- Health Benefits of Beef Liver Capsules
- How to Choose a Desiccated Beef Liver Supplement
- Top Four Desiccated Beef Liver Supplements
- How Many Nutrients Are In Beef Liver Supplements?
- Who Should Not Supplement With Beef Liver?
- Potential Side Effects of Beef Liver Supplementation
- Freeze-Dried Beef Liver for Pets
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrap-Up: The Best Beef Liver Capsules
Organ meat, and especially liver, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. But few of us consume enough of this nutritious powerhouse on a daily basis because of its image, its taste, or its lack of availability. That’s where beef liver supplements come in: they provide nearly identical health benefits to fresh liver in a much more convenient format.
In this article, I’ll list the best beef liver supplements from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows, and provide a brief overview of the benefits of supplementing with desiccated beef liver capsules.
The table below is a quick summary of the four beef liver supplement brands I recommend, based on my research, hands-on experience and personal preferences.
You can get more info about each by jumping directly to the list, or read the full article to learn about how beef liver supplements are made, why you should take them, and what to look for when buying them.
|MK Supplements||Ancestral Supplements||Enviromedica||Vital Proteins|
|Serving size:||3,000 mg||3,000 mg||3,000 mg||3,000 mg|
|Free domestic shipping:||For orders of $50 and above||With subscription only||No||With subscription only|
|International shipping rate:||$9.99||Varies||Varies||Varies|
|Available in Europe:||Yes||Yes (via third-party)||No||No|
|Cost per serving:||$0.97||$1.20||$1.00||$1.27|
Scroll down to learn more about each of the brands and see the available discount codes.
Health Benefits of Beef Liver Capsules
Jam-packed with valuable micronutrients like preformed vitamin A, vitamin B12 and iron (as well as many others), beef liver is nature’s ultimate multivitamin. Its diverse micronutrient profile provides the building blocks for a wide range of bodily functions, supporting the metabolism, immune system, skin, eyes, reproductive organs, mental health and more.
Plus, its synergistic combination of vitamins and minerals can naturally boost energy levels by supporting mitochondria (the part of every cell responsible for energy production).
Many people supplement with grass-fed liver to improve or support the following areas of their health:
- Eye health: The vitamin A (retinol) and B vitamins in liver play a crucial role in vision, helping to maintain a clear cornea (which is the outside covering of your eye).
- Energy and mood: Liver is an excellent source of vitamin B12, copper, heme-iron, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and niacin, all of which are crucial for energy, optimal exercise performance, metabolism, red blood cell production and mood.
- Immune system: Selenium is a cofactor for the body’s antioxidant defense (glutathione peroxidase, thioredoxin reductase) and (together with copper) supports optimal immune function.
- Skin health: The hyaluronic acid, copper, zinc and selenium in liver are crucial for maintaining healthy skin and connective tissue.
- Brain health and cognition: The highly absorbable B vitamins (riboflavin, folate and B12), amino acids (anserine, carnosine, taurine and l-carnitine), choline and zinc in liver are vital for brain health and cognition, as well as for neurotransmitter formation.
- Teeth and bones: The vitamin K2 in liver is crucial for bone and tooth health because it supports the remineralization and absorption of calcium.
If you’d like to take a deep dive into the health benefits of consuming fresh or freeze-dried beef liver and its nutritional composition, check out this article. You can also learn about other types of organ meat supplements available on the market, which combine multiple organs in a single capsule in order to target specific health situations and outcomes.
How to Choose a Desiccated Beef Liver Supplement
Below I’ll list a few of the supplements that I’ve tried and recommend. But there are certainly other products on the market you could choose from.
It’s important to keep in mind that supplements are largely unregulated in the United States. As a result, manufacturers have a lot of wiggle room regarding what information they put on the label and how accurately that information reflects the actual ingredients. That’s why I recommend sticking to brands you trust.
Here are the most important criteria that I look for when shopping for organ supplements.
Note: I recently launched my own beef liver supplement, which is included in the list below. My supplements are third-party tested and manufactured in a GMP-certified facility.
100% Grass-Fed and Pasture-Raised
Much like when buying fresh meat, I make sure the organs that were used to make a supplement were sourced from 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised animals.
