I don’t need to debate you though, it’s obvious from this debate that evolution has left you behind and that your diet has deprived your brain of vital nutrients needed to keep it functioning properly.

            • I respect your right to express your opinion, but the delivery of said opinion is offensive. It is offensive because you have chosen to be offensive; you are a troll; nothing you say has any value because you have chosen a delivery devoid of value. Your contribution to this discussion is meaningless, and when all is said and done, you will be judged as meaningless.

              If your wish to raise your profile and the value of intercourse, try data, facts, and courtesy.

            • haha Jordan can you not read or something? why don’t you actually explain what is incorrect about what Chris is saying instead of making some BS claim that he is wrong with nothing to add to the conversation. Not sure how someone with an IQ of 120 as you claim can’t understand paleo…matter of fact I’m not even going to waste my time debating you. If you actually read Chris’s info. and still can’t figure it out then you’re just delusional.

        • Mate I’ve got an IQ of 150. And I stick to high fat diet. High fat diet isn’t actually bad for your health if managed properly, and liver (despite tasting like arse) is actually an extremely beneficial supplement to any diet.

          • High fat is fine, however you will likely die sooner. Okinawan’s consumed roughly 85% carbs 9% protein and 4% fat yet they have the longest lifespans on earth. In contrast, Inuit life expectancy is roughly 70 and their diet was high in fat and protein and had small amounts of carbohydrates. They were disease free for the most part but a high fat diet will just force you to die sooner than you would with a low fat diet.

            • Inuit people also live in tundra that’s frozen a good part of the year. People from Okinawa live on a tropical island.

              Diet isn’t the only variable here.

        • So much anger and insecurity for someone who claims to be such an otherworldly specimen. I don’t claim to be well versed in the details of a paleo diet, but your “knowledge” and ability to assess the real science seems to be limited at best.

        • Why can’t you do both? Eat liver for its huge vitamin and mineral contribution and engulf massive amounts of organic fruit and vegetables at the same time. Apparently there are studies that suggest that those who consume meat seldom do better than either low carb or full vegan. But when it comes down to it people will eat whatever they want – with a lot of dietary cheating going on.

        • Lol, bragging about 120? You realize the 115 is one standard deviation? So roughly 34% of people have a higher IQ than you. Tell me more, genius!

          • No, your ~34 per cent is the proportion of people having an IQ BELOW 115 but above 100; with (obviously) 50 per cent below 100, this leaves approximately 16 per cent of people more intelligent than IQ 115. Further, the difference between IQ 115 and IQ 120 is not as trivial as you suggest, meaning that in fact ~9 per cent of people are more intelligent than the poster, assuming his reported IQ is accurate (which is of course no trivial assumption).

        • Poor baby, IQ of only 120. Not high enough to get into Mensa. Try eating fatty meat, as I do, and you may score higher.

        • When i first looked into Paleo it seemed very meat heavy to me too. And I’m sure some people do use it as an excuse to eat way too much meat and saturated fat. But a “proper” Paleo diet is about half fruits and vegetables, way more than the average American diet, and even many vegetarians and vegans i know (who depend on grains and beans, rather than fruits and vegetables). Paleo is more about avoiding sugar and grains, rather than eating lots of meat.

          BTW, i don’t consider myself as Paleo, but a nutrivore. I am always striving to increase the nutritional value of my diet. However, by doing this, my diet has come to be very similar to a paleo diet.

          Take everything with a grain of salt and look up the scientific articles yourself.

    • Not sure what your focus is, paleo as a whole, or the high cholesterol in liver. What you don’t comment on is the value of B3/niacin with liver; niacin is recognised for elevating HDL, and lowering LDL. Also, liver has a a much higher level of B3 than most (if not all) animal sources, commensurate with the high levels of cholesterol.

      I remember when avocados were the demon food due to high fat. “Stay away” they said before they recognised the exceedingly high amount of fibre that offsets the fat.

      Everything in moderation and balance, including rhetoric.

    • Chris, your body makes most of your cholesterol. In fact 25% of the cholesterol is in your body is in you brain. Your body needs protein. It does not need a single carb. You make and do make glucose as needed from protein. The process is called gluconeogemesis. Don’t believe the cholesterol hype!

      • The body loves carbs. I cycle a lot and the one time I tried replacing my usual carb loading with a pat of butter my performance was pitiful. A lot is made of hunter gatherers being healthier than those that have lived with agriculture, but we can’t go back to those days. There is no way to feed the world on grass fed cows. There simply isn’t enough room. I find that as long as you exercise and track your nutrient intake with something like cronometer then you can be very healthy without having to go near an animal product. Having said that, I suspect the healthiest people of all will have at least a little fish or meat in their diet. The problems seem to arise when you start consuming too much animal protein. And anything more than about 2oz at a time is probably too much.

      • From my experience from 0 carb and therefore converting protein to glucose is that after a few weeks all that extra nitrogen made me tired and smelly. Carbs and fat are made of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon; proteins have a nitrogen molecule are not needed to make glucose.

    • You should check your LDL-P if you want to know about your cholesterol risk of a heart attack; something that Niacin found in liver will help along with Omega 3.

  23. I finally found an online butcher that has pastured beef liver for a decent price. Pan fried and served with caramelized onions and bacon. My wife said it was one of the better meals she’s had in a while. Very creamy texture and it didn’t have any of that liver after taste.

      • Really? That would be fantastic. Could you send send it to my PayPal account? Regular consumption of liver has been life changing for me.

        • Lol Emily. This made me giggle. Mr. 120 IQ here should pay all of us for giving him any attention whatsoever.

          Btw, Mr. 120, my IQ is 146, I have thoroughly done my homework regarding vegetarian and vegan diets, Paleo, low carb, and many others. I have even had in-depth conversation with one of the Blue Zone researchers. I happily choose high fat and the inclusion of organ meats in my diet, along with plenty of veggies and some fruit. I have never been happier or healthier.

          You, my dear, are what we call in the elite circles, a self-aggrandizing nincompoop.

          Bragging about 120… I will be giggling about that one for awhile.

  24. Whole Foods has Chicken Liver (and beef liver) that is Step 1 (which they say means the animal was raised without hormones and antibiotics, but not necessarily grass-fed) I know that grass-fed may be MORE nutritious, but this quality of liver is better than none right?

    • Great article, back in the day i can remember my mother cooking liver and onions at least once a week, she said it was to keep the immune system working better.

      I do workout hardcore and have taken liver pills but they just don’t seem to have the same effect as a freshly cooked beef liver steak. so now at least once a week that is my evening meal brown rice a beef liver steak and some broccoli which usually helps me the next day in the gym.

  25. I just wanted to chime in. I have been eating this for three days. I know that the taste and the texture bother most people. If you want it crispyish on the outside, very hot pan with olive oil. 1 minute on side 1, 30 seconds on side 2. It leaves almost no pink and it does not cook so long that it gets that weird liver texture and taste. If you like it all soft, butter, I like Kerrygold unsalted, 2tblp. med high. 2 minutes side 1, 1 minute side 2. Both ways are delicious and keeps it from getting funk. You may notice the edges of the first method have that slight taste and texture, that is how I learned. I’m not kidding. I have loved it all my life, no matter how it is cooked.

  26. Chris, great article as always.

    The only overlooked fact is that liver can store heavy metals in great amounts as studies show, e.g.

    http://www.vef.unizg.hr/vetarhiv/papers/72-5/korenekova.pdf

    It doesn’t matter if it is grass fed or not. Grass-fed can actually be more exposed to heavy metal (better food, but the exposure to the environment is the downside).

    Important remark: if the liver is loaded with heavy metal, other parts of the animal are as well. Different heavy metals in different levels. This is the main problem on Paleo: giving a wildcard to eating a lot of animal meat. In theory it might work, but there is simply no ancient food available anymore. The overload with protein, which inactive people don’t need at all, only increases the cancer risk. Also check the rise of colon cancer in connection with the oxidation process of digesting meat: http://lib.ugent.be/fulltxt/RUG01/001/894/515/RUG01-001894515_2012_0001_AC.pdf

    More studies have to be done on that important topic.

    Yours, Olivia

    • Olivia. I do not disagree with you, I also think that some friits and veges are needed, but animal meat&fat is a priority. There is no risk of any cancer ect. as long as one eat sparingly and fast 1-2 day/week.

    • Thanks Olivia.
      As most cancer institute report that Beef or Veal liver (I think any kind) increase cancer risk. And people with breast cancer triple negative shall not eat livers because is full with Zinc, Copper and Iron. Where Zinc help cancer cells to divide faster and since cancer cells are reach in copper (do not feed them). Also high level of Iron to be avoided (but normal or slightly less level no problem). Note: Chlorella reported to help body to get ride of heavy metal.

    • Not really. Carrots contain beta carotene which can be converted by the body to vitamin A, but contain no actual vitamin A.

      • And your system apparently converts only as much as you require, so that you don’t overdose on actual vitamin A that way.

        • Unless you are suffering from low thyroid or badly treated thyroid disorder including autoimmune thyroid disease. Under these circumstances the body fails to convert beta carotene to vitamin A sufficiently.

  27. I have anaemia and eat lamb and beef liver (grass fed only) quite frequently, it really helps me feel better. The main thing is that if you need liver for the iron do use any products that contain calcium i.e. butter/milk to cook it as calcium blocks the absorption of iron. So when ever I cook it I use avocado or high oleic sunflower oil and when it’s cooked I add some freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice as the vitamin c helps with the absorption of iron.

    • Russian doctor Kousmine recommends 2 raw egg yolks per day for people with persistant anemia. She had great results, even if egg yolks are not rich in iron!

      • I created a great recipe for raw eggs! Half a can of pure pumpkin puree, 3 whole raw eggs, a decent dose of stevia, 1 tsp vanilla extract, a couple ounces of water (or ice) to thin it, and a ton of your favorite fall spices — yummy! You don’t know it’s healthy!

      • Homemade mayonnaise is made with raw pastured egg yolks, a bit of lemon juice or vinegar, and olive oil. I use Julia Child’s recipe, and make it whenever we need it. It only keeps for a few days in the refrigerator, so don’t make too much. It’s delish!

        The best chocolate mousse recipe I have also uses raw egg yolks, along with chocolate, the whipped whites, and heavy cream. Best dessert ever!

    • I have a 17 year old daughter with special needs, one physical need being anemic. I started her on a bit of liver every morning but prepared it by soaking in milk! (I had never made liver before and just googled recipes) Thanks for this info!!! I will prepare this way next time!

  28. I grew up in and still live in Wyoming. My father hunted and everytime he would bring home a elk from a hunt i was so excited to eat the heart and liver. We always over cooked all game which now eat most of my meat medium rare to rare if i can have my way. Other hunters would take a bite of the liver fresh after the kill, an old tradtion the natives would do but I always thought they were crazy and ive always been a pretty rugged girl lol. Anyays ive been reading about how its better to get all th nutrients by eating it raw although i love liver this thought makes me slightly squeamish im going to give ot a try. Im very blessed and have. Elk, deer, antelope and wild bison meat and organ meats from my hunting . Im so excited that other people are eating it more although it makes me sad alot of hunters toss these wonderfull gifts. Ive saved kidneys, tounge, heart, liver and would love to learn and to cook those better and more!

    • I would advise extreme caution, considering:

      “Trichinosis is a common disease in many wild carnivorous and omnivorous animals worldwide…there are outbreaks that occur sporadically in the world when meat is improperly cooked or is contaminated with undercooked or raw wild-game meat…

      The best way to prevent trichinellosis is to cook meat to safe temperatures…Do not sample meat until it is cooked.

      For ground meat (including wild game): Cook to at least 160 F (71 C); ground meats do not require a rest* time.
      For all wild game (whole cuts and ground): Cook to at least 160 F (71 C).

      • Please, Rusty, since you know so much about this dreadful disease, tell people also what it is and how it manifests itself in the human body. AND that you can also get it from undercooked PORK…although people in the US don’t want to believe this!

      • I was a Sous-Chef for 5 years, cooking everything to 160 degrees is paranoia, and cooks a lot of what is good from the meat out.

  29. I find it rather concerning that there was not a mention of the cholesterol issues that go with eating liver. Any reasons for this?

    • John,

      Consumption of foods high in cholesterol does not increase cholesterol. I will not go into it here but if you are interested a google search on these topics should satisfy your curiosity.

    • Why would you care about cholesterol? It’s been already established that the whole cholesterol/fat scare was based on flawed studies and heart disease is caused by high intake of processed food and sugar, not fat.

      • No, it has not been established or proven by wide enough studies that show fat is ever good for you. There have been, however, very large studies that show there is a relationship between saturated fat and clogged arteries, leading to heart problems. Drs. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, Neal Barnard and John McDougall have all done substantial studies on the Western diet full of fat and they and many others have concluded plant-based diets are far healthier for the heart.

        • If you look at the people who conducted those studies, and the results themselves before the final copy, you will find that they are paid by the people that want you to believe fat is dangerous. Their financial success depends on getting a specific result. Their only “logical” course of action, then, is to alter the research until they get the result they wanted so they can get paid. In sum, you cannot trust those studies. No, you CAN trust them…to be wrong. Listen to people who are sharing the data without money getting involved in the process. Like the guy who wrote this article!

        • There are also unsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Check out the independent studies on those!

    • Dear John,

      if you have been following Chris’ ideas on “cholesterol” you would know why. Its for the same reasons Eggs or Shellfish and their colesterol contents are no longer an issue!

  30. My sig other a gorgeous Jewish girl got me started eating chopped chicken liver

    I found a simple recipe online for beef liver. Several pounds for four bucks

    Slice yellow onion thin as possible get in pure butter. Remove from skillet

    Cut liver into 1/8 inch stops seAson in a bowl with salt and pepper only. You will see an immediate color change.
    Add butter to pan and fry the liver in high heat. Don’t overcokn slight pink inside is best.
    Most delicious meat ice ever had.

    Next week kidney then brain. Comon folks let’s promote this super food.

