Picture of a glass flask with water.

Top Carnivore Diet Beverages and Others To Avoid

The Carnivore diet is an ancestral approach to eating that dramatically reduces inflammation, resolves autoimmune disorders, improves mental health, and boosts overall well-being. 

While what to eat on a Carnivore Diet, is pretty obvious–only animal products, what to drink on a carnivore diet can be a bit tricky, especially when considering that 62% of Americans rely on a cup of joe to jumpstart the day. 

In this article, we’ll explore what drinks will best support your carnivore diet goals, and the drawbacks of other beverages that are technically carnivore, but that aren’t the best option. 

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What Can You Drink On A Carnivore Diet?

What you can drink on a carnivore diet depends on how strictly you plan on adhering to cutting carbs and plant-derived foods. 

If you want to play it safe, stick with mineral water.  

If you count yourself among the 62% of Americans that rely on coffee to jump-start your day, whether or not you continue to drink it on a carnivore diet can be a more complicated decision.  

While milk is less straightforward on carnivore than one may think. And what about alcohol? 

Let’s take a look at each of these beverages and see how they do, can, or do not fit into a carnivore diet. 

Mineral Water

Mineral water is the most ancestrally aligned carnivore diet beverage. 

True mineral water comes from a mineral-rich natural spring. It contains mineral compounds, many of which act as electrolytes in the body. These are not found in distilled or tap water unless they are added. 

Electrolytes are charged particles essential to nervous system function, muscle contractions, hydration and pH levels [1].

Common minerals in spring water include 

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • sulfur

Increasing your electrolytes can be especially important on the carnivore diet. When you cut carbs and boost fat your body flushes fuids that contain electrolytes. 

Hydrating with water that replenishes electrolytes water can reduce the duration and severity of most carnivore diet side effects. 

The concern of Toxins in Tap Water

Many carnivore dieters steer clear of tap water. 

In many parts of the country, tap water contains high levels of toxic chemicals, including chlorine and fluoride. 

Chlorine is a toxic chemical used to sterilize tap water. Numerous studies link chlorine-treated drinking water to increased risk of bladder and colon cancer.5 6

Fluoride in tap water has been linked to cancer, dental fluorosis, and bone disease. 

Additionally, tap water in many areas contains pesticides and pharmaceutical waste, among other dangerous contaminants.5

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water is either mineral or purified water that contains carbon dioxide gas.[3]

Though carbon dioxide gas isn’t explicitly prohibited on carnivore, it does raise the acidity of water, leading to some fears that it can harm tooth enamel. 

Studies on the risks of acidic sparkling water are mixed. One study found that it can cause a mild reduction in the “microhardness” of tooth enamel [4]. One way to reduce these effects is to drink sparkling water with a meal. [5]. 

On the other hand, sparkling mineral water with sodium may have health benefits.  

Studies on post-menopausal women have shown that drinking sodium-rich sparkling water can improve calcium retention when compared to plain mineral water [6].

Drinking sodium-rich carbonated water has also been shown to decrease inflammatory markers, LDL cholesterol, and blood sugar while increasing (good) HDL cholesterol

Impressively, participants who drank sodium-rich carbonated water had an estimated 35% lower risk of developing heart disease within ten years [7]. 

The takeaway–if you’re going to drink sparkling water, make sure it is mineral water or has added high-quality sodium. 

Milk on a Carnivore Diet

Milk is an animal product so it’s technically approved on a carnivore diet. 

However, in practice, most carnivore dieters eliminate it. 

That’s because milk is high in sugar (lactose) which can cause inflammation and weight gain while interfering with the ketogenic aspect of carnivore. 

A single 12 oz glass of whole milk contains nearly 18 grams of sugar, half as much as a coke! 

Studies also show that intake of pasteurized dairy products increases acne rates 6. And a significant percentage of people report digestive issues when drinking A1 milk. 

Raw Milk 

We hear a lot of hype about raw milk from certain carnivore experts. While raw milk can provide a great source of vitamins and minerals (including vitamin C), it’s best consumed sparingly if at all. 

