Liver is now recognized as a nutrient powerhouse, so you may be looking for the best desiccated liver supplement like me. Taking a little extra time in making an informed decision will help you get the best quality supplement and the best value. This post will explain why you might want to consider taking desiccated liver, dosing, and best brands on the market today.
What is desiccated liver?
Desiccated liver is a dried liver extract. While desiccated liver can be from any animal, it is typically from beef liver.
If you haven’t been eating liver, this may be because Westernized diet palates are a little squeamish about liver. For this reason, you may want to consider adding desiccated liver, which is encapsulated liver pills, for its potent health benefits.
Of note: desiccated is often mis-spelled as dessicated liver. They are one in the same thing.
Why is it important to eat liver?
Liver is arguably the most nutritious food out there. In a functional nutrition sense, liver food is good for your liver health too. This is because like-treats-like. As you will find out, beef liver, chicken liver, and duck liver, have about the perfect nutritional content.
Nutrients are in short supply in today’s world of processed foods. This is all the more reason to consider adding desiccated liver supplements.
Liver contains ALL the vitamins known to science. Can you think of any other food with this brag? I can’t. Here are some of the vitamin content highlights from liver. Liver contains more than just a sprinkling of vitamins: it is super rich in them.
Liver vitamins include (per 100g):
- Vitamin B12 21 mcg (800% DV): Vitamin B12 helps make hemoglobin and is essential for brain function. This is one of the most deficient nutrients out there. An estimated 40% of older adults are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. As vegetarian diets become popular, vitamin B12 deficiency is expected to rise. Stomach medications also deplete vitamin B12.
- Vitamin A 4300 RAE (400% DV): Liver contains retinol form of vitamin A. This is important for so many people because many people can’t effectively convert beta carotene into active vitamin A due to gene variants. Vitamin A may also reduce symptoms of heavy periods or menorrhagia, it is important for skin integrity, immunity, and to protect cells.
- Folate 560 mcg (100% DV): Important for cell division and healthy pregnancy. Folate is also important for energy because it helps make our hemoglobin.
- Vitamin B6: 0.8 mg (60% DV): Vitamin B6 can help improve mood and dampen inflammation in the body. Vitamin B6 is also critical for metabolism of protein in the body.
- Vitamin K2: liver contains vitamin K2, a nutrient with high rates of deficiency. Vitamin K2 functions to protect bone and heart tissue and even may play a role in mitochondrial function.
- Selenium 36 mcg (47% DV): Selenium is an antioxidant mineral that is a great mitochnodria food by reducing oxidative stress.
- Iron 13 mg (70% DV for adult women): Liver is the richest source of heme iron of any food out there. Iron is a mineral that is required for oxygen delivery to your tissues via hemoglobin. It also helps make myoglobin and supports ATP energy production in the mitochondria.
- Zinc: 4-5 mg (36%DV): Zinc plays a strong role in immunity, brain function, digestive health, and more. Many people fall short in zinc and don’t know it.
- Chromium: Chromium is a trace mineral in liver that helps insulin work better and helps to metabolize carbohydrates and fats in the body.
- Copper 14 mg (>700% DV): Copper is needed in small amounts in our diet to form red blood cells and enzymes in the body.
- Potassium 349 mg (7% DV): An essential electrolyte, potassium is needed in a large abundance for most people to help heart and muscles contract.
- Protein 27 g: Liver is mostly protein and amino acids. Protein helps to repair tissues, supports immune function, builds hormones, builds cells of all kinds, including muscle. Liver’s amino acid profile also supports healthy collagen production for both skin and joint health.
- CoenzymeQ10 5-6 mg: Liver is one of the only natural sources of coenzyme Q10 in foods. Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that is also critical for production of energy in the mitochondria.
- DNA and RNA building blocks: These compounds are critical for cell division and producing proteins in the body.
- Choline 418 mg: choline is critical for cellular signalling and supports memory and brain function. Beef liver is the highest choline food source known on the planet.
- Hyaluronic acid: hyaluronic acid supports skin hydration and joint health.
- Glutathione and CLA: Glutathione and conjugated linoleic acid are both antioxidants that are rich in liver, particularly grass fed liver.
Hemochromatosis: avoid eating liver.
Wilson’s disease: avoid eating liver.
Severe hepatitis or severe liver disease: avoid eating large amounts of liver.
Side effects of eating liver are rare for most people. Theoretically, one could eat too much liver and get vitamin A toxicity, but this would take eating repeated doses in very large quantities. This won’t likely happen if you are taking desiccated beef liver tablets or beef liver capsules.
Some people with a history of gout may have a risk of a flare up due to the purine content of liver. Some websites claim that liver is a risk during pregnancy. Similar to deli meats, pate liver may contain a risk for listeria due to temperatures during storage. Cooked liver is safe if above 165 degrees Fahrenheit for pregnant women.
Benefits of desiccated liver
Most people I meet aren’t thrilled about eating liver, so taking desiccated liver capsules can be an easy way to get the benefits of liver without tasting it.