    • I had anemia really bad, and my doctor suggested IV’s I was suffering so bad heart palpitations, shortness of breath , and wheezing. I suffered for eight months taking iron supplements. I got on iron IV’s the fourth one my symptoms disappeared but an reaction to the iron ! My doctor took me off the IV’s right away, so now I’m the iron supplement works great
      I read liver and onion every day will cure anemia in 5 to 7 days, good idea to take B-12 and folic acid

  31. I HATE LIVER but…

    I have M.S. and recently had an accident where I suffered a serious concussion. I was in the hospital for a month and was told to expect a long and complex recovery. When I got home I started researching what foods/supplements would be the best for ‘healing my brain”. I went through what seemed like hundreds of sites promoting hundreds more products and supplements… after narrowing down the most helpful vitamins and minerals I started looking for natural food sources. And the no.1 winner was (by a long shot)…
    BEEF LIVER!
    I was horrified – because I HATE liver.

    I went to the local grocery store and bought the only liver they had. I tried cooking it in a variety of ways – YUCH YUCH YUCH

    Finally, I diced it and cooked it in a bit of oil with some onions
    I then separated it into small baggies and stuck them in my freezer.

    Now, whenever I cook with ground beef, I add a handful of liver.
    Also being a BIG Smoothie fan, when I make soup, I take a cup of the broth, a handful of fresh vegetables and a baggie of my LIVER – throw it in my Nutribullet for 30sec and pour it back into my soup pot – and voila – nice thick soup – NO LIVER TASTE and all the benefits!! and it is delicious!! Kids love it!

    Now we eat liver several times a week.
    YUMMMM!

    • Best way to cook beef liver:
      Slice it into slabs 20mm thick, sprinkle w/ salt & pepper, broil (turbo broil 240•C for 10 mins each side). Slice into 10 mm strips. Dip: apple cider vinegar w/ salt & diced garlic. Good w/ beer, spirits or wine!

    • I have RSD another devastating nerve disease.
      Liver has been suggested to me on many occasions.
      I now crave liver it’s wonderful the recipe is posted sorry for typos I didn’t have glasses handy.

    • I’ve never been a fan of beef liver, but I recently started trying calf liver, which has a milder taste in my opinion. My favorite way to prepare it is to fry some bacon in a skillet until partially cooked. To the bacon I add some onion, a sprinkle of basil, and a shake of crushed red pepper. I lay a slice (4 oz.) of calf liver over the frying bacon and let it cook for several minutes. Then I flip it over and cook until done, moving the bacon to the side if need be so that it is thoroughly cooked. Once on my plate I add a dollop of sour cream to the top.

  32. I know you talk about taking liver pills. My liver arrives frozen. Is it ok to let it thaw, cut it, then freeze it again to take in pills? Raw the whole time.
    Thank you!

  33. What is the best way to consume liver to receive optimal nutritional value? By this I mean raw vs. cooked vs. freeze dried?

    Thank you!

  34. I have become an organ meat eater of beef (of late), along with my usual Pink Salmon. I follow Nora Gedgaudas’s suggestion to limit protein to abut 40g daily.

    Then suddenly I was hit with gout. It is the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced. I could not think why I would endure such a plague on primal. I’ve been primal most of my life (if Atkins and D’Adamo O Blood can be called Primal, but seriously Ketogenic Primal three years now. After much pondering and checking out my ailing toe region I realised I had a few bumps that always seemed to give me problems and one area on the outside of my big left toe that has always been callused and which could not be shorn down by sanding or by cleansing an oiling. It seems to be overgrown bone growth. My feet are otherwise callus free, soft and well cushioned.
    Then I realised that I had gone off my Vitamin C and other Vitamins and Minerals for a number of months. I grow weary of regime at times and I thought my new understandings and programme in diet were enough. I then realised or at least I suspect that my Vitamin/mineral programme was a minimalist health routine that had possibly only keeping my tendency (genetic predilection) to gout at low intensity. That foot especially has often had an ache about it to which I have grown custom and has been easy enough to ignore.

    I am now back on my Vit-Mineral routine, and after buying Carolyn Dean’s book, “The Magnesium Miracle”, third edition, I am adding another routine to my health. I now take daily soaks in her baking soda-magnesium protocol and have added baking soda to my health drink (and Vitamin C back) of magnesium, borax, Xylitol and wet Celtic sea salt.

    Also, sleeping with my feet raised on an old leather chesterfield cushion has helped immensely. This last edition was just a thought to the possibility that my circulation is not as good at the extremities as I had thought. This is the next area of my protocol to health that I must venture to study. But maybe the oxygenation of the body with Baking Soda proposed by by Dean and Sircus and primal sites will be enough. I am just into Dr Dean’s book. Time will tell.
    Namaste and care,
    mhikl

    • The gout is from a highly acidic body.. Do what you can to bring it to a more alkaline state.. too much meat without enough raw fruits and veges will surely create acidity.. this is what gout is..

        • Marcia, yes I’m sure enough of it can as it is acid.. All someone has to do for gout is to get more ph balanced and just stick to alkaline forming foods for a bit and it will go away, along with many other pains and skin issues..

          • According to Chris, the notion that eating acidic foods affects the body’s acid-alkaline balance is a myth:

            http://chriskresser.com/the-ph-myth-part-1
            http://chriskresser.com/the-acid-alkaline-myth-part-2

            The basic idea is that the acid-alkaline balance of what we eat has little or no bearing on the balance in our blood and tissues. Our bodies have regulating mechanisms to ensure the proper balance.

            With gout, this and other regulating mechanisms may be broken. The solution is to fix these regulating mechanisms, not to eat alkaline foods.

            • I have learned NOT to listen to EVERYTHING that one person says.. While Chris is right about a lot, I don’t think he knows everything nor does any other person that preaches certain health and diet.. I go from my own experience and I found that when I ate meat every day my body got highly acidic.. I don’t go by testing I go by symptoms and the way I felt.. as soon as I stopped the meat and went to all veges my ph changed and all my symptoms went away.. It is true that you can change your ph balance in your body by diet.. I don’t know what planet that information that it cannot came from but it is NOT true.. The body fed a diet of highly acidic foods will indeed become overly acidic.. aches and pains, clogged lymph, failing kidneys are all signs of being highly acidic.. I could go on but don’t feel like it..

              • Gout is uric acid buildup which mostly affects the joints. I have never seen anything that says acidic foods change the ph of the whole body.

            • Gout used to be called the rich man’s disease because eating too much red meat and red wine triggered flareups. Gout is a type of arthritis and is caused from a uric acid buildup. The buildup can be so bad the acid forms crystals in the joints and causes a lot of pain. Google it and learn the advised diet when there are flareups. The diet definitely affects the symptoms.

        • Oh, wait did you mean fruit.. most if not all fruit is alkaline and it will actually cure gout eventually. I was assuming you meant processed fructose actually which is acidic. But I am not sure what you meant at this point.. I hear too many tomatoes (technically a fruit) cause gout but in general raw ones won’t but cooked will.

          • Jenn — just google fructose and gout, and you’ll pull up a lot of information.

            Fructose connected to all sorts of inflammatory disorders as well as metabolic syndrome.

            Tomatoes and other nightshades can cause arthritic and other problems in a percentage of folks due to their solanine content…

            • I think I said I agreed, but not FRUITS, fructose corn syrup and other acidic foods.. Tomatoe sauce was the cause of gout in a relative when I was younger.. it’s acidity from the sugars that causes the gout.. Acidity is the main cause of inflammation throughout the body.. Some people and some researchers never distiguish between the two differences.. I have know plenty of fruitarians and others on raw food diets mainly fruits who are nothing but healthy and no signs of gout ( which IS a form of arthritis. If some how they are linking fruit to gout then they are surely missing something else.. fruit alone won’t cause it.. people were meant/designed to eat fruit.

      • I had also hear diets that are heavy in rich creamy foods, like cream and cheese sauces, hard cheeses, too much dairy, etc. can lead to gout. and I think I heard uric acid is the culprit. Not all acidic foods put uric acid in the body. (E.g. lemons can be paired with almost anything and do not create an acidic condition in the body, and a good quality apple cider vinegar, like Bragg’s, also is acidic, but is really good for you).

        I personally think the problem is when anyone does anything in excess. At different times in my life, I have been vegan, vegetarian, raw foodie, gluten free, macrobiotic, Paleo, and then eating whatever I want. I like to experiment with nutrition and read a ton.

        I use meat more like a condiment — meaning I eat smallish portions of it and the bigger portions in my diet are plant based, and some whole grains. So I will saute red meat with veggies like garlic, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and serve it over something like spaghetti squash, or raw zucchini shreds. I am 50 years old, look 30, and have never had any problems with my health. I also indulge occasionally on junk like pizza, or some desserts, or have a couple of margaritas on occasion. I love food and life and think food is such a big part of the joys of living.

        I think the less processed foods we eat, and if we don’t make meat the biggest portion on our plate, we can enjoy just about anything.

        I landed on this page because I am trying veal liver for the first time and I was looking for iron content…

  35. If you eat grass fed Bison/Bison liver, it has less impact on the environment and is healthier and usually tastes the same if not better than beef. Bison have different grazing habits than cattle and have a lighter impact on the land, they don’t require the pampering like cattle do, can survive harsh winters easier, and also have better defenses against predators and therefore will not give farmers as much of an incentive to kill wolves/bears/cougars etc. You will be supporting a native north american animal too. I see a future where Bison is Americas new beef, and rightly so!

    • I take 10 dessicated bison liver capsules a day and have been for 8 months. Do you know if bison liver contains more, the same or less iron than beef? …Your comments as to why bison liver is superior to beef has gotten me thinking! Bison isn’t farmed here in Australia, but now I’m thinking that I might be able to rustle up some kangaroo or emu liver! …I’ll have to talk to my butcher about that!

  36. I appreciate you spreading the word on the value of organ meat! Ever since I starting eating organ meat, especially liver and beef heart, I have never felt so good. I have so much more energy and I sleep better when I eat beef heart. As a caveat, I notice that I can only eat liver for breakfast or lunch. Eating during or post dinner, leaves with too much energy to sleep. I am not sure why but just expressing my experience.

  37. I happen to really enjoy the taste of liver. I’ve been cooking it stovetop in some oil and eating it plain with salt and lots of fat (like most other meats, due to highly individualized SCD/SIBO/FODMAP diet).

    My question: How much liver is too much?? Per day/week?

    I’ve read no more than a pound a week. But what about per day? I’ve been eating around an ounce a day.

    Thanks!

    • I’m no expert but I do eat nearly a kilo of beef liver a week and I haven’t turned orange, yet. It, along with heart make up most of my protein intake (about 180 grams protein a day). I just love them both so much I converse with them.
      If your skin starts to turn a funny orange colour, then I might suggest you cut back. 🙂 Seriously, such skin colour change is an indication that you might let it rest a while and should only be a concern if you don’t heed the warning signs. I actually did read this bit of info a long, long while ago; so my understanding my be out of whack.
      Namaste and care,
      Michael

  38. I totally agree and teach this in my classes. I was also very sick and my chicken liver paté and cooked dark leafy greens were a big part of my recovery diet. I hate the taste and texture of liver so I had to make it palatable. I made it taste like sausage or liverwurst with lots of spices- esp sage, and blended it super smooth in a vitamix. My recipe is available in my book: The Whole-food Guide to Overcoming Irritable Bowel Syndrome at New Harbinger Press. Try it and you may just enjoy liver.

  39. The idea of eating liver regularly seems “out there” now, but I believe I remember when I was on Weight Watchers in 1975, they recommended 1 serving of liver per week. Interesting!

  40. I can’t find organic liver, or liver that’s pasture raised without hormones, antibiotics or commercial feed. Whole foods doesn’t have it, and none of the other health food stores around here. Where can I get it?

  41. I’ve been listening to the educational videos of Dr. Robert Morse, ND, and following his fasting protocols and have switched to mostly raw fruits and raw or steamed veggies. However, the human’s brain is large and his gut small in proportion to apes and that seems to demand a nutrient dense diet (esp. lipids). Apes will occasionally eat meat and perhaps they too prefer the organs and gut contents. Male Orangutans will bulk up on ripe fruits and tender greens, roots, and insects. Liver is nutrient dense and I have felt more energetic when I eat it occasionally and am only debating with myself whether it is more assimilable raw (in a smoothie?) or softly cooked. Liver On!

  42. Does boiling liver cause it to lose any nutritional value? I like how it keeps the liver moist and soft, but also gets it done….without me having to watch it closely. Halfway through or so I will drain the water since blood boils out of it, add more water to the pot, then finish boiling. When it’s done, I sometimes like to add a bit of some sort of fat and sea salt.

  43. I was an ovo-lacto vegetarian until 2010(also ate tofu and other soy products everyday). Began eating fish(salmon, sardines)because I heard how good n-3 is for mood disorders(I have rapid cycling bipolar + am hypothyoid). I think Ray Peat is correct regarding excess n-3. My health has gotten worse since then. Now, rarely eat salmon, but I CRAVE liver. My wife was and still is a vegetarian and is so sensitive about eating meat or animal organs,though she wasn’t always a vegetarian.

    When she was away for a week, I bought plain old regular beef liver in Safeway, lightly cooked in olive oil, with garlic, oregano and sea salt. Loved it!!! Even our cats ate some(before spicing). My dad and I ate liver all the time. I’m not knocking being a vegetarian or vegan but for me, it might have led to many physical problems.

  44. Timely article for me as I just ordered some beef from a local rancher who is totally into grass fed/finished beef and ecological responsibility. I’m splitting my order with someone who does NOT want any organ meat because of her belief that they are the “filters” of noxious elements. Glad to see that topic approached in your article. I’m taking the organs, and make myself liver whenever my husband is out of town (he won’t touch it). Last time I made liver dumplings with my leftovers and froze them. One of my favorite lunches is a few of the dumplings in beef stock with spinach. For those that hate liver, they just taste like meatballs. BTW the Weston Price link in the article is a bad link–they must have moved their recipes elsewhere.

