Beef Liver: The Health Benefits
Beef liver has been all the rage on social media; is it really all it’s hyped up to be?
Short answer – yes.
Beef liver has been known to have significant health benefits and is considered a superfood. It can be incredibly beneficial when properly consumed. Many companies have started creating supplements from desiccated beef liver to help get the same benefits without having to eat liver itself due to the strong taste.
Why is beef liver good for you?
The daily value of many essential nutrients can be satisfied by just a small portion of beef liver, and it typically contains more vitamins than many fruits and vegetables.Besides being high in protein, it is also low in calories.A balanced diet including beef liver provides many health benefits, including supporting the immune system, the nervous system, growth, development, and reproduction.
What are the health benefits of taking beef liver?
Beef liver contains countless vitamins, micronutrients and minerals. Some of these include: Iron, zinc, copper, selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, CoQ10, choline, and B vitamins.
A few of it’s benefits include:
Healthier Skin / Decreased acne
Vitamin A is beneficial in reducing acne; studies are showing that it can be used as opposed to Accutane! It also helps with firmness and elasticity
Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that protects the skin from UV damage
Vitamin B1, B2 and B3 are all used in our bodies energy processes and magnesium is necessary for countless biochemical processes
Fertility / Hormonal Balance
Beef liver contains zinc and selenium which are helpful during early pregnancy/ conception
Contains folate, B12, magnesium and trace minerals all of which are helpful
Vitamin D, magnesium and calcium are all helpful for strong bones and preventing osteoporosis
Beef liver is a natural source of potassium and can be beneficial in reducing blood pressure (it is important to discuss any changes regarding your heart with your doctor as certain supplements can affect medications!)
What should I know about supplementing beef liver into my diet?
When consuming beef liver you want to have it sourced from a reputable place such as a local farmer or finding products in your local grocery store that say things like “100% organic grass fed/ grass finished.” It is higher in vitamins and minerals and has the best fat profile. When it comes to supplements the same idea applies and it is great to have brands that emphasize the importance of this! It is important to note that there can be risks when adding any additional supplementation to your diet and it is important to consult your doctor if you have any questions or are worried about additional medication interactions.
Are there any risks?
With that being said one risk of taking beef liver is Vitamin A toxicity. Data on one supplement brand shows that beef liver supplements contain 1,391 mcg [155% DV] of retinol activity equivalents [RAEs] aka Vitamin A. The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for adults 19 years and old is 900mcg RAE for men (equivalent to 3,000 IU) and 700mcg RAE for women (equivalent to 2,333 IU). However, adults 19 years and older should not exceed the “Tolerable Upper Intake Levels” which is 3,000 mcg (10,000 IU) for adults.
Supplements from companies do contain less than the RDA but it is important to know that other daily vitamins/food sources will contain additional Vitamin A! For example: Vitamin A in Basic Pre-natal from Thorne Labs contains 600mcg as Palmitate and 450mcg as beta carotene (together making 81% of your daily value).
Overall, adding beef liver to your diet can be a great way to increase overall health. It has nutrients that are incredibly beneficial and many people lack due to the Standard American Diet. When consumed properly and in a safe amount beef liver can be a wonderful addition to a natural whole food diet!
By: Dr. Kellogg
Chiropractor at ANH Wellness