T Nation

Eat Liver


#1

What is the consensus on liver for nutrition? Not something I can picture myself eating but was wondering. Bill Starr talks very highly about it in the 70s classic Strongest Shall Survive. I believe John Mccallum talks about it in The Complete Keys to Progress series as well.

Typing out of a passage in Bill Starr's book.


Your liver does so many things for your body that listing them is like recording all the functions of your body. Linda Clark in Stay Younger Longer lists a few: The liver is basic to the strong heartbeat, the wide open channels of your blood vessels, the soundness of your digestion, the sharpness of your brain, the stength of your life...(goes on)....

(from next paragraph) You can easily see why you need to give this vital organ all the help that you possibly can. The best food to supply the liver with all the nutrients it needs is the liver itself. For the hard training athlete it is of paramount importance that you get plenty of this organ food in you diet in some form or another. It supplies so many essential nutrients like: protein, fatty acids, phosphours, iron, copper, zinc, iodine, Vitamin A and D, inositol, cholin, folic acid, Vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, niacin, thiamine, and roboflavin, In fact, liver is a source of all the B-Complex Vitamins and is a most excellent way to obtain an abundent supply of th B group. The poteins found in liver are complete so it is an excellent source of this nutrient.


Anyway I was just curious what current thinking is on this.


#2

mmmm liver is one of those things. if it's done right, i like it seared rare to medium rare with just salt and pepper, there's almost nothing i'd rather eat. but if it's not i won't touch it. definitely has to be calf's liver and not beef liver. aside from taste i would think calf's liver would be way healthier and not nearly as toxic as well. some people soak the liver in milk to remove toxins and mellow the flavor out, but if you get a good clean piece from a young animal that ate a healthy diet there's nothing better. mmmm. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=129


#3

I like it. Not magic just a good protein source. If you like the taste at it if not eat another cut of meat. No big deal.


#4

well,i once had some mushrooms w/ my liver and i gotta tell ya it was preeeety magical.


#5

Just make sure it's not polar bear liver...


#6

Or husky liver ...

From Nutritional Needs in Cold and High-Altitude Environments: Applications for Military Personnel in Field Operations (1996),Institute of Medicine:

"Of the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin A has caused the most problems for polar explorers. Shearman (1978) presented a graphic description of vitamin A toxicity experienced by members of the three-man, 1912?1913 Mawson Australian Antarctic expedition, in which two men died, with only Sir Douglas Mawson surviving. Early in the expedition, Lt. Ninnis and one of the sleds loaded with most of the food fell into a crevasse and disappeared. Over the next 23 days, Xavier Mertz and Mawson were forced to reduce their daily food intake from the normal 34 oz (971 g) to 14 oz (400 g), much of which was dog meat that became available as each dog died (Mawson, 1915). As Mawson reported in his journal, ''It was a happy relief when the liver appeared; even if little else could be said for its flavor, it was easily chewed and demolished" (Shearman, 1978 quoting Mawson, 1915, p. 284).

Over a 9 day period, Mertz's health rapidly deteriorated, culminating in his death, with intervening severe bouts of dysentery, fecal incontinence, depression, delirium, peeling skin, and loss of hair?all symptoms characteristic of acute vitamin A toxicity. Shearman (1978) estimated that as little as 100 g of husky dog liver could contain upwards of 1,000,000 international units (IU) (300,000 ?g retinol equivalents [RE]) of vitamin A, which was sufficient to cause the toxic symptoms experienced by Mertz."

On the other hand, I love liver. I still remember a duck liver appetizer that I had at the Copley Plaza Hotel in the late 1980s. Seared crunchy caramelized crust on the outside, buttery melt in your mouth (not in your hand) inside on the inside.