  45. Start with coconut oil in the pan.
    Add some curry and herbs de provence. (Me? I like alot of both)
    One bunch of green onions.
    One small yellow onion.
    1/2 stick of rhubarb.
    Cook it altogether hard for a few moments, then put on low simmer for a few minutes.
    That was it.

    AND DON’T FORGET THE LIVER 😉

  46. I had Hodgkins Disease diagnosed at the age of 5 years, 55 years ago. Doctors told my parents to make me eat alot of liver back then.
    Most of my life n health habits are extreme on the edge of pro-active. I’ve just started having this ‘want’ (I’m shy to call it a ‘craving’, LOL) for liver. Been eating a few very small pieces of calves’ liver every day for the past few weeks.

    New Recipe tonight that I fixed for myself was pretty good:

    Start with coconut oil in the pan.
    Add some curry and herbs de provence. (Me? I like alot of both)
    One bunch of green onions.
    One small yellow onion.
    1/2 stick of rhubarb.
    Cook it altogether hard for a few moments, then put on low simmer for a few minutes.
    That was it.
    Pretty tasty, I thought.

    I’ll be trying alot of other creations, and will post here if something comes up really well.

    I haven’t eaten liver much at all for over 50 years.
    I drink alot of all sorts of combo green smoothies Mon thru Fri every week.

    I’m anxious to see what this experiment will add to my health profile!

  47. I’ve been taking desiccated liver tabs. It’s concentrated liver and all the fat and connective tissue is removed. The pills are huge, almost two grams each, but I can choke down a few at a time. Body builders have been taking this stuff for a very long time. I think this supplement can be the cure for many disorders, especially anemia. I recommend it to my family and anyone who chooses to take my advise.

  48. I have high cholesterol with gallbladder removal. My family has history for high cholesterol.

    It seems the liver is a nutrient-rich food. Is it safe for person like me to eat liver (organ meat) which is cholesterol-rich food?

    Help please?

  49. “In fact, you might be surprised to learn that in some traditional cultures, only the organ meats were consumed. The lean muscle meats, which are what we mostly eat in the U.S. today, were discarded or perhaps given to the dogs.”

    That’s because in traditional cultures, humans were hungry all the time and packing on weight was advantageous for survival. Now that the majority of people are overweight or obese, lean (lower fat, lower Calorie) meat is more appropriate.

    Due to the dominant problem of excess Calories in modern society, you cannot simply ignore the nutrients PER CALORIE when advising people what to eat. Fruits and veg give you more bang for your buck, as well as delivering far more fiber than meat (beef liver: 0 g!); fiber has its own health merits, and increases feelings of fullness.

    • Animal fat has been disproved to be the cause of high cholesterol or obesity. This clung-to finding came about because some corporations and lobby groups chose to only take from the studies those statistics that could be manipulated for their own profit. When the complete studies were re-examined, it was found that we had been fed a lie; it is refined carbs and sugar-laden foods that cause both high cholesterol and obesity. This is because a human body makes 80% of it’s cholesterol in the liver – nothing to do with diet – and excess sugars (which means refined carbs as well!) is what triggers the liver to produce an abundance of cholesterol. There is plenty of evidence on the net – wise up! or you will carry on being obese and unwell. Fat is good, and coconut oil is KING!

      • Enjoy your animal fats then.. and also enjoy sluggish and toxic lymph because that’s what happens..and then you become acidic.. Animal fats are NOT good for you the same with dairy. Don’t preach if you don’t do thorough research.

        • You should take your own advice. When you can show me an unbiased, double blind controlled study that DOES NOT use questionnaires you may possibly have a good point. Until then hush as you know nothing of what you speak. Too many people have had amazing results cutting grains, starches, and sugar while ingesting better quality meats and fats. I am one of them. You cling so desparately to these old lies. My one point to you nay-sayers is if we are not supposed to eat meat of any kind why do vegans have to supplement their diet??? And don’t say they don’t as your own people strongly advise that supplements are needed. If we weren’t living in modern times how would you supplement your unnatural diet? You couldn’t!! Let’s also remember insects were eaten by a lot of ppl (and still are) so even of they weren’t eating big slabs of cow they were still ingesting a former living source of protein.

          • I for one can back up the fact that when I quit eating “healthy whole grains,” starches, sugars, processed foods and then really, really increased my fat intake, including many grams of animal fats, my health did improve in many ways: triglycerides, cholesterol, bmi, all much improved, acid reflux disease gone for good now, energy levels better… I don’t know what it means or feels like to have toxic, sluggish lymph, and I’m not saying that some people won’t experience that, but definitely didn’t happen for me. for the past 4 years or so, from 50 to 90% of my calories per day are from fat, many of those from animal fats, and my health has only gotten better, and feel a whole lot better. Quality whole foods is where it’s at, I believe.

  50. Used to eat liver all the time as a kid, and have just recently got back into it. My farmer/butcher gives it tome for free, as he says nobody buys it and so he has to pay to have it taken away. My favorite method is a slow cooker, with vegies, beans lentils, chickpeas, molasses and apple cider vinegar plus salt and pepper of course. I also throw in a small amount of red meat. Gorgeous and lasts all week! Any liver that won’t fit in the freezer goes to the foxes at the bottom of the garden, who seem to love it as well!

  51. I googled, “Should I eat liver if I have symptoms of acid reflux?” And – it carried me to this site. I don’t see anything that answers that question for me. Can you give me a specific answer to that question only? Love my liver. Thanks much.

  52. I googled, “is it okay to eat liver when you have ‘acid reflux’ problems?” I read many of these comments and still don’t know if there is an answer. Could someone be specific and please try to answer the question? I love liver.

    • BJD, have you gone Primal yet? Do you limit (extremely) your carbs? Try bovine fat, virgin coconut oil, moderate meat and only low calorie veggies (kale, spinach, celery, bell peppers) for one week and see how it works on your problem.

    • Veggies only have beta-carotene, not Vit A. It requires huge quantities of beta-carotene to convert to Vitamin A – it’s why you can eat loads of veggies and not very much liver.

      • Speaking of vitamin A: I have learned that cod liver oil and liver itself are both high in vitamin A, so much so that it seems that you can easily overdose and end up with vitamin A toxicity (details on Wikipedia etc.) so caution is advised. Perhaps best not to take both for any extended period of time.

        • I understand that toxicity from real vitamin A (good sources not synthetic vitamins) is much less likely – i.e. the threshold for real Vit A intake is higher. Also vitamin A & D work in synergy, avoiding toxicity issues and are both present in liver.

          Not well worded sorry, but that’s what I read a few weeks ago 🙂

  53. Thanks for the great post, Chris. I ate organ meat occasionally. After reading the post, I plan to eat much more regularly. However, I am still troubling for high cholesterol these organs have, even though they are rich with many other vitamins and minerals.

    Is there an explanation for the safety to eat good amount of organ meats?

    Thanks

  54. All the links to the Weston Price Foundation lead to a 404 page. You need to update.

    Also, you say that it is “essential” that the liver come from grass fed animals. Is it really essential? Not everyone has access to such meat, and not everyone who does can afford it. There are also those living abroad who may not have access to grass fed.

  55. I raise rabbits – is there somewhere I can find the values for rabbit livers? I save them when I butcher them, but haven’t used them yet…

  56. You need a very small amount of liver. It truly is a superfood. I’m reading Cure Tooth Decay by Nagel and its probably the most important book on teeth health every written as he takes research from so many areas and distills it for us. Liver is one of the best things for the teeth you can consume. Pure, organic, raw liver of course. What might be even better is insects though 99% of people would might take a while to accept that. Breed them yourself to ensure quality. Focus on the ones that won’t infest your home in case they escape and also the ones that reproduce the fastest. No smell is nice. Some smell, most don’t. Grab some old aquarium that leaks for nothing and use that. It’ll work fine. Feed them quality leftovers from you eating. Won’t cost a penny.

  57. I have celiac/hashimotos and consume 2 teaspoons of green pastures cod liver oil daily. That said..is it okay to eat 4 oz servings of liver 3 days per week? Very grateful for all you do. Thanks.

  58. I am looking at this plate of liver and onions being served with avocado. I read recently, that you were not suppose to eat good fats with protein. Is that true?

    • I’ve never heard that before. Where did you read that good fat is bad with protein? I mean you can’t eat meat without eating good fat it’s in the meat.

      Although many say not to eat starches with protein. They say this is bad food combining.

  59. We eat liver quite often. In fact my wife makes a chopped (chicken) liver that we can’t keep in the house as my 12 year old daughter snacks on it all the time. All a matter of making sure where the liver comes from, and let’s just say it ain’t Perdue.

  60. I’m not sure if you covered this in other comments already but liver is not only a concern for hypervitaminosis A but active retinol/retinyl esters in liver and animal meats have been shown to increase bone resorption/osteoclast activity and inhibit osteoblasts in non-cancellous bone. Individuals with higher preformed vitamin A intake have been shown to be at higher risk for fracture.

    Not saying any liver consumption is bad but you definitely need to take this into account when advising individuals to consume liver on any regular basis.

    • @Kevin:
      I wonder if that has anything to do with low vitamin d status.

      And I am not very impressed by what I read about vitamin a and fracture rates, yet.

      One example: “Excessive Dietary Intake of Vitamin A Is
      Associated with Reduced Bone Mineral Density
      and Increased Risk for Hip Fracture”

      They say that fracture rates are higher in northern Europe that in the rest of Europe and attribute it to higher vitamin a intake. They compare some fracture rates (without giving the real numbers) and claim that “Known risk factors cannot explain these observations”. Yet, the “known risk factors” link to a paper, which does not include vitamin d and/or k2 intake, but things like height, smoker yes/no, caffeine intake, taking estrogen yes/no and “selth-reported health status”.

      They then used – of course – a questionnaire, which “asked women to report their usual intake of 60 foods during the past 6 months. In addition to requesting information on dietary habits, it also asked for participants’ self-reported
      current weight and height, marital status, parity, and educational level.”

      I am sorry, but I could not even report my food intake of today with any meaningful accuracy (accurately enough that I would be comfortable to use the data in a study), let alone my food intake of last week. So I don’t even want to think how accurately those women could report their food intake for the past 6 months.

      If anyone knows of any kind of study or proposed mechanism on how “high” vitamin A/retinol intake leads to higher fracture rates independent of vitamin D (and maybe K2) status, please post a reference to the paper. This is not something I have read a lot about, but given that A, D and K2 seem to have a synergistic relationship, I would much prefer to read a paper which investigates the effect of vitamin A or D on fracture rates without completely ignoring the existence of the other one.

      • There is a lot of articles being thrown out there on Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Calcium, etc., and it is becoming very confusing. The most recent article I read was that Magnesium was the bone builder! I have Spondylolisthesis and it is really important for me to protect my bones, but all these conflicting articles as to what REALLY builds bones, has my head spinning. Is there anyone with the expertise and knowledge that can clear this up for me?

        • Janelgo, Magnesium is one of the five electrolytes (Sodium (Salt), Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and Phosphorous). Seems we get plenty of Phosphorous.
          MAGNESIUM is the great REGULATOR.

          (Short version of long story: My mum phoned me that she didn’t feel well. Admitting this meant she was dying. I rushed over and found her collapsed on her bed—she was rushed to hospital, unconscious. In hospital a mix of electrolytes are usually quickly administered. Drs told her she had a potassium deficiency and to eat more potatoes & bananas. She took the ambulance to hospital three more times that year.

          In the meantime I was searching out second hand books stores (university student) reading any health book I could find that mentioned potassium and discovered the info on the first four of the above mentioned minerals.

          I got my mum the strongest magnesium tablets I could find and she lived twenty more years until being assessed in a hospital apartment for independent living. She could not bring her own medications or supplements with her and within three days went into cardiac arrest and died, due I am most sure, of a magnesium deficiency.

          I will repeat: Magnesium is the Great Regulator of your body’s electrolyte system. The body fights to keep the exact level constant. It will use up every last nano particle of magnesium to do this and when it runs out, the lights go out. There is no wiggle room in this scenario.

          Magnesium and vitamin C are stored in the lining of the intestines. They fight for room. It’s a great system because it parcels out the C & or Mag as needed. It is best to take both throughout the day. Too much of vitamin C and/or Magnesium overloads the intestines and leads to diarrhoea. And since both are stored in the same room, less of each can be stored if both are taken in.

          Back to your question: Bones are really light stuff. It is the blood and fat in bones that make them heavy. Regardless, you must (must) have certain minerals in them for strength. Remember, Magnesium is the Great Regulator (sorry, but this is such an important fact, friend). It regulates entry and exit of calcium and other minerals in the dance between the needs of the bones and storage and for use in the body. The bones are sort of the emergency supplier. Magnesium balances the calcium and shortages stress the dance.

          Google the following to find an excellent way of making and taking magnesium water so you will never have a shortage problem: “milk of magnesia and soda water”. (There are a variety of different sites that offer the same recipe but have extra info on this topic.) It makes about a months worth of magnesium for little cost. A portion is diluted in a litre size carry bottle of water to be taken throughout the day.

          The next thing to do is to go to Walter Last’s crucial site at http://www.health-science-spirit.com/borax.htm. It is called “The Borax Conspiracy”. Borax is converted to Boron and is crucial for your bone and teeth health (aka, strength). You will learn why borax is being banned around the world (Europe & Australia). Fortunately it is mined in California and Turkey so it will probably not be banned in North America. You will learn why certain areas of the world have very little arthritis. Boron, stomach acids make it from the Borax, strengthens bones and teeth and may have some antibacterial properties. It is a mineral similar in texture to calcium. The burnt smell from drilled teeth is the boron. You will have the same smell/taste taking Borax. It is integral to bone strength, assisting other minerals in bones and teeth. Only a smidgen needs be used. Walter explains it brilliantly.

          Note: Salt is twice as deadly—in trials on mice? rats? for it takes more than twice as much Borax (probably more as you will read from Mr Last) to kill you than it does salt. But you only need a smidgen, a pinch, a touch of the finger to effectively strengthen bones and teeth. Sadly our soils are deleted of this mineral and processing does even more damage to its availability to the body.