That’s not only important from an ethical perspective (it ensures sustainable farming practices), but also from a quality perspective, as it leads to a supplement with a better nutrient profile.
For example, the liver (and muscle meat) of grass-fed beef has a more favorable fatty-acid composition than that of grain-fed beef.
Additionally, you can find significantly more vitamin A (both provitamin A and preformed A) in the liver and muscle tissue of pasture-raised cows compared to grain-fed cows (as shown in this study). Those are only two of many examples that prove the superiority of pasture-raised vs. grain-fed meats.
Interestingly, New Zealand produces some of the best pasture-raised beef in the world — perhaps because most of the country’s beef herd is entirely grass-fed and can graze on pasture year-round.
Whatever product you choose, make sure it has sufficient amounts of liver (and thus, micronutrients). I recommend products with 3,000 milligrams of beef liver per serving or more.
Many vitamins and minerals are heat-sensitive or quickly deteriorate when exposed to air. That’s why the processing method of a whole-food supplement is crucial.
Freeze-drying is an excellent method to preserve as many micronutrients as possible. That’s why I recommend products that were manufactured using this method.
I prefer products that have been tested to ensure ingredient quality and certain manufacturing standards. So look for ISO or GMP certifications, or ask for a test report if in doubt.
I recommend avoiding products that contain unwanted ingredients like fillers, flow agents, artificial colors and sweeteners, sugars, soy, wheat, gluten, dairy and anything else you don’t recognize.
Most brands offer 30 servings per bottle, but others offer 45 servings per bottle. Take that into account when assessing how much the supplement is going to cost you every month (see below).
Cost Per Serving
Instead of solely looking at the price per bottle and the number of capsules per bottle, make sure you understand what the price per 3,000 mg serving is. Brands use different capsule sizes, which determines whether one serving is comprised of four or six capsules.
In other words, 180 capsules may yield either 30 or 45 servings per bottle, depending on the capsule size.
Regardless of what your stance is as far as climate change is concerned, I think we can all agree that humans produce too much plastic waste. As a result, I encourage you to look for brands that actively try to reduce plastic waste by using glass containers, metal lids and paper-based packaging materials.
Top Four Desiccated Beef Liver Supplements
Below is a list of the four supplements we’ve used in the Kummer household. While there might be other brands that offer similar ingredient quality, these are the ones I have tested and thus recommend.
MK Supplements Grass-Fed Beef Liver
When I first wrote and published this roundup in 2020, I had no intention of launching my own line of beef organ supplements. I had tried and/or researched all of the supplements highlighted in this article, and I still have no hesitation about recommending them. They’re all high-quality products that can help you optimize your diet.
But as I analyzed the specific details of the different options available in the marketplace, I started to realize they all fell short of my ideal standard in one area or another — whether that meant using high heat during production (which damages some of the livers’ nutrients) or being shipped in plastic bottles (which contain xenoestrogens that studies have shown can leach into the contents).
I’m not the kind of person who likes making compromises when it comes to my health. So I decided to develop a supplement that better aligns with my lifestyle and meets my admittedly high standards.
Months of research and development led to what I sincerely believe is the best beef liver supplement on the market.
Quick Facts About MK Supplements Beef Liver:
- Sourced from 100% pasture-raised, grass-fed and grass-finished New Zealand cattle.
- 100% free of additives, allergens, antibiotics, GMOs, artificial hormones and pesticides.
- Contains absolutely no fillers or flow agents (such as the silica or brown rice concentrate that’s commonly found in powdered gel capsules).
- Freeze-dried and non-defatted to ensure pure nose-to-tail nourishment.
- Packaged in non-toxic glass bottles that are fully recyclable and don’t contribute to the 300 million tons of plastic waste generated every year.
- Third-party tested to ensure purity and to check for heavy metals.
- 45-day supply (instead of the 30-day supply offered by other brands).
- Three-year expiration date.
Plus, since MK Supplements is a family-owned, small-batch producer with minimal marketing and overhead costs, I’m able to offer my beef liver supplements at one of the lowest prices on the market — less than a dollar per serving, which is 10-30% lower than three of the most well-known competitors.
We also offer…
- Free shipping on all domestic orders of $50 or above.
- A low $9.99 International shipping flat rate for orders above $75.
