Dessicated Liver (Now Foods) Review

How many of you are aware that Liver is considered a superfood, as it has most vitamins and minerals ounce for ounce than any other food? This is why I thought i’d start my review blog with a review of Now Foods Dessicated Liver Powder, natures multivitamin. Image

Whats in the bottle?

Beef Liver, hormone-free and made into powder using low heat methods to preserve the nutrients. If ever you are buying liver powder, you need to ensure it comes from a healthy animal, otherwise the nutrients are not so concentrated. (Pasture raised, hormone-free etc).

Why non-defatted? There are two types of vitamins, fat soluble (Vitamin E, A, D, K) and Water Soluble (B and C). To absorb fat soluble vitamins, it needs to be eaten with fat (Thats why low fat diets can be a bad idea). Some manufacturers have Liver Tablets that are “Defatted” (Fat is removed) and thus the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A does not occur!

This particular powder is good as it is not defatted, meaning you absorb both types of vitamins!

As liver is so nutrient dense, its like taking a multivitamin and mineral powder all in one. However, the difference between a multivitamin and this, is that the nutrients in the liver are absorbed better (Its just like eating real food) Whereas  vitamin supplements can sometimes have low absorption rates, especially badly made ones (For eg, when they use cheaper versions of vitamins such as B12 Cyanocobalamin, rather than Methylcobalamin, which has a much higher rate of absorption, and is found naturally in foods such as liver)

What vitamins and minerals does it contain?

Vitamin A, B Complex ( B1, B2, B6, B12, Choline, Inosotol, Pantothenic Acid, Folic Acid, PABA), C, D and E.

Minerals: Calcium, Copper, Heme Iron (highly absorbed), Manganese, Phosphorous, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium and Zinc.

Alongside this it also contains other beneficial substances which would not be found in a pill made in a lab, but only in real food like liver.

Who might it benefit?

People who want to improve their general health- As it is like taking a multvitamin and mineral all in one, it gives you a little boost, especially if your diet is not as good as it should be.

Anemics- due to the highly absorbable Iron, it may be easier to improve iron levels through this than taking synthetic iron tablets (however, like all iron rich foods, can give you slight constipation). The richest source of Heme iron available in nature is liver.

Athletes and Bodybuilders – due to its high level of protein (60-80%) as well as being high in nutrients, it is great to take a spoonful before workouts for a boost in energy levels.

Why Powder- and not tablets?

Tablets often contain other ingridients to help the pill to stick together, however powder doesnt. The binding agents can sometimes cause absorption problems and other negative effects. The powder is the closest to the real thing you can get if you dont like eating liver.

My Experience

I have been taking this for 3 weeks now, and I notice a slight improvement in energy, as well as general health. Its hard to say that it is all down to this, but it seems that I may have had a slight iron deficiency (i dont eat that much meat apart from chicken!). I took a teaspoon before my workout and i felt a lot more stamina and energy.

I also felt a slight improvement in circulation, this could be from the oxygenating properties of Iron.

However, it tastes awful. I mix it with orange juice and just down it and drink a bit of straight OJ after to mask the taste!

Is there any scientific studies on Pubmed?

Nope. None that I could find. So unfortunately you will have to just rely on peoples own experiences of it and try it out for yourself to see the benefits! Theres no harm – its just like eating liver! Dont have it before bedtime, the energy boost may keep you awake.

Next Weeks Blog: My review on Cayenne Pepper.

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Fat. Why do you need it?

Fat is one of the most demonised macro nutrients, and unfairly so. Profit led research and bad science in the past has made the western world think fat is the enemy. In this blog post i’ll be cover the different types of fats, the benefits of them, as well as which ones you should include in your diet, as well as the evidence!

In todays post, lets start off with the fat that is most promoted (and prominent) in our diet, the PUFA’s, or Polyunsaturated Fat as we like to call them. Studies are now showing that rancid (Means gone off) PUFA’s such as vegetable oils play a role in the same effects that saturated fats were demonized for – atherogenesis (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16270286)

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Vegetable Oils are the main source of rancid PUFA

The reason why PUFA’s are very prone to becoming rancid (Oxidised/gone off) is because of their molecular structure. They are very unstable, going rancid as soon as they see light, air and heat. Please bear with me for the scientific bit! 

So, Polyunsaturated:

  • Poly= many
  • Unsaturated= Having the power to dissolve more of a substance (such as oxygen which makes it gone off when it reacts with the air)
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Notice the double bonds (=) The more of these there are, the more space there is for oxygen to react and make it rancid.

PUFA’s are highly sensitive, meaning that simply exposure to air or heat and make them rancid. So think about it, all those bottles of vegetable oils that have been sitting in the supermarket for months, do you think they are not rancid?

PUFA’s have been linked to the following:

  • Oxidising cholesterol (this is when the damage really occurs)
  • Inflammation – Do you have a stuffy nose? headaches? back pain?
  • Free radical damage (the opposite of an anti-oxidant!)
  • Wrinkles

Where are they found?

  • Grain products
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Fish Oil (However this can be a very beneficial type if not oxidised)
Polyunsaturated Fats: the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s)
 
As you may have heard, EFA’s are a type of fat that is necessary for health function. They are called essential as the body cannot produce it itself. There are 2 types: Omega 6 and Omega 3
 
In the western world, we consume far too much omega 6 from vegetable oils (cooking oils), corn (in nearly every processed food). Back when we used to eat real food, the ratio was more like 1:1 of omega 3 to omega 6. Now the western world is consuming as much as a 1:10 ratio, meaning that our intake of omega 6 is far higher. 
So whats the problem?

Omega 6 can be inflammatory- and inflammation is what causes most major diseases- including cardiovascular health disease. ( I will make a post explaining inflammation soon)

Whereas Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory, meaning it prevents all those problems associated with inflammation – arthritis, pains, aches, stuffy nose, and a general feeling of wellbeing. 

Unbalanced levels are now also being associated with depression.

So whats the ratio in most oils? (Omega 6:Omega 3)

  • Olive oil is 3:1
  • Soybean Oil is 7:1
  • Corn Oil is 46:1
How will this affect your diet and what do you need to do?
 
Firstly, eat more oily fish to balance your omega 3 levels. If you dont like fish, take a high quality fish oil supplement. Most fish oils in the shops are rancid – causing the aforementioned problems! So only buy the best quality: eg. Nordic Naturals, Minami Nutrition. With fish oils, you get what you pay for.
 
Eat less processed food- most processed food is cooked in cheap corn and vegetable oil. 
 
Eat more grass fed butter and meat. It may have lower levels of omega 6, and more omega 3.
 
Thats it for today, but tomorrow ill be discussing monounsaturated fat!
 
 

Sources:

http://augmentinforce.50webs.com/Chart%20Image%20of%20PUFA%20and%20SF%20oils.jpg

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fats/#axzz1vnhT1Abp