          Vitamin D is best got from sunbathing. If you follow Dr Kresser’s advice and go primal, you will not burn in the sun. As a burner, I speak from experience. (And I do like to scare the neighbours in my bathing suit. 🙂 The plan will also help you balance your electrolytes. The Magnesium and the borax conversion to boron may be the answer you are looking for, or at least be a big part of the picture.

          Also check out Xylitol, a natural sugar substitute with only sixty per cent the calories of sugar. It also strengthens bones and teeth and clears up sinus problems and prevents cavities. Look it up. Brush your teeth with it. Read up on the bowel irregularity you will encounter when taking too much to begin with.

          Do check out Nora Gedgaudas’ book, “Primal Body, Primal Mind & her youtube entries. I believe both Dr Kessler and Ms G hum the same tune.

          Janelgo, I wish you the best of health in your journey to knowledge to understand your body and its care.
          Namaste and Care,
          Michael

    • Liver contains Vitamin K2, which,synergistically with Vitamin D3, Vitamin A and magnesium, takes calcium plaques from where they shouldn’t be, i.e., in the soft tissues and blood vessels, and puts them int the bones, where they should be. Read up on Vitamin K2, there’s loads of info and you can’t overdose on it, because it’s not stored in the liver and the body only uses it when it has calcium to transport to the correct location. Cholesterol is only found at these plaque sites in the tissues because it is ‘sent’ to clear up and smooth over, the calcification-damage site, a bit like a rescue service; if the calcium plaques are eroded and removed by the action of K2, cholesterol and calcium will not be in free circulation in the bloodstream.

  61. Thank you for the post Chris. Very informative as usual. Just chopped some grass fed liver and added some to my slow cooker beef stew. Your suggestion to blend it into other meat dishes is great. I know I should have listened to my mother about eating liver. She was so right.

  62. I just started back eating red meat after about 20 years, but even when I was orginally eating red meat Liver (and onions) was the enemy. I was happy to find a place in NoCal that sold grassfed dessicated liver pills so that I can add them to my diet without trying to force feed myself liver. I also see a lot of people dessicating liver themsleves or doing the freeze method.

  63. I have a question. I want to try pate but I’m wondering where people buy it. It’s expensive on amazon plus I don’t know of anyone who actually eats it. So no one can recommend a good brand for me. I would love suggestions!

    TIA

  64. What about the danger of consuming excess copper if eating over a quarter pound of beef or lamb liver a week as found in “Perfect Health Diet” page 309?

    • I agree. Liver is very high in copper, way out of balance with iron and zinc. I’d also be curious to hear what Chris thinks about this issue.

      ???

    • Carlene, I eat raw liver but I make sure it is from a butcher and I show up on delivery day. I like the way Muslims & Jews clean and bleed the meat. See my previous post on MMS. I think that should take care of bacteria and pathogens. Look up the story of Jim Humble and his findings. Truly fascinating.
      I soak all my meats in cold water and MMS and my home made Iodine for about five minutes and then pat it dry with clothes I have for that purpose.
      Freezing is often recommended but it must be in a deep freeze for 20? days—not in the refrigerator’s deep freeze which is not cold enough and fluctuates more in temperature.
      Even before using my MMS I never got ill. I then quickly light fried the outside of the pieces leaving it raw in the middle. Don’t really know if that is safer, but I never did get sick but then as an O blood, I have a very acidic stomach.

      Please never eat any liver from a supermarket. The whole livers are processed (cut up) at the factory. The livers are tossed on a belt and travel up automatic cutter blades to be sliced. Many different livers are stuffed into large bags, automatically—with no visual inspection. The bags are visually examined, when they arrive down the belt, for cancerous bits and other anomalies. Suspect bags are sent to rendering for dog food. Who knows if there are cysts in the middle of any bag.
      Do hunt down a proper butcher and find out the delivery day.
      Namaste and care,
      mhikl

    • Carlene I have been raising organic beef for about 10 years now along with milk cows all for personal use an I mix my raw liver in with a smoothie from home made yogurt as long as the liver is in a freezer for 25 days it’s safe been doing it for years.

  65. I have come to love raw beef and lamb. Liver took a little time getting used to but I worked down from lightly flash fried liver (pre cut into thin strips) in coconut oil or beef fat. The end result was lightly cooked outer shell and inside succulently raw. A little oyster sauce, drop of sesame oil, as sprinkle of salt and pepper and shadows of nirvana flash across the subconscious. Well, maybe a little extreme but I do love the flavour of raw meat and was truly moved to prayer to thank the givers of their lives for my benefit. Not even a thanksgiving pray in church has ever been so hear-felt and definitely not as spiritually moving.

    Our ancient ancestors must have eaten meat in its raw form and cooked over some fire got by lightning. The flavour of cooked meat is divine but so is the flavour of raw but the understatement of warm raw meat and the light, invigorating flavour of animal fat just as intoxicating, in a mellower manner.

    On a high fat (ketogenic) diet with some protein and very few carbohydrates my health has improved, body odour is gone and my skin I’m told looks refreshing and youthful for a man twenty years my junior. As a male, other than an expression of health, I don’t really care. But signs are good and I will take them as they come. My bowels and the results of their labours are as they were in my twenties now. Another good sign. Skin, bowels and odour says a lot about one’s health.

    Does this mean such a diet will work for everyone? I doubt it. I have followed Dr D’Adamo since his book came out in the late 90s and I have seen his declarations in work. A bloods do seem to prefer carbs and abhor fat. O’s the exact opposite once addictions to sugars are overcome. However, a very good friend at the time had been adopted and all other family members are O blood types. She was A and yet relished liver like the carnivore I am. Still, we disliked and liked opposite foods, in the vegetable family in particular, and eating out was fun and more filling as we scoffed the veggies the other held disinterest.

    Gary Taubes is a little younger than I, looks to be in better shape than I yet his specs he published are not as good as mine, by a long shot, actually. Maybe Mr Taubes needs a little less fat and some extra carbs in his diet? But who’s to say. We must each treat our body as our personal laboratory and from that point of view, only the truth can be found by an honest wo/man.

    • Very well said mhikl, I totally agree with you! Being an O type myself, I know the non-guilty pleasures of raw meats and the benefits to my health!

      Harbinger 62
      You are only partially correct, toxins are filtered in the liver but not stored. Toxins are mostly stored in the fat tissues of the body. That said I would 100% agree on eating only organic, pastured liver, also as an ethical principle!

      • Vivica, I forgot to mention Jim Humble’s MMS in my post. I soak my sliced raw meat in a cup of good water for four or five minutes (I use a Natural Action Water Unit) and add 8 drops of homemade iodine and 10 drops of MMS. Then pat it dry with cloth. This way I am hoping any pathogens etc. will be eliminated. (I use it three times a day along with iodine so I think I am safe from illness. But, as O bloods, we do have very strong stomach acids.)
        My liver comes from a Muslim store near by and I know they are very finicky about quality meat, so here’s hoping. Beef heart and pork fat for rendering lard comes from a Chinese SuperMarket and they cut all their own meat fresh and they too, as a culture, are particular on fresh. I am fortunate to get my Beef fat for free from our local grocery store. I freeze it for ten days, hoping for the best.
        Oh, and I have taken to eating beef tendons/ligaments
        raw. I store three days supply in the fridge with added MMS, cut up. Then I just swallow a few chunks at each of my daily two meals. They’re tough guys to chew. I really like them cooked so when I make my Vietnamese styled soup I do add beef bone and tendon broth from my crockpot. I tore my hip while working in Sarawak in my very early thirties and since I have taken up the both and especially the raw tendons my hip is mostly pain free. The same goes for my thirteen year old Corgi. She no longer needs help up or down the stairs. She bolts to them now.

        We live in wonderful times. The internet, used wisely, is such an amazing resource from health to understanding the Electric Universe (Thunderbolts Project) and our connectivity to every living being on our planet (and possibly beyond?). Check out Rupert Sheldrake and morphic resonance on youtube. Stunning stuff.

        Namaste and care,
        Michael (mhikl)- I’m a bit of a yapper. 🙂

  66. In France, I was raised eating organ meat once a week. When I moved to the US 8 years ago, at the local farmers’ market, they were giving us the liver for free. (It took us some times to realize that it was because they thought we were looking for cheap stuff to feed pets.) Now, the liver price at the farmers market has raised crazy and I sometimes selfishly regret the days when Americans were disgusted by organ meat…!

  67. Chris,

    I think it is important to mention that the liver is where waste products and toxins from the animal are filtered through. I would buy only organic, grass fed, not grain fed liver. Thank you for all you do to help us to improve our health and well being!

    • Turkey liver is higher in Vitamin A than beef liver (about 27,000 IU compared to about 17,000 IU), but it is not higher in B12 (about 20 mcg compared to 60 mcg).

      Note: All numbers per 100g raw liver (USDA Food DB Ids: 05177 and 13325)

      Besides: When comparing all essential nutrients, raw beef liver is about twice “as good” as raw turkey liver. Beef liver has about 1.4 times the amino acid, 1.5 times the vitamin and about 3.5 times the mineral content. It only has 1/3 the essential fatty acid content, but both are poor there. That said, the distribution of nutrients is significantly better in turkey liver when it comes to vitamins and minerals (but not when it comes to amino acids, where both are close to perfect).

      Bottom line: It shouldn’t really matter. Both are pretty damn nutrient dense. And even beef liver has like 5.5 times the RDA for Vitamin A per 100g. So even 100g/3.5oz of beef liver per week would give you about 80% of your RDA.

  68. As a Certified Technician In Whole Food Nutrition I am only too aware of the importance of organ meats. I am lucky enough to have grown up in Italy, in a food culture that considered feeding liver and brains to your kids a staple diet, not pizza and hotdogs. having grown up with those flavors I do love them now, but as an educator and cook I have also learned to make my organ meats so tasty that nobody can object to them. Even kids.
    I have many liver and heart recipes on my blog The Nourished Caveman, if it can help anybody get some love for them as good food!!

  69. I grew up eating liver as a kid, but now I have a hard time stomaching it. So I obtain a frozen grass fed liver and dice it up and swallow it whole. It gives me lots of energy!

    • For those who hate the taste of liver. Try this: make an emulsion (aka smoothie) by chopping up 3 oz. of raw liver with a blender, then add one cup of carrot juice, and blend. Then drink it. It is quite palatable. Tastes like carrot juice, the liver is not noticeable to any significant degree.

  70. In India, we don’t eat beef as the meat is largely taboo among Hindus and even other religions. But goat, lamb and sheep meat is widely available. I was wondering if goat/lamb liver offers the same nutrition density as beef liver. BTW, goat liver is very delicious and it really packs a punch when you’re hungry and craving something meaty.

    • Those are very healthy meats, Sahil. When dining out and wanting food from the East, I prefer Pakistani food. A Hindu friend told me Indian food was mostly vegetarian and so they do not have the preparation experience of their more carnivorous neighbours to the north. My first dining on goat is a memory still alive in my salivary glands. I can’t cook it worth eating so a jaunt to the Kabob Hut in NE Calgary is a must go when the urge set upon me with furry.

  71. If your going to eat liver eat organic liver. liver is the organ that filters toxins. If its not organic all the antibiotics and steroids they give livestock is in it. In addition meat is bad for you and it will never be a better source of protein vitamins and minerals than vegetables. Combine the creamy pink texture of pinto beans with a whole grain such as brown rice and you have a virtually fat-free high quality protein meal

      • A Beatle wife and a main member died of cancers from vegan diets. Sadly, we wait to see how Paul fares. A famous Japanese microbiologist had cancer but seemed to recover though neither his wife nor daughter were so fortunate. Many are moved by their hearts and beliefs to the detriment of clear thinking and longer lives. They like to twist the truth by comparing their life styes to the general diet of their culture, claiming meat to be the evil difference. Dreams alone do not save the body or soul.

  72. This article is false, on the chart it says that carrots have NO VITAMIN A… but carrots are rather high in vitamin A… this article isn’t full of facts, although Liver, I’m sure is very valuable in nutrients, since its one of the first things wild animals go for when they’ve made a kill.

    Whoever wrote this needs more education or needs more FACTS.

    • Yes from what I understand the vitamin A in carrots or any vegetables aren’t actually the same vitamin A from meat,its rather a precursor to vitamin A,its converted in the body,but humans aren’t good convertors of vitamin A,we leave that to the animals,so animals provided a better source of Vitamin A.

      SO Even though carrots may have vitamin A. It’s not the actually vitamin A,does that make sense?

    • Carrots have beta carotene type vitamin A. Liver has retinol type vitamin A. I’m not sure if the latter would turn you orange if you got to much, that’s what beta carotene would do. Too much retinol would lead to headaches, vomiting and skin rashes…peeling. I eat beef liver several times a week to keep my chronic bronchitis under control and no signs of overdosing yet.

  73. I have a 10 yr old boy and an 8 yr old girl. They take cod liver oil, one pill a day. How much liver and how often do you recommend for them? I’m going to try the freezing method but I read you have to let if freeze for 14 days to kill parasites. Also, I’ve asked by butcher to ground the liver (looks really bad) and I mix it with grassfed beef and make burgers. Kids don’t notice. How much is recommended for kids? Thanks!

  74. Here in Taiwan where I live locals eat liver….pretty much pork or goose….with lots of ginger. I also get my liver fix from imported cans of pork liver at the French owned supermarkets here. This combined with lots of green vegetables…..lots of mustard greens here….garlic…..hot peppers….liver once or twice a week…keeps my anemia improved…..I do make use of their national health insurance and this includes Chinese herbal medicine….anyways, just speaking for myself….I know liver is fatty….but after a year of living here I have lost thirty pounds….more to go but heh….

  75. I eat 100 grams of raw liver for breakfast. I make it into a pate with garlic, coconut cream, tahini and lime juice… blend it in a magic bullet blender.

    • Abbey… You used to offer food preparation classes in my area. You are still on Gold Coast, Australia?? Would love to attend one of your classes and learn to make and taste your ways of making such foods palatable.

