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Home/Blog/Organ and Liver Supplements Offer a Host of Benefits

Organ and Liver Supplements Offer a Host of Benefits

By Dr. Josh Axe

October 10, 2022

If you already eat a good amount of protein, do you also need a liver supplement? 

The truth is: liver supplements (and other organ supplements, too) offer a unique array of nutrients in typically higher concentrations than “muscle meats.” This is why they’re often referred to as “nature’s multivitamins/minerals.”

What are the benefits of beef liver supplements and those made from other organs? Organ supplements are, generally speaking, an amazing source of vitamin B12, iron, folate and the active form of vitamin A, in addition to providing many other essential nutrients. 

This means they can contribute to benefits including support for cellular energy, liver health and healthy blood. As you’ll learn below, by providing you with easily digestible forms of trace elements, enzymes, vitamins and essential amino acids, organ supplements can contribute to overall health in a number of ways.

Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including supplementation.

What Are Organ and Liver Supplements (Glandulars)?

What is an organ capsule made of? An organ supplement is one that contains dried organ meats and glandulars, which can include liver, kidneys, heart, aorta and other types from animals such as beef and lamb.

Glandulars are glands made up of tissues that release substances into the body, such as enzymes and digestive juices. 

Why are organ meats such as liver good for you?

Some experts, and many practitioners of traditional health systems, believe that organ meats — including liver — are among the most, if not the most, nutrient-filled superfoods on the planet. This is especially true when the organs/glandulars are sourced from healthy, properly raised animals, which tend to hold more nutrients in their bodies.

Organ meats provide numerous nutrients, including both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, protein (amino acids), minerals, choline, enzymes and more. Within organ/glandular supplements you’ll often find:

  • Vitamin A

  • Heme iron

  • Zinc

  • Vitamins B12, B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B1 (thiamine) and B9 (folate)

  • Copper

  • Selenium

  • Enzymes, that support metabolic processes and digestion of macronutrients

  • Arachidonic acid, a type of fatty acid that supports heart and brain health

  • Choline, which helps support cognitive health

  • CoQ10, which supports healthy responses to oxidative stress

  • Polypeptides, small protein-like substances that help form tissues

Historically, people have consumed the glands and various other parts of animals for many thousands of years in order to obtain valuable nutrients. In fact, organ meats likely contributed many nutrients to ancient people’s diets, which is not the same situation today with “modern diets.”

Traditionally, consuming glandulars (or glands) was believed to support the corresponding gland in the human body ("like supports like"). For example, eating animal liver is thought to support your own liver, and the same for eating animal kidneys or heart. 

There’s even some evidence that ingesting an animal tissue, such as the liver or kidneys, will cause the tissues to migrate to the same organs in the human body, supplying it with key vitamins, minerals and other compounds. In other words, animal glandulars provide you with the “building blocks” for the corresponding glands in your own body. Pretty cool!

(Want to try to cook a surprisingly delicious liver dish at home? Try our liver and onions recipe.)

Why do bovine and ovine make for the best organ supplements?

Animal livers typically contain the highest protein content and best amino acid profile of all organ meats. This is why liver is the most popular organ meat to eat.

Bovine liver, also called beef liver, is among the most widely used of glandulars. Beef liver is an essential cow organ that performs many important functions, including storing nutrients. This is exactly why you benefit from eating beef liver, since it’s basically a nutrient storage organ! Those nutrients get transferred to you once you consume beef liver.

Ovine liver, or sheep liver, is another widely used glandular. It also acts as a storage house for vitamins and minerals, just like beef liver does.

Other beneficial organs used in supplements include bovine heart and kidneys, which typically contain omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, B vitamins and more. Many other grandulars can be eaten too, such as the pancreas, prostate, ovaries and others.

What distinguishes liver supplements from “liver support” supplements?

When you eat liver supplements, you’re actually consuming dried liver from animals such as beef and sheep. 

On the other hand, there are many herbal supplements and those containing vitamins and minerals that are taken to support your liver, but they don’t actually contain any liver itself. Ideally you’ll consume both types, giving your body the best overall nutritional support.

Benefits of Organ and Liver Supplements

Due to their hefty supply of nutrients, organ supplements can contribute to bodywide benefits for a healthy heart, digestive system, nervous system, immune system and more. Benefits of organ and liver supplements include:

  • Support for heart and liver health, as well as healthy immune system function

  • Promotion of healthy energy metabolism, endurance, vigor and performance

  • Support for healthy hormones

  • Support for healthy blood

  • Supports healthy cellular aging and detoxification

  • Support for a healthy response to oxidative stress

  • Support for cognitive health

Here’s more about how liver/organ supplements promote overall health and well-being:

1. High in Essential Nutrients

What vitamins are in organs? Organ meats including liver are typically brimming with  vitamin B12, heme iron (the more absorbable form), vitamin A, and other vitamins and minerals such as folate and B vitamins. 