- US and European fulfillment centers (to help you save on import taxes and duties).
- A full money-back satisfaction guarantee, with free returns.
- 10% off the regular price when you order using code BLOGLOVE10.
You can also find MK Supplements on Amazon*!
Ancestral Supplements Grass-Fed Beef Liver
Ancestral Supplements’ nose-to-tail product line is always from grass-fed animals that were raised without the use of pesticides, hormones or antibiotics.
What I like about the company is that it produces in small batches but offers a variety of organ meats and beef “byproducts” that you often won’t find anywhere else, including: heart, thyroid, pancreas, spleen, bone marrow, thymus, brain, kidney, trachea, prostate, adrenal, intestines, gallbladder, lung, colostrum, eyes and more.
In other words, the company is literally taking “nose-to-tail” eating to the next level — and I love it.
Ancestral Supplements’ beef liver is carefully processed (freeze-dried), non-defatted, and made from only the best and purest ingredients using cattle from New Zealand.
By using the link above and the discount code MICHAELTEN, you’ll get 10% off your purchase.
Enviromedica Pastured Beef Liver
Enviromedica is at the top of my list of favorite supplement brands because of its unparalleled focus on ingredient quality and clean manufacturing practices. Enviromedica’s facilities are GMP compliant and ISO22716 certified.
Sourced exclusively from grass-fed, pasture-raised New Zealand bovine, Enviromedica’s beef liver is an abundant source of nutrients including protein, vitamin B6 and B12, folate, choline, copper and hyaluronic acid, and is a concentrated source of preformed vitamin A (retinol).
Additionally, all of the company’s supplements are true-to-label. That means what’s on the label is exactly what’s inside, with no exceptions.
Aside from the trust I have in the brand and the positive experience I’ve had with some of Enviromedica’s other supplements, I like their beef liver tablets because they don’t contain anything but liver and gelatin (for the capsule).
In other words, the product is free of dairy, wheat, yeast, gluten, corn, sugar, soy, shellfish, tree nuts, stearates, fillers, flow agents or any other potentially irritating ingredients.
And at $1.00 per serving, the supplement is also reasonably priced.
Make sure to use code HEALTHTECH10 to get 10% off your purchase.
You can also find Enviromedica on Amazon*.
Vital Proteins Beef Liver
Vital Proteins’ Beef Liver is also an excellent choice — albeit one that’s priced on the upper end of the spectrum.
From an ingredients perspective, these beef liver pills are comparable to the products from MK Supplements, Ancestral Supplements and Enviromedica. In other words, the liver the company uses is sourced from 100% grass-fed New Zealand cattle.
How Many Nutrients Are In Beef Liver Supplements?
Now that you know how nutritious beef liver is, the million-dollar question is this: How many of those nutrients are retained in freeze-dried beef liver capsules?
Three grams of freeze-dried liver — the standard dosage for liver supplements — contains the same micronutrients as 1 ounce of fresh beef liver.
It also has approximately 2 grams of protein (compared to about 7 grams in one ounce of fresh beef liver) and negligible amounts of fat and carbs.
That’s because the freeze-drying process breaks apart most of the molecules that make up carbs and fat, while retaining 95-97% of the micronutrients (minerals and vitamins).
Who Should Not Supplement With Beef Liver?
Desiccated beef liver supplements are safe for most people, including children and pregnant women. The latter can greatly benefit from the vitamin B9 (folate) in liver, which is much better absorbed and used by the body than the synthetic version (folic acid) found in traditional multivitamins.
However, if you suffer from hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease or severe hepatitis (liver disease), you should either avoid consuming liver or consume only small amounts, based on the recommendation of your doctor.
Potential Side Effects of Beef Liver Supplementation
Side effects of consuming freeze-dried beef liver are rare, but some of my customers have reported a temporary change in bowel movement or light constipation. You might also experience an optimized detoxing process that could make you feel more fatigued for a few days.
So if you’re new to consuming organ meats, I recommend starting with half the prescribed serving size for a few days before ramping up your intake.
Note that many of my customers take more than the prescribed number of liver capsules without any negative side effects. I usually supplement with 4,500 to 6,000 mg of desiccated beef liver and never experience any problems with vitamin A toxicity or other theoretical issues.