    • Yes, I think it would be helpful to change references to “folic acid” to “folate”. I was going to share a link to this entry with a friend but didn’t want to confuse her with incorrect information stating that liver is a source of folic acid.

  76. Interesting read.Would you kindly advise on nutrition facts for Kidney and heart ( cow or goat).I always have kidney after a heavy day of drinking and it does amazing things with a hangover.

    Bridget

  77. Soak the liver in milk before cooking, it takes away the aftertaste, smell. I immediately put the liver in a bowl and pour milk to cover before cooking – even if I’m eating it right away, it takes the bitterness out too. Wonderful!

  78. Im pregnant and borderline anemic.I really feel better when I eat liver. I sauteed onions and tomato in ghee added liver cubes and some bombay spices.it was amazing. You should cook liver nomore than few seconds.if cooked too long tastes really rubbery. Also fried livers are so delicious.cut in small cubes toss in seasoned all purpose flour and fry it obly for few seconds.squueze some lemon on top. If you want you can have same size patatoe cubes. Tastyyy 🙂

  79. Alright, so I grew up hating everything about the taste of liver. That all changed this past December. I have been water fasting regularly for years. Did 23 days just water several times but have always desired to do a real 40 water fast. So I prepared all last year to end the year with a forty day water fast. My preparations included gaining 45 lbs to sustain me for 40 days. Thought gaining weight would be quick. Took almost 6 months of fast food twice daily to hit 200 lbs from my start weight of 155. Process was not near as enjoyable as anticipated. I got to experience my joints all loosen up. Acid reflux, got sick, headaches, tired sore and pissed off. Process really sucked. Felt my body degenerate fast.
    Dec 21 I started my 40 day water fast. Amazing experience. At the end my eyes were opened as to why anyone would subject them selves to this level of self denial. The 37th night my eyes were fully opened for several hours to the divine.
    Anyways I spent those 47 days (took over a week longer to turn my digestion back on. Didn’t anticipate this. Was forced into 47 days and not 40) designing my new feed program for when I was to start eating again.
    Liver. Here’s my point. Hated it. Fasted and choose it for my first solid meal and loved it. Couldn’t believe how good out made me feel. I felt led to easy it raw. New nothing about eating raw meat at all. Didn’t know others ate it raw. After a week of eating nothing but raw organ meat I finally googled eating raw meat, and the benefits of eating raw liver.
    Now I’m hooked. I feel like I’m really on to something. Since December I cut out all fruit and veggies except for one day a week as more of an intestinal sweep. I cut out all fiber. My feeding since then has consisted of only gras feed lamb liver, grass feed beef heart, wild caught fish with the skin, bone broth, pastured eggs, chicken with the skin on, lots of coconut oil by the spoon full, lots of butter, home made yogurt and lots of clean water. I consume all my food in one meal at 6pm. Daily feeding is the same everyday. One dozen egg yolks. 1 to 2 lbs of raw lamb liver. About a lb of beef heart, quart of raw yogurt, several big spoons of coconut oil and either 5 or six pieces of pastured chicken with the skin or trout with the skin.
    Yup. All that in one meal over the course of about an hour and a half of steady feeding. Pure protein and tons and tons of saturated fats.

    Results……lost 55 lbs during the fast. Have gained over twenty pounds of lean muscle since then. All my joints are stronger than when I was a kid. No acid reflux at all. At 37 I suddenly naturally became a morning person with no alarm. I require very little sleep now. Friends say I look 25 all of the sudden. I have veins, muscles and a six pack for the first time in my life. My digestion system works perfectly. I can Beatty all my old pt scores from when I was infantry at 20. My skin and hair have totally changed. Here’s something that most don’t know. Farting and burbing are signs of improper digestion. I hasn’t farted or burbed since my third week of my water fast. I have quit using deodorant completely since fasting as my sweat no longer has any odor.Weird but awesome. I feel like I have a brand new body. Anyways if you hate the taste, it might be time for a pyridine shift in your thinking. Instead of eating to satisfy your mouth and stomach only, how about a shift to feeding your body instead. Be your own science project. Instead of being your very own victim! PS. I hasn’t been into a grocery store since November. I get all I eat from 1 butcher shop. I’ve never looked or felt better.

    • Nathan,
      My boyfriend and I stumbled across this page when looking for more information on liver (he’s trying to get me to eat it) and we were amazed by your testimony. Is there any way you can tell us more about your diet and transformation?
      Cheers,
      Marie-Ève

    • Nathan,

      If you are still alive, I would love to know how you are doing. 🙂

      Just kidding….but it does seem to me that that much organ meat might be a bit much on a daily basis. Does this post still describe your daily diet?

      Paul Jaminet advises people to eat what we are…..which would mean a balance of muscle, skin, bones, organs, etc. It seems like sage advice to me.

    • That’s a great story. But how would a smelly, colorless, flammable, liquid organic base (pyridine) shift in my thinking help me? Or maybe you meant to say something else?

  80. Hi Chris all, I’ve been trying some liver (lamb) after hearing the benefits on Chris’s podcast, I feel amazing shortly after consuming it. I feel more alert and improved mood just wondering if there might be something lacking in my diet (primal/paleo) that liver satisfies?

  81. Hi, I really enjoyed reading your information about liver. I too, have eaten liver ever since I was a small child. I love it, and think it’s the best tasting meat out of all of them. The problem with liver is it can get dry and/or have a bitter taste. I quit cooking it in butter awhile ago, now I use canolla oil. My favorite way to cook liver is with onions… The more onions you put in it, the sweeter it will taste (if it’s still bitter, add some sugar). That’s how my mom fixed it, that’s how I fix it. I do have one question though, I see it lists carrots as not having any Vitamin A in them… What happened to that saying about eating carrots so your eyes will be healthy? Is that not true… Because I love eating honey carrots with liver.

    • Try soaking your liver in salted water for about 20 minutes.I bread mine in sprouted spelt flour with a little more salt and pepper,garlic powder.Then cook it in a little butter.Yum!

    • Canola oil is not a healthy oil. You should go back to butter or use ghee or coconut oil. You should throw your canola oil right in the trash and never eat that stuff ever again.

  82. You mentioned that you do think conventional liver still may be a positive…sadly that’s all I can afford. I was wondering if those stats you listed for the 100 grams were grass-fed liver? I wasn’t sure as it just says Beef Liver in the chart and I didn’t see anything making it clear what type it was.

    If that’s the number for conventional liver than grass-fed must be even more exceptional.

  83. My family is from France so I grew up eating pate and rillettes and not thinking much of it. But once those trips to France stopped I sort of forgot about it. I’m now trying to incorporate more liver into my diet to clear up my keratosis pilaris.

    Just a question – is the Vitamin C in liver destroyed in cooking? Should I just rely on other foods to get C?

    Thanks!

  84. Justin, I’m not a food scientist, but I know that alcohol does dilate blood vessels, that’s probably why you sense an improvement in your circulation.

  85. random question here. but I’ll go for it anyways.
    I have been following the paleo lifestyle for many months now and feel amasing.
    Still haven’t fully conquored my rheumatoid arthritis but see great improvements on top of elsewhere in my health. Slowly figuring it out with knowledge gained from Chris’s website aswell as all the helpful comments that have been provided by all you “health infowarriors”. Thanks a million.
    The random question at hand here is while I haven’t consumed much alcohol lately I have always noticed that when I do it helps with my circulation. Now does anyone have a reason as to why this is the case comming from the paleo view-point? and is there anyway I can expierence this beneficial effect without consuming beer/alcohol on a regular basis?
    does it have something to do with the yeast?
    (no joke intended here, by asking about alcohol that damages the liver, on a article that promotes beef liver as a very beneficial food:))
    thanks again,
    Justin

    • you need magnesium… Read the miracle of magnesium, Carolyn Dean…Dr Sircus as well. Type in your symptom and magnesium. Apparently your rheumatoid is stress related and alcohol relaxes you… at the time!! If you can drink Epsom salts half teaspoon in glass of water, its pretty amazing stuff.

  86. This article omits the plethora of evidence that demonstrates negative health impacts associated with red and processed meat consumption. See the World Cancer Research Fund’s expert report, where over 200 of the world’s scientists from 30 different countries summarized over 7000 scientific studies on the topic of lifestyle and cancer etc., for example.

    Nothing that I can see being said here outweighs this large body of research, which is not only epidemiological, but also mechanistic and experimental in origin.

    • The “largest body of research” does not guarantee truth.

      The Inuit didn’t “research” a nearly all-meat diet, they just lived it.

      On the other hand, a *viable* Vegan diet is quite complex, you have to eat a wide array of things to insure your complete nutrition. To live on only vegetables without that complex diet leads to coining “Rabbit Starvation” to describe it.

      As far as evidence, especially as pertains to *my* health, mine consists of my blood tests. I have found that my health improves when I eat more meat, and you can hardly claim that the printout from my doctor’s office is anecdotal.

    • Much as I don’t like the ‘idea’ of eating animals, I know from experience that after a year of not eating meat (I ate animal products like eggs milk and cheese) I felt absolutely awful. On discovering the Atkins diet, my health, stamina and strength improved beyond recognition. No acid-reflux and no food cravings. We were definitely not designed to eat only fruit and vegetables and `the fact that we can eat meat and have the teeth to do it with, proves that we should. Where do you get you Vitamin B12? And don’t say spironella, because that myth has already been put to bed – your body can’t absorb it in that form.

    • Thanks for that recommendation for the liquid iron. I am searching for how to improve my iron. I’m not sure that I can eat meat or liver on a regular basis since I don’t have a taste for it. I’m not a vegetarian but eat like one most of the time with the exception of fish and eggs.

  87. The require for iron, however, varies greatly in the coursework of the life cycle. Iron deficiency is more common among quickly growing kids & females in their childbearing years. Because iron is contained in blood, iron deficiency is more likely when people lose blood. Thus females who are losing blood in the coursework of their every month periods are more likely than other adults to create iron deficiency.  liquid iron supplement

    • This kind of iron is disposed of more easily than synthetic iron. I wouldn’t worry about eating liver everyday,just don’t take iron supplements or eat any fortified foods ever as they contain synthetic iron. This is especially important for men.

  88. Chris, what do you think of Liver Tablets Supplements? some say they are from grass fed cows? is this an alternative to eating the stuff?

  89. I have some in the fridge all thawed out.

    How many times per week would anyone recommend to eat liver? I don’t want this stuff to go bad!

  90. try the traditional jewish recipe for chopped liver.  my 5 year old son just ate some on toast and had no complaints.  dice an onion and begin sauteeing,cut up a half pound to a pound of broiled liver and add to onions.  sautee for another 8-12 min.  boil 3-4 eggs, add liver, onion, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder , oil and for that sweet flavour honey and a bit of sugar. process in a blender.  for a more savoury recipe leave out the honey.  hope you enjoy it

  91. Regarding “edible” liver:  First get it fresh, then don’t render it to leather.  When growing up my parents would get half cows and freeze them, things like liver and hamburger sat in the freezer the longest.  When it came time to cook it, my parents subscribed to (as Alton Brown’s grandmother would say) make sure it’s good and done or you’ll be good and done! Needless to say, I hated liver when I was growing up.
     
    It took some persuading, but a friend finally got me to try liver that was fresh and not cooked to death.  Buy it and fry it the same day, just a bit pink in the middle.  Very tender and not at all strong flavored.  When growing up (before chemotherapy/radiation) I still had all of my teeth and could not chew the majority of the meat my parents cooked, the stench of liver would make me nauseous.  Today with less than half of my teeth remaining (after chemotherapy/radiation in my late teens) I can not only chew it, but I can barely smell it even sitting in the kitchen while it is cooking.

  92. Is consuming liver still beneficial if it is “supermarket”  liver? I have searched my city, and I can’t find any grass fed beef.

    • Yes, it’s still beneficial because it still has all of the micronutrients. However, that benefit has to be balanced against the potential harm caused by the chemicals found in factory-farmed meat.

      Have you tried EatWild.com? They have listings of grass-fed meat suppliers in various locations. Also, you might also check the Weston A. Price Foundation for a local chapter in your area. They will be able to tell you where to buy grass-fed meat locally.

  93. Thx, interesting readings, it’s true that I gathered this info from Dr Mercola’s site. I see there’s a debate going on.

      • Hi Chris,
        The two links to articles about vitamin A toxicity do not work. I take a small slice (15 gram) of beef liver every two days to enjoy the nutriënt density but to avoid vitamin A overload. Do you agree?

  94. What a great website, put it on my favorites list. As for me, I eat mostly as a carnivore and feel great. I do not use any sweeteners, so when I eat liver- bloody and rare-nothing on it, it tastes sweet and yummy, I also really love chicken livers, even higher in iron than beef liver. Now, if only I could find a good source of duck eggs.

  95. The base nutritional content of Liver in comparison to raw vegetables bares no relevence in regards to the benefit it holds once digested by the human body.

    All meat & processed food leaves an acidifying ash after digestion for which the body has to strip essential alkalizing minerals i.e calcium & magnesium away from bones to counter this effect. One can understand that much disease e.g Osteoporosis is caused by our diet.

    If we were designed to eat meat then why would we need to cook it? It is a process that doesn’t come naturally but we utilised/invented.
    No other species on the face of the planet eats what & how we do.
    True carnivores salivate with the smell of blood, have teeth/claws/talons to tear raw flesh & a short digestive tract to process the meat. We do not!

    …Just some food for thought.

    • The base nutritional content of Liver in comparison to raw vegetables bares no relevence in regards to the benefit it holds once digested by the human body.

      Yes, that’s correct. But the nutrients in liver are not only significantly more numerous than they are in fruits and vegetables, they are more assimilable.

      All meat & processed food leaves an acidifying ash after digestion for which the body has to strip essential alkalizing minerals i.e calcium & magnesium away from bones to counter this effect. One can understand that much disease e.g Osteoporosis is caused by our diet.