New methods of drying, which include freeze drying retain most, if not all, the nutrients. My favorite brands are the undefatted ones because they are more like the whole food with more nutrients.
I still like to eat fresh liver, but I can’t always make this happen due to modern lifestyle.
How to supplement desiccated liver
Keep in mind, desiccated liver supplements aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It just means you will want to pay close attention to find quality liver and a brand with a good reputation.
Make sure to choose grass-fed beef liver that are pasture raised. Grass-fed cows have healthier nutritional profile and are less stressed, meaning the quality of the liver is better. Raised grass animals are more humanely treated as well, which is important to me and it is important to soil ecology as well. They should also be free of hormones and pesticides. How to know? Choose both organic and grass-fed liver.
You will generally want to take 4-6 capsules a day of desiccated liver capsules, or simply follow the label directions to get a healthy amount of liver in your diet.
Avoid Chemicals and Solvents
You are trying to nourish yourself, not add suspect ingredients and toxins.
This is why the supplement list I created is free of fillers, GMO ingredients, and pesticides.
Some brands I didn’t list still are pretty good, but do have some fillers like silicon, silica, stearic acid, silicon dioxide, guar gum, or magnesium stearate, such as Vital Proteins, Now Brand, Swanson’s brand, and others.
Best desiccated liver supplement brands
I have compiled the best desiccated liver supplements and products I could find on the market today. They are all either beef liver capsules or beef liver powder. I tried to include those that are undefatted so that they contain liver oil, which carries many of the nutrients.
I also included quality liver ingredients as described above and any organic, grass fed brands without chemicals or additives.
Excluded are beef liver tablets and desiccated liver tablets because they always have fillers and binders.
All of these products are available on Amazon. *Contains affiliate links.
Grassland is the only organic, grass fed beef desiccated liver pills on the market that I can find. It also contains kelp to give this supplement an iodine boost. At $0.18 cents per capsule, this is a great value for an organic and halal sourced liver and also no fillers or additives.
Equip is a Perfect Keto brand of desiccated beef liver. This liver supplement is derived from 100% grass fed cattle and contains only the gelatin capsule, liver, and organic rice concentrate. This is $0.11 cents per capsule, so it’s a great value. You save more per month compared to all other brands in terms of cost because of this.
Peak Performance is a pure liver supplement that is 3rd party tested for purity and quality. It contains grass-fed beef liver and a gelatin capsule with no fillers. I LOVE that this company has a 1 for 1 donation charity where they donate vitamins to children with malnutrition for a year for each bottle of supplements you buy. It is also only $0.12 per capsule, the best value for a high quality supplement. For this reason, I consider this beef liver supplement on of the best beef liver supplements and companies out there.
Native Wisdom is a type of beef liver capsule from grass fed, pasture-raised, and grass finished cows raised in New Zealand. I like this brand because it is undefatted, meaning it keeps a lot of the nutrients. It is also freeze dried, which retains more nutrients than other processes. I also love that it is just liver and a gelatin capsule, no other ingredients. At $0.25 cents per capsule, it costs a little more per pill, but it contains equal amounts. In other words, each pill has more liver in it than other pills.
Ancestral Supplements brand of grass fed beef liver is from New Zealand cows that are also grass finished. At $0.20 cents a capsule, they are a little more money, but still very reasonable. You will want to take 6 capsules of these per day. They are freeze dried to retain nutrients and are not defatted. They are hormone free and pesticide free as well. I personally love how energizing these are for me. They are free of binders and contain liver and gelatin.
Perfect Dessicated Liver is obtained solely from healthy, 100% grass-fed cows. Obtained from cows that graze on Argentine soil. Pasture raised cows are healthy. These are freeze dried vegetarian capsules with only one ingredient: liver. Only $0.17 per capsule, they are also a good value, and a recommended serving size is 4 per day.
Perfect liver powder supplement is the only liver powder I can find that gets good reviews. This is a great option to add to foods like meatballs or other meat dishes to give it an extra nutrition boost. It is also filler-free and additive-free from grass-fed undefatted beef liver from Argentine cows. Also hormone free and GMO free at $4.57 per oz.
N’More liver capsules are a good value, high-quality liver supplements at only $0.16 per capsule. They are 100% Certified grass-fed Argentine cows with no pesticides or exposures to GMO’s. They are free of additives and fillers too.
EnviroMedica is a liver supplement from New Zealand grass-fed cows that are pasture raised. This supplement contains liver and no additives. It is also freeze dried to retain nutrients. It is only $0.17 cents per capsule too.
A Squared Nutrition liver supplements is sourced from Argentine grass-fed cows and packaged in the United States. This brand is GMP certified and contains no additives or fillers, just liver and a gelcap. It is $0.19 cents per capsule and highly concentrated from freeze-dried liver. A daily serving costs less than most brands because you only need 4 capsules per day.
Desiccated liver can be a great way to get more nutrition. It provides lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and functional nutrients to help keep you energized and strong. These include hyaluronic acid, coenzyme Q10, glutathione, DNA and RNA, and choline.
As with anything, make sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider before adding anything into your health routine.
This post is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice. It is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure illness.