Freeze-Dried Beef Liver for Pets
Dogs and cats are carnivores that thrive on a diet consisting of raw muscle meat, organs and bones. But if a raw food diet isn’t in the cards for you, adding freeze-dried beef liver to your furry friend’s diet is a great way to improve their health and well-being. Depending on the size of your pet, you can either feed them the entire capsule(s) or mix the powder from the capsules with their regular food.
For reference, liver can make up approximately 5% of a dog or cat’s meals (by weight). Our German Shepherd weighs 65 pounds as of this writing and eats approximately 38 oz. of raw meat, organs and bones per day.
That means he eats 1.9 ounces of liver per day, which translates into almost 6,000 mg of freeze-dried liver.
Frequently Asked Questions
Beef liver has ample amounts of cholesterol, certain minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamin A) that can become toxic if ingested in excess amounts.
While it’s true in theory that you can have too much of these nutrients, I don’t see that as being an issue in real life. I don’t know anybody who consumes large amounts of liver every single day.
Doing so would also not mimic the eating habits of our ancestors, because they didn’t have daily access to fresh liver. Plus, any liver they harvested from animal kills had to be split among a tribe of up to 40 members.
Based on the scientific evidence that I’ve found, it’s perfectly safe to consume between four and eight ounces of liver per week.
Also, dietary cholesterol is not unhealthy and has no impact on blood cholesterol levels. I’ve said that numerous times before on this blog (here and here), but I feel like it’s worth repeating.
100% pasture-raised and grass-fed cows that don’t receive any non-organic or GMO feed are, by definition, organic. However, the gelatin capsules available in the United States aren’t certified organic, which is why the final product cannot be labeled as organic either.
I’ve found only one brand (Grassland) that carried the “organic” label, but that referred to the kelp in the product, not the liver.
Gelatin is a protein (similar to collagen) that’s made from boiling skin, tendons, ligaments and/or bones. Most gelatin capsules are made from bovine gelatin.
Defatting a beef liver means removing its fat, and with that fat many of the fat-soluble vitamins. That’s why it’s important to choose beef liver supplements that contain non-defatted liver. All of the products I recommend above fall into that category.
Considering that some supplements manufacturers make it a point to mention that the livers they used are non-defatted, it’s reasonable to assume that others use defatted livers. Why someone would want to remove fat from the liver before freeze-drying it is beyond me.
At least one of the brands* I stumbled across while writing this article also offers beef liver powder, meant for mixing into shakes, cooking or baking. While making a smoothie or shake with desiccated beef liver powder is perfectly fine, I wouldn’t recommend heating it (to avoid destroying the heat-sensitive micronutrients).
The best source of nutrients is fresh food. In the case of animal products, that means unprocessed liver sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised and grass-finished cattle.
However, if you follow a healthy dietary lifestyle, rich in healthy fats and low in carbs (especially processed carbs), adding organ meats in the form of supplements is your second-best option.
I eat organ meats but probably not as much as I could. That’s why I supplement with beef liver and organ meat pills.
If you regularly consume sufficient amounts of organ meat, including liver, you’ll get all the nutrients your body requires. So there’s no need to worry about your veggie intake, in my opinion.
More important than getting the required amount of vital nutrients is getting the right and most-usable nutrients.
Organ meats contain heme iron and retinol (aka the real vitamin A). Plants contain the inferior non-heme iron and beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A). Both are examples of nutrients found in plants that the body can’t absorb and use as well as their animal-based counterparts.
I’m not recommending avoiding seasonal fruits and certain veggies (I eat them), but I remain unconvinced as to their importance in the context of human evolution. You can learn more about the differences between meat and plants in this article.
Certain foods, such as aged cheese and (aged) liver, contain relatively high levels of tyramine, an amino acid that can cause migraines and high blood pressure in some people.
The issue is often exacerbated in people who are on certain antidepressants, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme that breaks down excess tyramine in the body. If that process is inhibited by medication, you might end up with elevated levels of tyramine (leading to high blood pressure and migraines).
The good news is that, based on the latest scientific evidence, fresh or freeze-dried liver has relatively low levels of tyramine. Only aged liver has been shown to have high enough levels of tyramine to cause issues and interact negatively with MAOIs.