      This is a myth. The homeostatic mechanisms controlling the pH of your blood are incredibly robust and tightly regulated. Proponents of the “acid/alkaline hypothesis” view salivary and urinary pH as the same. They’re not. Saliva is not used by the body to get rid of excess acid or base. Although the pH of your urine can indeed range from 4.5 to 8.0 (nearly four orders of magnitude difference in H+ concentration), urine pH is not body pH. In fact, you can’t really control the pH of most of your bodily fluids, particularly blood and extracellular fluid.

      Urine is one exception, and this is the very reason why the “remedies” sold by the pH fetishists appear to work. For example, dairy products, eggs, and foods with a lot of protein, like meats, will indeed acidify your urine, mainly because the kidneys will secrete the excess acid that is generated when the excess protein is broken down. Your blood pH changes minimally if at all.

      As you pointed out, certain foods can leave end-products called ash that can make your urine acid or alkaline, but urine is the only body fluid that can have its acidity changed by food or supplements. Alkaline ash foods include fresh fruit and raw vegetables. Acid ash foods include all animal products, whole grains, beans and other seeds. These foods can change the acidity of your urine, but that’s irrelevant since your urine is contained in your bladder and does not affect the pH of any other part of your body.

      Several studies have supposedly shown that meat consumption is the cause of various illnesses, but such studies, honestly evaluated, show no such thing.

      Dr. Herta Spencer’s research on protein intake and bone loss clearly showed that protein consumption in the form of real meat has no impact on bone density. Studies that supposedly proved that excessive protein consumption equaled more bone loss were not done with real meat but with fractionated protein powders and isolated amino acids. [1. (a) H Spencer and L Kramer. Factors contributing to osteoporosis. J Nutr, 1986, 116:316-319; (b) Further studies of the effect of a high protein diet as meat on calcium metabolism. Amer J Clin Nutr, 1983, 924-929; c) Do protein and phosphorus cause calcium loss? J Nutr, 1988, 118(6):657-60.]

      The claim that meat consumption causes a degenerative disease like osteoporosis is hard to reconcile with historical and anthropological facts. Osteoporosis and other chronic ailments like heart disease are primarily 20th century occurrences, yet people have been eating meat and animal fat for many thousands of years. Further, as Dr. Weston A. Price’s research showed, there were/are several native peoples around the world (the Innuit, Maasai, Swiss, etc.) whose traditional diets were/are very rich in animal products, but who nevertheless did/do not suffer from the above-mentioned maladies. [2. WA Price. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. (Keats Publishing; CT.), 1989, 256-281.] Dr. George Mann’s independent studies of the Maasai done many years after Dr. Price, confirmed the fact that the Maasai, despite being almost exclusive meat eaters, nevertheless, had little to no incidence of heart disease, or other chronic ailments. [3. (a) G Mann. Atherosclerosis and the Masai. Amer J Epidem, 1972, 95:6-37; (b) Diet and disease among the milk and meat eating Masai warriors of Tanganyika. Food Nutr, 1963, 24:104.] This proves that other factors besides animal foods are at work in causing these diseases.

      As to our evolutionary biology and the diet of our ancestors, I suggest you investigate the “Expensive Tissue Hypothesis”, formulated by anthropologists L. Aiello and P. Wheeler. Our brains are twice as large as they should be for a primate of our size. Meanwhile, our digestive tract is 60 percent smaller. Our bodies were built by nutrient-dense foods. The Australopithecine brain grew to Homo sapiens size because meat let our digestive system shrink, thus freeing up energy for those brains. For more on the Expensive Tissue Hypothesis, see this post by Dr. Michael Eades.

      Humans are not monofeeders. From the moment we stood upright, we’ve been eating large ruminant animals. Four million years ago, Australopithecines, our species forerunners, ate meat. Anthropologists Matt Sponheimer and Julia Lee-Thorp found Carbon-13 in the tooth enamel of four three-million-year-old skeletons in a South African cave. Carbon-13 is a stable isotope present in two places: grasses and the bodies of animals that eat grass. Those teeth showed none of the scratch marks of grass consumption. [4. Eades and Eades, Protein Power Life Plan, p.6]

      Humans have the physiology of a true omnivore – not a vegetarian. We have incisors in both jaws, ridged molars, and small canine teeth. Our stomach has a relatively small capacity (2 quarts), and our colon is also short and small and has putrefactive bacterial flora. In contrast, a true vegetarian animal like a sheep has incisors in the lower jaw only, flat molars, and no canines. Their stomach is huge (8.5 quart capacity) and their colon is long and capacious, with large amounts of fermentative bacteria (to help them digest cellulose and raw grains, which humans are incapable of digesting.)

      I could go on but I believe I’ve made my point. If you are open minded and willing to question your own views, I suggest you read The Vegetarian Myth, by Lierre Keith. It will disabuse you of these (and many more) common misconceptions about meat eating and vegetarianism that are so often reiterated on the internet and elsewhere.

      • Hi Chris. I love your work and research integrity on these sorts of topics. As a historian I am completely intrigued by the question of how long bone density loss has been a problem from human populations. If you have seen any decent archeological evidence that pre-agricultural humans/hominids didn’t suffer osteoporosis when living long enough to get it, I would be most grateful for the references. I have found some studies that suggest otherwise in specific populations where bone loss has been identified in mature adults (eg. Californian indigenous populations before European contact) but given how little data we have, it is hard to draw any conclusions. My inclination is, of course, to think that grain consumption, especially when followed by toxin exposure and the introduction of sugar and processed foods are probably the real culprits. But I am keen to consider all the evidence from archeology, human anthropology and medical history before making up my mind.

      • About the acidifying of urine – how does this impact trying to avoid and eliminate urinary tract infections? I’m trying to use d-mannose to rid myself of a UTI, and just read that very acidic urine could be a factor in why it isn’t helping. Thanks very much. Any light you might shed on why a paleo type diet would be a factor in recurrent UTIs would be helpful.

      • You probably could,but only if you sprout them,so that they have the enzymes needed for them to get properly metabolized

    • Having previously been to vegan camp, and heard all the arguments, I’m amazed by the fuzzy logic.

      #1, We co-evolved with fire

      There’s a Harvard primatologist, Richard Wrangham, who has written on the subject of cooking and argues that the use of fire is “what made us human.” He argues: “…tthat our evolutionary success is the result of cooking. Once our hominid ancestors began cooking, the human digestive tract shrank and the brain grew; and pair bonding, marriage, the household, and even the sexual division of labor emerged.”

      #2 We speak because we hunt (and other complex, social behaviors)

      The idea that if we were carnivores we’d have claws is also super silly. We don’t hunt alone. We developed huge brains and language–the ability to communicate and outwit animals. If we were herbivores, I doubt we would ever have developed language–we just wouldn’t have needed it to eat and survive.

      #3 We have guts for eating meat

      Finally, no serious physical anthropologist thinks our guts look anything like the guts of ruminants. WE DO NOT HAVE COW INTESTINES. This is a lie peddled by many vegan gurus who don’t know what they are talking about. We have something…in between.

      #4 Our brains need nutrients that are either super concentrated in meat or can ONLY be found in meat

      Whatever people do as a personal choice is up to them, but the fact that you can ONLY get B-12 from eating animals, and that it is vital to neuropsychiatric health suggests not only that we are omnivores, but that our brains got big *because* we (or rather, our ancestors) started eating meat. Our brains size cannot be supported on veggies alone.

      • Responding to point one: we co-evolved with fire – you can read this in Friedrich Engels works (collected works of Marx and Engels, USSR). Lots of the latest american theories, and economics is pure Marxism, but because the ordinary american is forbidden such things, they appear ‘new’. This financial crisis is explained in the first twenty pages of ‘capital’. I wish we could get past the basics, get past everything that has already been written about 150 years ago… but the obsession with piling up property won’t let us

        • Number two is also pure marxism. In fact, Engels is just as much a genius as Marx, but he writes in a very steady, boring manner and requires patience.

      • I like the article by the way, and the competent way in which questions/confusion have been approached. A friend of mine feels great after eating liver.

  96. Raw carrots rid the body of estrogen.  Drinking carrot juice increases PUFA’s and liver is anti-thyroid.  Not that I would recommend eating five pounds a day.

    Joan 

  97. Five pounds of carrots is insane. That’s like half a gallon of juice probably. I agree with you that it’s probably food elimination that provides most of the benefits there. When you stuff yourself with one food, you eat less of other foods. It’s basically like a fast or elimination diet. That’s how those fad diets work like the grape diet, grapefruit diet, cabbage soup diet, etc.

  98. Thanks Bruce. It was Max Gerson I was thinking about.

    If that fellow wasn’t eating any fat along with the carrots, then he wasn’t absorbing the beta-carotene and converting it to vitamin A. I can’t see how that would be beneficial.

    Often when people improve with such strategies, I think what is actually happening is they are benefitting more from what they’ve *removed* from their diet (PUFA, flour, processed food, etc.) than what they’ve added (a whole bunch of carrots).

  99. Max Gerson used to do that, but he stopped recommending the practice for some reason. I think raw liver would be better than 5 pounds of carrots. It would be difficult to consume that many carrots unless you juiced them and carrots are high in sucrose and carbs. What’s the reason for liver juice? It’s not hard to eat raw liver, just swallow without chewing. Stefansson said in one of his articles that the the Eskimos didn’t chew their meat much. A dog won’t chew their food, either. They just gulp it down.

  100. In short – yes! There is a rather famous doctor (can’t remember his name at the moment) who uses raw liver juice and dessicated liver to treat cancer.

  101. Bruce,

    Sorry you had trouble posting the comment. I’ll look into it. I’m still pretty new to blogging, so I haven’t figured out exactly how the comments filter works.

    Thanks for the link about mead acid. I’ll definitely read it, and I’ve seen a lot of discussion of mead acid and the various other fatty acids elsewhere lately. Clearly we still have much to learn.

    Best,
    Chris

  102. I tried to post this in the EFA article, but the site kept rejecting it. Said you had disabled all comments temporarily to prevent spam. I think because of having several links, the software identifies it as spam. I didn’t think it had gone through at all, because the site wouldn’t accept it.

    Peat is not against small amounts of omega-3, but he gets it in the form of shellfish and lean fish (cod, white fish, pollock, etc) eating occasionally. The point that he makes is that we should be making more Mead Acid, which is the 20:3 omega-9 PUFA our bodies make (from MUFAs, SFAs, carbs, protein, and so forth). Here’s a good article about Mead Acid.

    http://forum.lowcarber.org/showpost.php?p=7121180&postcount=15

    There are other PUFAs we can make, llike Nervonic Acid, with vital functions in the brain. These fats have not been investigated enough, because all of the attention is on dietary PUFA (omega-3 and omega-6). Mead Acid is less inflammatory than omega-3. In fact, it makes omega-3 look inflammatory by comparison. Peat believes that most of the PUFAs in our bodies should be made by our body. That way, there’s a feedback loop preventing them from building up to toxic levels. Obviously, it’s impossible to avoid omega-6 and omega-3 fats completely, but they can be kept very low (1-4% of calories), without much effort, depending on your total fat intake.

    • If Mead acid is so ideal, why does Ray Peat feel the need to take several aspirins a day? The man seems nice, but his dietary advice is extreme to the max.

  103. Bruce,

    Sorry I didn’t reply earlier. Somehow your comment was erroneously labeled as SPAM.

    Yes, Chris’s report is excellent. I have also read all of Ray Peat’s articles and I am less convinced by some of his more extreme views. I do not believe that n-3 PUFA in small amounts is toxic as he suggests. However, in general he makes several good points and I agree with much of what he is trying to get across.

    Best,
    Chris

    • Eating a little n-3 is possibly the key. It’s hard to avoid eating a little n-3! But many of the health gurus would have you gobbling fish oil as an elixer. Most EPA/DHA studies are observational and controversial – there are no long term rct studies on such activities, and never will be. And most studies on EPA/DHA supplementation address short term inflammation repression. There is no irrefutable science that shows that at the cellular level, long term supplemental EPA/DHA is an essential ingredient for sustaining health. In fact, Peat asserts it may be harmful. BTW, it’s a bit ridiculous to say “I disagree with Peat,” (or any scientist, of which I am one) unless you can contradict the science behind his assertations.

  104. I’m glad you pointed out Chris Masterjohn’s PUFA Report. I’ve been talking with him about PUFAs on another list, and he has changed his position very considerably from what it was several months ago. A lot of information has been presented by Ray Peat that I find valuable, such as the health benefit of keeping PUFAs very low, the toxicity of various plants, etc. Chris makes a good point that the need for PUFAs is inflated by modern diets of processed refined sugars and toxic vegetable oils.

    I’ve read Ray Peat’s articles on fats, oils, Vitamin E, and PUFAs. He is a bit extreme about it, basing the diet on foods that are very low in PUFAs, like coconut oil, dairy, red meat, potatoes, honey, fruit, and root vegetables. I think there is a lot of truth to what he is saying, though. Here are some of his key articles, I think, which support a lot of Chris Masterjohn’s points. It is good to read them all, as they build on each other.

    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/coconut-oil.shtml
    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/fats-degeneration.shtml
    http://raypeat.com/articles/nutrition/oils-in-context.shtml
    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/unsaturated-oils.shtml

  105. Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for your very thorough reply. I agree with you that eating lean meat (or any source of lean protein) without fat isn’t a good idea. In part this is due to the higher iron content per calorie, as you mentioned; the other reason is that digestion of protein requires the presence of fat-soluble vitamins (A & D), and if we eat lean protein without fat it depletes our body’s own stores of those vitamins (which are crucial to health).

    I pretty much agree with everything else you’ve said here. I just want to reiterate, however, that I’m not saying that liver is “better” than carrots or apples. As you point out, such a claim isn’t really meaningful without a context. My intention was simply to counter the popular myth that fruits and vegetables are higher in micronutrients than meats and organ meats.

    I’ve got nothing against fruits and vegetables 🙂 – I eat them every day! Are they essential to health? Possibly, possibly not. But as you suggest, there are plenty of cultures around the world that eat almost no fruits and vegetables at all and are healthy and free of many modern degenerative diseases. The Masai tribe in Africa comes to mind. They subsist almost entirely on milk, blood and beef.