Contrary to popular knowledge, fresh meat contains plenty of vitamin C. And when you cut carbs your body needs even less vitamin C than on a high-carb diet. 5

Beef Muscle Meet (1000 grams/2.2 lbs)Amount Vitamin C% sufficient to prevent scurvy
Grass-fed beef25.6 mcg256%
Grain-fed beef16 mcg160%

Bone Broth

Bone broth offers numerous benefits, including

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Digestive health
  • Better sleep
  • Anti-cancer effects
  • Antidepressant properties
  • Supports immune response
  • Health joints and skin
  • Weight loss and body composition

Bone broth is rich in, collagen, and gelatin and contributes some magnesium and potassium.  

Collagen supports skin health by reducing wrinkles while improving elasticity; it can also help with joint pain and muscle soreness. Amino acids like proline aid in building new tissue for healthy joints.

Additionally, bone broth is high in protein, with around 17 grams per cup. You may want to add butter to boost your fat intake–or don’t strain off the fat when you make it at home. 

Electrolyte Drinks

Some carnivore dieters find it helpful to replenish flushed electrolytes with specially formulated electrolyte drinks. 

Re-Lyte is an option that contains clean ingredients, including sodium chloride (salt), calcium chloride dihydrate, magnesium chloride hexahydrate, and potassium.

What About Coffee on Carnivore?

Coffee beans are the seed of a fruit. This means that coffee is basically fruit seed extract. It’s not an animal product, and therefore technically off-limits on carnivore. 

However, studies show that drinking coffee in moderation can provide numerous health benefits with few side effects. 

Here’s a sample of just a few science-backed benefits of coffee: 

  • Moderate coffee drinking was associated with a 31%  lower risk of all-cause mortality [22]
  • For women, the risk of depression has been shown to decrease relative to increased coffee consumption. Coffee drinking reduces the likelihood of suicide from depression [23]
  • Protective against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease [24]
  • May reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 65%
  • May reduce the risk of Parkinson’s by 32-60%
  • Protect the liver against fibrosis, cirrhosis, and cancer [25]
  • Reduces risk of liver disease by 84% 

One thing to look our for is that like other plant foods, consuming coffee can expose your body to plant toxins. 

In the case of coffee the toxins to be aware of are called mycotoxins. They are the products of toxic molds that form during processing and storage in humid environments.[5] 

And their health effects can be very serious long-term effects like chronic fatigue, ADHD, rashes, COPD, and depression.

You can avoid toxins in coffee by

  • looking for certified toxin-free coffee
  • choosing wet-processed beans
  • Choosing beans grown at high altitude

It’s also important to drink coffee moderately. High intake of caffeine from coffee can increase stress hormones, disrupt sleep, and spike anxiety.5

Additionally, consuming over 500 mg of caffeine per day can lead to increased fat storage around your waistline. One cup of coffee contains around 100mg–200mg, while a standard energy drink contains 300mg–500mg.

KILTZ’S TAKE
Though technically not a carnivore diet food, moderate coffee drinking for most people is a net health positive. It’s also worth considering that on the carnivore diet most people are giving up so many other familiar foods that allowing coffee may be a key

Though technically not a carnivore diet food, moderate coffee drinking for most people is a net health positive. It’s also worth considering that on the carnivore diet most people are giving up so many other familiar foods that allowing coffee may be a key to making carnivore sustainable, or at least getting through the transitional period. If you do choose to drink coffee on carnivore make sure you take steps to reduce your exposure to toxic coffee molds. 

Butter Coffee

The best way to drink coffee on carnivore is to butter it up! 

Grass-fed butter provides the fatty acid called CLA, which has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic properties.6

Butter also helps boost brain function by providing essential fatty acids and antioxidants that keep blood flowing smoothly through capillaries in the brain.

What About Black, Green, and Herbal Teas on Carnivore?

Here’s another area where even though tea is technically not carnivore compliant, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. 

The best tea on carnivore is matcha–the pulverized leaves of green tea. 

Matcha has been shown to inhibit aging caused by glycation–the bonding of sugar to proteins while stimulating collagen creation. These dual qualities repair skin, bones, muscle tissue, ligaments, and teeth. [18]

Matcha also provides a compound called L-theanine that promotes relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety even when consumed alongside caffeine.[19] [20]. 