However, to be on the safe side, if you are taking MAOIs, we recommend having a discussion with a knowledgeable healthcare professional before consuming liver supplements.
Yes, you can find most of the products I recommend in this article on Amazon. However, some of the brands are small businesses (including my own*) and I encourage you to purchase from them directly. Also, none of the discount codes mentioned here work on Amazon (another incentive to buy directly from the brands).
Unless you’re making fresh organ meat (and liver in particular) a regular part of your carnivore diet, I highly recommend supplementing with desiccated liver pills and other organ meat supplements.
I know that some red meat purists don’t care about organs, but I firmly believe that skipping organs deprives your body of the nutrients it needs to perform optimally. I regularly consume fresh organs but still take freeze-dried beef liver capsules every day.
In the context of liver supplements, the term “desiccated” simply means “dried out.” In other words, some manufacturers of beef liver supplements use a gentle freeze-drying method to turn raw liver into powdered gel capsules that are tasteless and easy to swallow.
Freeze-drying, as opposed to using high heat during the manufacturing process, ensures that most of the livers’ nutrients remain intact.
Yes, absolutely! Most multivitamin supplements are made using synthetic ingredients that are different from the vitamins and minerals that occur in nature. That makes synthetic products poorly absorbed. However, liver contains nature-identical nutrients that are highly bioavailable and well-absorbed. I stopped taking store-bought multivitamins when I introduced liver into my diet.
Besides consuming fresh and freeze-dried liver (and other organ meats), I also take a high-quality magnesium supplement before going to bed, which helps relieve stress and improve my sleep.
Yes, liver is an excellent source of heme-iron and other micronutrients that support your body in the creation of red blood cells.
Yes! In comparison to kale, broccoli or chia seeds, I consider liver an actual superfood that has none of the toxins (i.e., antinutrients) that other “superfoods” have.
I strongly believe that consuming organ meats is beneficial to your organs because of the specific nutrients they contain. In addition to vitamins and minerals, liver contains liver-specific peptides, co-factors and other nutrients (some of which we might not even be aware of yet) that are essential to nourish your own liver. It’s an ancient concept known as “like supports like.”
Fresh liver contains carbs in the form of glycogen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it on a ketogenic diet — depending on the amount of other carbs you consume. If you’re already close to your daily carb limit, I recommend considering freeze-dried beef liver because it contains only residual amounts of carbs.
As with consuming fresh liver, I don’t think there is a perfect time to supplement with beef liver capsules. I usually take mine with the first meal of the day. Some people prefer splitting the serving size into two, and that’s fine but not necessary.
If you practice intermittent fasting, keep in mind that freeze-dried beef liver has some protein, which might break your fast.
Yes, grass-fed beef liver supplements are full of essential and highly-bioavailable nutrients your body needs to thrive. That’s why I consider beef liver nature’s ultimate multivitamin.
As a whole-food supplement, beef liver is generally safe to consume together with medications. But it’s always a good idea to double-check with your doctor.
Yes, you absolutely can — but I’d recommend consulting your Ob/Gyn to adjust the dosage of your prenatal vitamins, if necessary. For a detailed breakdown of the nutrients in beef liver, check out the nutrition section of this article.
Depending on your nutritional deficiencies, it usually takes a few days to a week before you’ll notice improvements.
Yes, grass-fed beef liver supplements contain approximately 174 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per serving (3 grams).
Wrap-Up: The Best Beef Liver Capsules
There are many health benefits of eating organ meat, which has been an essential part of human nutrition for millions of years. Unfortunately, the combination of our modern lifestyles and the industrialization of food has removed this nutritional powerhouse from the plates of most people.
The results of our modern eating habits are a dramatic increase in metabolic disease and obesity rates, as well as widespread deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals. So it’s time to reverse that course and to start nourishing our bodies with the foods we are genetically primed to consume.
While I highly recommend trying to get pasture-raised organ meat (including liver) back on the dinner table, I also understand that this isn’t as easy for everyone as I might make it sound.
At the Kummer household, we started including liver in our diet a few years ago. But we still don’t consume the variety and amount of organ meat that we should.
That’s why I believe including the right supplements on top of a solid dietary framework — even if that doesn’t yet include the regular consumption of organ meat — is an excellent idea.
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