  106. I have no disagreement about the calorie myth. I think what you eat is more important than how many calories (which tends to take care of itself when a person doesn’t eat highly processed food). My point was simply that you can eat lots of vegetables without getting a lot of calories. Some people believe juicing raw vegetables is particularly healthy, but I’m not convinced that the plant toxins and anti-nutrients are safe. Liver is a good food, but most can’t stand to eat it in large amounts or frequently. It’s also possible that a highly carnivorous diet would reduce our need for nutrients.

    You say “you would have to eat seven times more carrots than liver to obtain the same amount of vitamin B6. And you would have to eat nearly fifteen times more carrots than liver to get the same amount of iron.” I’m assuming you’re talking about a calorie basis here. Maybe you don’t need much B6 (or other B Vitamins) on a pure meat diet. And maybe it’s not that good to get large amounts of iron from meat. Iron promotes free radicals, lipid peroxidation, and other problems. A high-fat diet would be low in iron, because fat displaces iron. Lean beef has significantly more iron per calorie and gram than fatty beef, for example, because it has more protein.

    To compare several foods and say that one is better does create a fallacy, because it suggests that we must choose between eating one or another when we could just as easily add fruits and vegetables, while also eating red meat and liver, perhaps getting cumulative benefits thereby. It should nonetheless be considered that maybe some people would do better on a purely carnivorous, high-fat, very-low-carb diet without any fiber. I’m by no means convinced fruits and vegetables are essential or healthy.

    • Fruits and vegetables are healthy and they make your body alkaline. When your body is alkaline, it goes into healing mode and all inflammation goes down. Inflammation is linked to heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis, allergies, and asthma. The people that live the longest in the world are the Okinawans in Japan and their diet consists of 1 ounce of red meat a day 8 servings of fruits and vegetables, and fish twice a week, grains 8 servings and soy products two times a day.
      THey limit meat drastically and they live the longest in the world. THey have the most people living over 100 years old and their villages have virtually no cancer, heart disease or autoimmune disorders.

      What does that tell you?

      • you don’twant to be tooalkaline or too acidic. Yes, people in SAD diet may be too acidic but raw vegans tend to be too alkaline.

      • The fact that Okinawans cook their vegetables in lots of lard is often left out. High-protein diet has never been healthy, but a high fat diet (especially pork fat) plus moderate protein is the key to longevity. One can not extract and metabolize all the nutrients in vegetables without animal fat. And this PH theory is pseudo-science. I believe that one becomes ill by eating processed foods, otherwise why Eskimos, Yakuts, Mongols, Alaskan natives who eat only meats (acidic stuff) do not become acidic.

      • Plus I read that people with blood type O do much better if their system is slightly more acidic than alkaline.Therefore health depends largely on what foods are proper for your type.Healthy eating is a very individual matter.No one type foods are good for everybody.Whats good for the Okinawan’s who are mostly blood types A and B might not be the best diet for blood type O,s.

  107. Bruce,

    Thanks for your comments. First, I am a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation but I have no professional affiliation with them whatsoever. Nor am I Chris Masterjohn, as you can see from my About page.

    I agree with you that there are other things to consider when comparing foods than a straight nutritional analysis by weight. Calories may be important for some people, but then again, they may not be. I don’t pay any attention at all to calories myself, because 1) I am not overweight and 2) I don’t believe weight management is as simple as “calories in, calories out”. This, in my opinion, is yet another mainstream myth (and I plan to address it in a future post).

    You compare red meat with apples and carrots several times in your comments. Actually, the point of this post was to compare the nutrient contents of vegetables with liver – not muscle meat. And if you look at the chart, liver is significantly higher in every single nutrient than carrots and apples by weight, and is still higher in most nutrients even if you compare the foods by calories.

    For example, you would have to eat seven times more carrots than liver to obtain the same amount of vitamin B6. And you would have to eat nearly fifteen times more carrots than liver to get the same amount of iron. Clearly it’s safe to say that liver is more “nutrient-dense” than carrots and apples by both weight and calories.

    My intention here is not to say that we shouldn’t eat apples or carrots. Far from it. I’m merely pointing out that people often have a mistaken idea that vegetables are the only foods high in vitamins and minerals. This is due to the demonization of meats and organ meats that has occurred over the last several decades in the U.S..

    The importance of eating fruits and vegetables is well-understood in the mainstream (although this advice is not followed by most people according to the statistics). However, it isn’t commonly known that organ meats (and muscle meats to a slightly lesser extent) are often much higher in almost all the nutrients we find in fruits and vegetables. I hope that posts like these will raise people’s awareness of this fact.

    I’d also like to point out that I strongly recommend eating meat and organ meats from pasture-raised animals. Not only is this better for the environment, the nutrient levels in grass-fed meats are significantly higher than those in meats that come from animals raised in confinement feedlots. Please see my recent posts Why grass-fed is best – part I and Why grass-fed is best – part II for more information.

    Chris

    • Hi Chris,

      I’ve been reading the posts and am wondering if popping the frozen “liver pills” is as beneficial as eating cooked liver. I tried frying up calf liver as directed and ate with some onions. Couldn’t stand the taste most importantly the texture!

      I have pretty bad intestinal problems and have been advised by my ND as well as a doctor in a very good book I’ve been reading to eat organ meats at least once a week to help heal the digestive tract. Thoughts?

      Thanks so much!

      Jarrod

        • What do you usually put the pate on? There’s so many great dip and spread recipes that are paleo but how would you sub crackers?

          • I actually put the pate on bread made from tapioca starch, cheese, and eggs. Not Paleo, per se, but I have no problem with ‘safe starches’ and dairy, and if it gets me to eat liver, I’m happy! If I could eat raw veggies, I’d dip carrots in it. And the Paleo Parents have a chicken liver ‘mousse’ recipe that they serve with apples, and that looks super tasty as well!

          • For some reason, I find celery to be far superior to any other dipping vegetable that I’ve tried. Not sure why the flavor goes so well with pate. Also good with paleo crackers!

    • Your claim about grass- fed being better for the environment is incorrect. Spreading misinformation regarding personal health is one thing, but environmental? I recommend you do a little bit of research before deceiving your readers about such an important issue.

      • Could you please cite the sources for your statements? If you are to question the opinion of the author it is best to back up your statements so that we all can learn.

      • I agree, If grass fed is not better for the environment, how so? WHere did you get your information from? Factory farming is better? ..HAHAHAH.. even an uneducated person can see it is clearly not working for our environment.

      • Annette, I suggest you do your own research! From every thing I have read, grass feeding/pasturing animals is FAR better for the environment, reducing CO2 gases and other factors, as well, including global warming (sic).

      • you are the one who needs to do her research Annette. Grass feeding utilizes land that is not fit for agriculture and would otherwise go unused, while grain feeding dramatically increases the deforestation to make room for growing more grain crops.
        Furthermore, free roaming cattle help prevent carbon emissions from rotting grassland which also combats desertification.

      • Annette, research has shown that pastured ruminant animals are the only thing that can actually save the environment. They can heal the soil and prevent desertification. Vegan religion may be fun, but its neither sustainable, or is it evolutionarily viable.

        TED talk about healing desertification through grazing: http://youtu.be/vpTHi7O66pI

      • I’m thinking you may benefit from a viewing of Food Inc. on Netflix. they had an excellent explanation from a grass fed farmer explaining the difference for the environment.

    • furthermore it is very specious to compare the nutrient content of meat and vegetables by calories, because vegetables are typically much lower in calories, and it is impractical to eat the same amount of calories from vegetables as it is from meat (with the exception of starchy vegetables and tubers, like potatoes).
      Nobody is going to go eating pounds of carrots to get the same nutrition as a much smaller portion size of beef or liver…

      P.S CHRIS! Can you please cite your source for the above table? Last I checked the USDA cites beef as very POOR source of vitamin E, yet your table lists the vitamin E content of beef as being quite high.

      • Marcus Volke: agree very much with your posts.
        On the vitamin E issue- In the mid 1990’s our Federal Slaughter Plant for the Maritimes (since closed due to industry consolidation?)was requiring producers to feed extra Vitamin E to help with shelf life of retail counter beef. Through random testing compliance it was discovered that our fat beef shipments were higher without supplementation than grain fattened beef. We were predominately grass fattening as now and subsequent tests indicate such beef up to 500% higher then grain finished.

  108. I said “Vitamin B6 is lower in red meat than in apples. Thiamin in red meat is simply equal to apples.”

    That should be carrots, not apples. I read the wrong column by mistake. But my main point was still right, that red meat had less of several nutrients on the basis of weight. On a calorie basis, it will look even worse, compared to carrots and apples. And those aren’t really the most nutritient-dense foods, either. Compared to romaine lettuce or something like that, the carrots and apples might look like nutritional light-weights.

    Comparing foods by weight can be deceptive, if one food is vastly higher in calories than the other. Like comparing dark chocolate and blueberries. The chocolate may have 10 times as many calories (or more). Comparing things by calories can also be deceptive, if the amounts you would have to eat to get those calories would be unrealistic with a given food. Like comparing a hundred calories of romaine lettuce to 100 calories of butter.

    • Much as I don’t like the ‘idea’ of eating animals, I know from experience that after a year of not eating meat (I ate animal products like eggs milk and cheese) I felt absolutely awful. On discovering the Atkins diet, my health, stamina and strength improved beyond recognition. No acid-reflux and no food cravings. We were definitely not designed to eat only fruit and vegetables and `the fact that we can eat meat and have the teeth to do it with, proves that we should. Where do you get you Vitamin B12? And don’t say spironella, because that myth has already been put to bed – your body can’t absorb it in that form.

  109. You said that red meat surpasses carrots and apples in all nutrients. Based on your data, folic acid is lower in red meat than in both carrots and apples. Vitamin B6 is lower in red meat than in apples. Thiamin in red meat is simply equal to apples. Other than that, your claims seem to be accurate.

    However, it’s not really fair to compare things on a weight basis. They also should be compared on a calorie basis. Then, the fruits and vegetables may come out ahead. Let’s see. According to NutritionData, 100g of carrots has 35-41 Calories. 100g of apples 48-51 calories. 100g of beef (15-25% fat) is 215-293 Calories. 100g of beef liver has 135 Calories.
    http://www.nutritiondata.com/

    We must also consider how the foods are prepared and the bio-availability of nutrients. Just comparing nutrients by weight doesn’t always tell us the whole story. For example, dark chocolate may have more anti-oxidants per gram than blueberries or red wine, but on a calorie basis it might have less anti-oxidants. Likewise, a food may have more anti-oxidants, but also more pro-oxididants that cancel out the anti-oxidants.

    For example, soybean oil might be higher in Vitamin E than Macadamia Oil, or Coconut Oil, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. We must consider all the factors – nutrients per gram, nutrients per calorie, bio-availability, positive and negative effects, etc. It may be that red meat has more bio-availability than ALL plant foods, in which case it would be better to eat a carnivorous diet. Or maybe fruits and vegetables come out ahead sometimes, because they have more nutrients per calorie.

    What is your affiliation with the Weston Price Foundation? You refer to the work of Chris Masterjohn, and your first name is Chris. Coincidence, or are you the same person? It’s hard to tell from the blog.

  110. Kelly,

    Thanks for your comment – and for sharing your recipe for “kid-friendly” liver. Truth be told, I’m still experimenting with different methods of preparation myself because I’m one of those unlucky people who finds the taste of liver on its own to be somewhat objectionable.

    My wife is a different story. She gobbles it up stir-fried with a few onions without a second thought!

    Best,
    Chris

    • I take my liver by chopping it (frozen) and shallowing it down like pills…not my favourite taste either…make sure you have something nice-tasting to pop in your mouth when you’re done though 😉

      • Andrea, I also freeze beef liver and pop it like a pill. I swallow it down with warm tea (the warmth helps the cold jagged pieces go down better, the flavor of the tea masks the potent flavor). At first I could hardly stand even cutting up the liver (the smell was so strong), but now I’m totally OK with it. I love chicken liver pate…but beef liver will probably never become an anticipated meal in our home. I think “liver pills” are a great alternative.

        • Don’t people realize that mastication is important for nutrient assimilation? When you chew that helps your body digest the food. When you swallow without chewing, guess what happens? Not as good nutrient assimilation! Just flavor raw liver with whatever spices you like. Curry powder can be great. Cumin, coriander, tumeric, paprika, basil, chili powder, even sea vegetables like dulse are wonderful. Watch for needlessly added salt added to spices. Its getting harder and harder to find spices without the world’s cheapest preservative (salt) added. And if you care about your body you certainly won’t ingest inorganic liver that is loaded with growth hormones and steroids from animals fed on the cheapest crap possible. Look for grass fed beef, and if you want liver that tastes better than beef, try elk and bison. Much better.

          • “MY OPINION” offers a half-informed “fear-based” comment on hormones. Hormones cost a farmer money, and they’re given to young animals to make them grow. They are not given when the animal is going to slaughter–they’d be completely wasted. They are metabolized in a few hours to several days–this is why weight lifters quit “steroids” a bit before their blood tests. Unless the farmer gave a milk cow growth hormones just before the animal was slaughtered, there won’t be hormones left in beef liver weeks or months later. The liver’s job is to get rid of them promptly, within HOURS if possible.

            Wild animals may well taste better if they ate a variety of foods, instead of single-item feed, and grew slowly, with time to absorb and incorporate all the nutrients.

      • Same here Andrea! we take about ten good size frozen liver pills a day (grass fed organic of course) washed down with delicious veggie smoothies (nutrition packed with nuts, chia, pastured eggs) along with other food based supplements. The resident 2 1/2 yr old thinks they are candy haha and chews them up frozen! Pediatrician says she’s the healthiest toddler she’s ever seen, supports us with lacto paleo diet and no vaccines for her.
        This has helped us immensely, been doing it about 4 months now. Never had a problem of any kind!
        Husband reversed high liver enzymes, lowered triglycerides and dropped the cholesterol level 60 points…. So not buying the advice of the naysayers. Proof is in the pudding!