Matcha is high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) a compound with powerful anticancer properties.5

However, there is one thing about tea that you should be aware of: tannins.

Tannins are polyphenols found in many plants (and also some animals). They can bind to proteins and reduce their biological activity by making them harder for your body to digest and absorb. 

It’s also been shown that tannins can significantly lower protein absorption rates.5

What Drinks To Avoid On A Carnivore Diet

Alcohol

Alcohol in any form is a toxin and it’s distilled from grains and fruit. Both of these make alcohol a no go on carnivore. 

Alcohol is also a diuretic which means it causes dehydration, fatigue, and depression.

Beer and wine are also generally high in carbs. If you choose to consume a celebratory drink on a rare occasion (once or twice a year!), try spirits.  

Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are not permitted on carnivore. These include

  • Coffee with sugar or artificial sweetener
  • Tea with sugar
  • Any fruit Juice
  • Any soda or diet soda
  • Sports drinks, even no-sugar sports drinks
  • Kefir
  • Milk 
  • Flavored milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut water

Carnivore Diet Drinks: Key Takeaways

The best carnivore diet drink is the one thing our ancestors have been drinking since the dawn of time–mineral water. 

Beyond mineral water, sparkling water can make can co-star on the carnivore diet, especially if it’s carbonated from mineral water or has added sodium. 

Coffee and tea aren’t technically carnivore diet approved–since they’re made from plants–but they may offer a net positive in terms of health benefits and sticking with carnivore. But the key is to consume them in moderation. Excess caffeine can cause sleep problems, stress, and anxiety. 

If you do continue to drink coffee or tea, fortify them with butter! If you need more guidance during your transition to carnivore take a look at the Bulletproof Carnivore approach to reclaiming your metabolic health.

White plate clock on a blue background with copy space. The hands point to 12 o'clock. Interval fasting or autophagy.

The 12 Hour Fast: Benefits and How To

A 12-hour fast, AKA 12:12 intermittent fasting, is a method that involves abstaining from food for at least 12 hours, typically overnight. 

Intentionally depriving your body of calories for a specific period of time activates numerous biological processes that offer powerful health benefits including 1 5 6(9)(10)(11

  • Reduced inflammation and decreases in proinflammatory cytokines and immune cells 
  • improve circulating glucose 
  • Improve blood lipid (cholesterol/triglyceride) levels 
  • reduce blood pressure. 
  • regulate blood sugar
  • stimulate human growth hormones
  • activate cellular renewal
  • Promote mental clarity and cognition 
  • Protect against age-related cognitive decline 

Most of which call for fasting periods beyond 12 hours. However, the 12-hour fast can be an easily adopted gateway into longer, more effective intermittent fasting approaches. 

In this article, we’ll look at how to do a 12-hour fast, what to eat, and what benefits you can expect. 

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What is the 12-hour Fast? 

A twelve-hour fast is one of the easiest intermittent fasting approaches to get into. 

Though 12:12 appears mild, when you’re coming from a Standard American Diet, the positive results can be significant and felt within a couple of days. 

Most people are constantly eating, and often consume food from the moment before going to bed, to the moment they wake up. Most of this “food” is loaded with sugars, grains, and seed “vegetable” oils–all of which are among the most toxic, pesticide-ridden, and inflammatory foods on earth. 

The most effective approach to the 12-hour fast

12-Hour-Fast-Top-Title

Align Your 12-hour fast with Your Circadian Rhythms

Linking your fasting period with circadian rhythms takes advantage of innate metabolic processes in your body that are governed by natural light and dark cycles.

Your circadian rhythm is a 24-hour internal biological clock. 

It regulates many bodily functions, including sleep, hormone secretion metabolism, digestion, immune function, and cognition. [1]

Nearly every cell in your body and 80% of your genes function relative to this light-dark cycle. [2]

When you align your 12-hour fast with the natural light and dark cycle you take advantage of innate internal processes governed by your biological clock.

Studies show that eating during daylight and abstaining from food after sundown results in benefits, including

  • Lower body fat percentage [13]
  • