Disclaimed: This post is brought to you by Vital Proteins, a company I love and trust for their high quality products. While we were compensated for the post, all opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support YBC.
We’re back with another Weird Health Trends and today we’re talking about liver pills. I guess in the grand scheme of things, liver pills sound much more manageable than buying some liver, cooking it up and forcing it down. It’s for sure an acquired taste...and I haven’t acquired it!
I am one of those weirdos that will usually eat stuff I don’t like just because I know it’s good for me - and don’t get me wrong, I will order liver when it’s on a menu, but I am not cooking that stuff for myself! So when I stumbled upon the Vital Protein booth at ExpoEast, and they were handing out liver pills like they were candy, I jumped on board.
I like Vital Proteins because they know their stuff. Their products are very high quality - from grass fed, pasture raised beef, and I also like the people who work there. They’re kind, smart, knowledgeable people, and so I’m on board with them 100%.
When I got home, I found a package waiting for me of beef liver pills and I started taking two per day. Now, why do we want to consume animal liver?
Liver is the highest source of vitamin A. Wait, but what about carrots, you might ask? I know, my mom was on me to eat my carrots, too, as a kid. And while carrots are fine and lovely, that particular vitamin A is carotene which our bodies have to convert into retinol before it can become absorbed. The conversion rate is where we run into trouble because it’s just one more step for our bodies to do, garnering a poor yield, especially if you’re someone with health issues. (Source) Animal liver, on the other hand, is already in retinol form, so the body easily absorbs the nutrients without having to go through that conversion.
Also, funny story. When Vital Proteins were handing out the liver pills like candy, I’m not joking. They were like, “Here, take this! It’ll give you a little boost!”
And I was a little skeptical, because I’m all for a “little boost” but at what expense? I didn’t want to come crashing down like when I drink coffee or eat sugar. I didn’t want to be manic. I didn’t want to hallucinate! Haha, just kidding - but it sort of sounded like a drug to me!
As it turns out, liver is also excellent for a “little boost.” It kind of jumpstarts your energy level, so if you’re one of those people who experience the afternoon slump, this may be a good option.
Other benefits of liver:
excellent for balancing hormones
revitalizes the body
good for fertility
has an “anti-fatigue” factor, so has been popular among elite athletes for ages
It’s important to note that rumor has it that the liver is where we store toxins. This isn’t true (source). The liver is what filters toxins out of the body, but toxins that aren’t able to be expelled from the body often end up in our fatty tissues.
The other thing to note is that all liver isn’t equal. You’ll want to source the organ meat from reputable farms, where the animal has been grass-fed and pasture raised.
Ok, I’ve been taking these pills for about three weeks. I have noticed a few things:
my energy level is very even. By this I mean that lately I’ve been doing a lot of activity between my workouts and my twice daily walks with the dog, and regular errands and work. I used to feel quite drained by the end of the day, and sometimes would hit that afternoon lull where I’d feel like I was dragging. But now I just feel even. I can power through the entire day and still feel like I’ve got a lot left in the tank by the end of the day.
I mentioned a while back that I’ve been working with a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who has been helping me deal with the last piece of the gut-healing puzzle following my long-term antibiotic use for lyme disease. We identified that my liver needs support, so in addition to these pills and beet kvass, she suggested “supporting liver with liver” and by that she meant that if you eat animal liver, you’re essentially giving your own liver a little extra support. It's called glandular therapy support. :)