        • Thank you for this comment. I have doggedly low ferritin that hardly ever seems to raise. I’ve tried popping frozen raw organic liver pills but they gave me diarrhea until I stopped. Anyway, appreciate reading your comment.

        • No, proof is in the eating.
          “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”.
          Why the “proof” would be “in the pudding” is beyond me.

          • Rusty Brown re ‘proof of pudding is in the eating therof’ As I understand it from my childhood in the 40’s the ‘proof’ related to the amount of alcoholic spirits used in cooking the traditional Christmas pudding desert to finish off the dinner.:)) In some areas this proof made the Christmas “Merry’.

      • I must be weird too, i loved it growing up. going to try and make it tonight. hopefully it tastes as good as i remember.

        • When we were first married I made beef liver for dinner. My husband just sat and stared at it. I couldn’t imagine someone not liking beef liver. I love it but need to eat apple sauce with it, seems to help with the dryness.

        • I cut up onion,tomatoe,jalapenllo peppers and liver fry in olive oil add salt and garlic powder. Cover and lower heat cook untill done. Delicioso!!

          • Last night I cooked lamb’s liver for me and mine. Fried some home-grown leeks (cut into little rounds) in coconut oil and butter until just catching. Popped in an oven dish, laid the lamb’s liver slices on top, and covered with a rich gravy. Popped in the oven for 25 minutes, alongside some home-grown parsnips and salsify roasting in a pan. Served with shredded cabbage. Exquisite!

    • I find the best way to make liver is to fry it in beef tallow,then add Onions,Garlic,Thyme,Rosemary,Oregano,then add tomatoes or tomatoe paste with Celtic salt. The tomatoes add a nice rich taste with the liver,its so good.

      By the way I love organ meats,especially liver,I’ve really learned to like the taste even only cooked with onions,I still enjoy it.

      If one doesn’t eat for a whole day,then the next day cook some liver,you might enjoy it more. Eat it when your really hungry.

    • Paleo Friendly and so amazing! one pound of liver soaked for at least 20 min in an onion paste (blend 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, salt & pepper to taste with 1 1/4 cup of water). Pan fry liver for about 2-3 minutes each side with olive oil high to medium heat, dumped the paste in the pan with the liver, added 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon of paprika one fist full of chopped cilantro, (I did not add any butter, but you can for a smoother sauce, about 2-3 tbls if you like or to your taste) cook for another 7 minutes or till onion paste cooked. I served liver (5 oz) with 1 cup of steam carrots and 2 cups rutabaga with a little butter, salt pepper and rosemary. By the way, I love how Liver taste with a little fresh lemon juice, so I always put some right before I start to dig in! This recipe per person is not even 650 calories so nutritious and satisfying!

    • Chris, the worst thing is to overcook the liver – it should be pink. I am lucky enough to get veal liver which is delicious otherwise I agree that soaking in milk helps. This is how I prepare it and it is delicious – even my son (who said he did not like liver) loves it.
      Put some olive oil in frying pan and cook lots of thinly chopped onions with some salt and a bay leaf. Once very soft and caramelised put aside and don’t wash the pan.
      Cut up the liver into bit size pieces – make sure it has not been cut too thinly. Place the pan on high heat, adding some more olive oil – the wonderful taste comes from browning the liver so don’t be tempted to move it around the pan for a least 2 minutes, then add a LITTLE wine and cook it out, add in the onions, salt and pepper (or cayenne if you like spicy), mix and cook for another 30 seconds. Serve and ENJOY – great with greens – I used to eat with rice.
      PS. It makes a wonderful pate with any left overs. Wizz in food processor with a little butter, adjust seasoning, add a little brandy if you wish. Place in small dish and pour in some ghee to cover. Place a bay leaf and a little more pepper on top then refrigerate for 2/3 days.

    • I, like NOLA, dehydrate pureed liver at low temp, then powder it and finally put into capsules. Trouble is, I am pretty healthy paleo already and do not get sick, so I’m wondering if I’ll even notice the difference. LOL

  111. I always say “liver blows any fruit or vegetable out of the water in terms of nutrient-density” – how nice to have someone else of the same opinion. After numerous tries, my children now eat “kid pate” – made with sauteed apples, bacon, liver, all pureed along with a bit of Rapadura I hope to wean out over time, and cinnamon. They actually really like it on toast, topped with apple slices! Yay!

    – Kelly, CNC
    holistic nutritionist
    http://www.foodtherapeutics.com

    • Everyone knows that there is more nutrition per weight… what about per calorie? a 100g of carrot is not a comparison to 100g of red meat.

      • Nutrients/calorie is not necessarily a good marker. I would keep them separate for the most part. But let’s do the math.

        Based on the data from the USDA (and given I don’t have an error in my software somewhere), I can say this:
        Raw apples have an average of 1.4% of the RDA of the vitamins per 100g. With “on average” I mean that for some vitamins it contains more than 1.4% of RDA and for some less, but it averages to 1.4% of RDA for all vitamins.
        For raw carrots it’s 12.5% and for beef (I am using entry 13444 from the USDA db, which is “Beef, loin, tenderloin steak, boneless, separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, select, cooked, grilled”) has 15.3%.

        Given that apples have about 0.5 kcal/g, carrots about 0.4 kcal/g and the beef about 2 kcal/g, it follows that per 100 kcal we have apples at 2.8%, carrots at 31% and beef at 7.7%.

        So carrots are about 4 times “as good” as beef, but beef is over 2.5 times as good apples. (Don’t stop, there’s more)

        For minerals we have (per 100g): apples 1.1%, carrots 3.7%, beef 18.1%. Per 100kcal we get: apples 2.2%, carrots 9.3%, beef 9.1%.
        That means, when it comes to minerals carrots and beef are about the same (per kcal) and both are about about 4 times “as good” as apples. (Continue, there’s more)

        Vitamins and minerals are not the only essential nutrients. All are pretty much devoid of essential fatty acids. That leaves amino acids:

        Per 100g: apples 0.5%, carrots 5.8%, beef 92.7%
        Per 100kcal: apples 1%, carrots 12%, beef 46%.
        So apples are absolutely useless, and beef is about 4 times “as good” as carrots. (Continue, there’s more).

        We have not touched on two topics:
        1. bioavailability (I won’t touch on that, but I would be surprised if the bioavailability of the nutrients in carrots were higher than from cooked beef)
        2. nutrient distribution. (how close does the ratios of the nutrients a food contains mirror the RDAs?). I could touch on that a little, but I don’t want to open a can of worms. It’s not easy to talk about the distribution quality, because it’s hard to compare the quality of distribution between foods and very easy to let some kind of bias into the equation. But at least when it comes to amino acids balance, animal foods are significantly “better”.

        I also calculated the above percentages for all essential nutrients. What I get is this:

        Per 100g: apples 1%, carrots 7.3%, beef 36.3%
        Per 100kcal: apples <1%, carrots about 15%, beef about 18%

        So even when looking at nutrients/kcal beef is a little "better" than carrots and apples seem to be useless as a nutritional source based on the essential nutrients.

        As I said before: All this is based on the hope that I don't have any major bug in my current software prototype. So please correct me if I'm wrong or you suspect I am. I'd rather know I'm wrong than to think I'm right.

        • Just an additional comment: The amino acid RDAs are based on bodyweight. In the numbers above, weight was set to 75kg/165lbs.

        • Just revisited this post to check the chart on beef liver comparisons that the article referenced. I have just checked your math and something is seriously flawed.

          First you are not on topic of the article which is comparing liver to red meat, apples and carrots. You are comparing to tenderloin which is the least nutrient dense of all meat cuts and had been trimmed to ‘0’ fat, therefore could not have any measurable essential fatty acid, Omega 3’s as they are in the fat profile.

          In your third paragraph you quote carrots at 0.4 kcal/g and the beef about 2 kcal/g,. It follows in my math that even the beef tenderloin is 5 times the value of carrots, not less as you indicate.

          Liver is many times the value of the apples and carrots in all values, especially the vitamins A,D,E and K. These are stored in the fat profile of the animals, and whilst not shown in the comparison chart, it necessarily follows that the liver has comparatively high essential fatty acids such as Omega 3, and if pasture grazing fat beef, in Omega 6:3 ratio balance.
          We have to be careful to compare ‘apples to apples’ as it were, otherwise partial truths, can distort and seriously miscarry the whole truth.

          • Let’s not carried away. This is complicated. Omega-3’s in phospholipids are one of the largest components, if not THE largest, of cell membranes in the muscle and heart, and brain. Muscle is a combination of many nutrients and body substances, INCLUDING omega-3’s and -6’s.

        • “Potentially contain” never means “successfully (fully) absorbed” in our body.. chemistry is sometimes more helpful than arithmetics…

    • I am very anemic and keep trying to get my iron levels up with vitamins as well as eating foods with high amounts of iron. Every time I eat liver I notice how immediate the feeling of energy comes back. I’m a gastric bypass patient and know how important it is to eat healthy things, sometimes I have to avoid the fruit or veggies because my protein intake, but I always try to make a point to still find a way to keep them in my routine. It’s nice to be able to GOOGLE information that is informative! Also, I found a recipe that suggested soaking the liver in milk to help with the bitterness, which I did, skim milk to be exact, and the taste is much better!

      • Try Mega Foods Blood Builder. I have struggled with my iron/ferritin levels all my life… I’ve taken my ferritin from 5 to 22 in 6 months and it’s still going!

        Feeling so much better!

      • hey kristine, i’m challenged with getting my iron levels up. am just getting a little better about taking my frozen liver pills (had a gaggy experience early on, plus only gaggy experiences with cooked). if you’re willing, would love to hear how you’re doing…have you been able to get your iron levels up..or not…and what you attribute that too. best to you!

        • Hi Lynn, try dehydrated liver. I am not a liver fan but know of how beneficial it is. I took raw lambs liver, blended it till smooth and put it into the dehydrator at 47 degrees (so not to destroy any nutrients) once dried then blend again into fine powder and fill up empty capsules. It is fabulous. Sounds like a lot of work but it is well worth it. Good luck, regards nola

      • Soaking in plain water for and hour does the trick. Plus cooking with onions gives the liver a little sweeter taste so it kinda neutralizes the bitterness.

      • Hi Kristine I had gastric bypass may 2013 I love liver and actually am going to cook done for breakfast this morning. Haven’t eaten it in a long time as I’m scared it will be to heavy in my pouch. How do you find it? What’s your method of cooking it?

      • The function of the stomach includes MAKING hydrochloric acid, which ACTIVATES digestive enzymes so we can digest our food, but HCl also makes minerals more dissolvable, so they can be absorbed. Your surgery changed most of these. Iron in meat/liver is more easily absorbed than iron in vegetables, which really need acid to make them only partly absorbed. You can use capsules of apple cider vinegar, which add acid to the stomach, and you can take digestive enzymes before meals. Together, these make it easier for many people to get the nutrition from their foods. Often the digestive enzymes are combined in one capsule, and they’re not very expensive. If much of your stomach was altered, you may only tolerate A BIT of acid–if you get pain it means you’ve taken too much at one time.

    • As a nutritionist you do know that liver has an overload of vitamin A that can cause hypervitaminosis A through regular consumption right? I think it’s a great food to eat once in a blue moon, but regular consumption could lead to many consequences between them osteoporosis. Go search for it.

      • FWIW I eat about a pound of grass fed liver per week in about 1/4 lb slices per day . I get plenty of D3 and K2..Been doing that for about 8 months with only positive results.

        • Nice. Just once a week might be a well balanced amount of this food, though I’d eat it only one time a month. I just think it’s important to do some check ups from time to time with a nutritionist or a molecular physician to check if we’re getting either to much or too little of some vitamins. But yeah, it’s a good food, it has its pros 🙂

        • You should have your Vitamin A levels checked. 3 ounces of liver has more than two times the Tolerable Upper Intake Level at around 6500 ug. When consuming more than 3000 ug/day you are putting yourself at risk for toxicity. Signs to look for: bone pain, joint swelling, dry skin/lips, enlarged liver/spleen, headaches and blurred vision. I see this comment was from quite sometime ago . . . so . . .

      • This is actually propaganda that came from explorers eating polar bear liver that was contaminated with cadmium. Synthetic vitamin A will cause problems at high doses but the natural vitamin A would require enormous doses over a long period to cause problems, Also it is balanced with the other nutrients unlike isolated synthetic vitamin A. I eat liver every day and I am super healthy,

          • Hmmm. Seems to me I read that the tannic acid (tannins) in tea interfere with iron absorption, and they should not be consumed together. One Dr. in England has postulated that the British suffer from anemia because of this, and says no one should take their tea with meals – only between meals.
            So the rumour has it, as I understand.

            • I’m in the UK, drink between 4 -6 cups of tea a day, but never with meals. Not anaemic, but must say I always feel full of energy after a liver dinner!

      • Hey Leo,

        I don’t think liver is a good source of vitamin D,so in that case I’ve started eating it with pasture raised pork lard.

        The reason for this is,liver is loaded with Vitamin A,but if you eat Vitamin D,it will keep Vitamin A in check and make sure you do not get Vitamin A toxicity.

    • WOW……….it’s amazing the vast array of health claims made… everywhere , not just here . After 15 years of searching for answers I feel like I dropped into the middle of the ocean and there’s still no land in sight…..thank goodness I can float !!!!

      Like so many people I have an array of health problems and bandaid as best I can on a tight budget……ahhhhhh

    • I really would appreciate recipes for liver. I only ever made it ages ago the way my parents cooked it, pan fried with heaps of onion. I am not a fan of pan fried onions and have trouble digesting them so other ways to cook liver would really be great! Can you post you “kid pâté” please Kelly, I don’t mind pate actually.

    • Kelly,
      I am very interested in your recipe for your “kid pate” My son is a very picky eater and I am hoping that he will be receptive to this recipe. If you don’t mind sharing, I would love to try it out. Thank you!

      Marlene, MI

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