In addition to a healthy diet, adding organ capsules to your supplement routine is a convenient way to help make sure you’re meeting your needs for these key nutrients and not falling short. 

This is especially true considering that coming up short on iron is common, and that some people who don’t eat animal products regularly lack B12 and active vitamin A in their diets.

2. Can Help Boost Your Energy and Support Physical Performance

Vitamin B12 (also called cyanocobalamin) is essential for supporting cellular energy. Consuming enough of it helps to support cognitive/mental health, concentration and physical performance.

3. Supports Liver and Heart Functions

Iron, especially heme iron which is found in animal products, supports liver health and also healthy blood. In general, meeting your needs for iron is important for maintaining healthy energy and strength, while supporting muscle functions, endurance and concentration.

4. Supports a Healthy Immune System

Two key nutrients found in organ meats, especially liver, kidneys and heart, are zinc and selenium. These support immune system health, as do nutrients like vitamin A, by supporting a healthy response to oxidative stress.

5. Support Sexual and Hormonal Health

Nutrients within organ meats including selenium and zinc can generally promote men’s sexual health, prostate health and healthy testosterone levels.

New Organ and Liver Supplements from Ancient Nutrition

Ancient Nutrition’s new line of organ and liver supplements feature a combination of organ meats and glandulars — such as bovine liver, kidneys, heart, pancreas, adrenals, prostate, placenta, ovary and others — plus the SBO probiotic called Bacillus coagulans. SBO probiotics are added to support immune system health, digestion and healthy gut microflora.

Our four new organ/glandular products include:

Ancient Glandulars Grass-Fed Liver capsules

Made from grass-fed bovine liver, which supplies iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and other compounds. Helpful for supporting healthy energy, healthy blood, healthy bones and a healthy immune system.

Ancient Glandulars Organs Blend capsules 

Made from grass-fed bovine liver, heart, kidneys, adrenals, pancreas, plus ovine liver, kidneys and heart. Features choline, vitamin A, iron and B vitamins.

Ancient Glandulars Women’s Vitality capsules 

Made from grass-fed bovine liver, adrenals, pancreas, pituitary,  thyroid, uterus, ovary, mammary glands and placenta. Features vitamin D3, iron, B12 and more. Supports healthy bones, healthy blood, healthy hormone production and a healthy immune system. 

Ancient Glandulars Male Performance capsules 

Made from grass-fed bovine liver, heart, kidneys, adrenals, pancreas, orchic, aorta, prostate and pituitary, plus ovine liver, kidneys and heart. Featuring zinc, selenium, iron, B vitamins and more which support healthy hormone production, physical performance and sexual health.

Only the Highest Quality Sources, Including Icelandic Lamb

Our glandular formulas are sourced exclusively from animals raised without use of hormones or antibiotics, including those that are pasture-raised and grass-fed in Argentina and Iceland. 

Additionally, our organ capsules are free of gluten, non-GMO, and made without grains, dairy, nuts and pesticides. This makes them suitable for people following many diets such as the Paleo diet, low-carb or keto diets, most elimination diets, etc.

Some of our organ supplement formulas feature glands/organs derived from lambs (such as liver, heart, kidney, testicle, and spleen) that have been born, raised, prepared for use, and processed in Iceland. These lambs have been roaming free in clean Icelandic nature all of their lives. 

The lamb glands/organs used in our supplements are prepared for use and processed at a certified facility in Northwest Iceland, where they are tested for heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic) and microbes (total counts, E. coli, and Listeria), ensuring their purity. 

The blend of lamb organs and glands are also freeze-dried and raw with nothing added. 

Six Kingdom Patent

Our Six Kingdom patient refers to the unique nutritional composition found within our glandular formulas. 

To meet this criteria, at least one ingredient from each of the six biological Kingdoms is included in the product. The Kingdoms include: animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, protist and archaea. The ingredients are mixed together to form a dry powder, with no other synthetic additives or fillers used. 

Nutritional supplements meeting this criteria have measurable beneficial effects on the human body, including overall broad-spectrum benefits for a healthy immune system, overall healthy metabolism (in conjunction with an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise), healthy digestion and overall healthy circulation. 

They also have compounding effects, due to how different ingredients work together to further provide benefits that individual ingredients cannot. 

How to Use

Is it safe to take beef liver and other organ capsules? When you take a high-quality product that has been tested for quality and purity, yes, it’s usually very safe. However, we recommend consulting your health professional before beginning to take any new supplements, especially if you take medications.

How often do you take beef liver supplements? Most adults can take the recommended amount each day with water or another average. You can take organ capsules on an empty stomach or with a meal. Always read and follow label directions for use. 

Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat DirtEssential Oils: Ancient MedicineKeto Diet, Collagen Diet and Ancient Remedies.

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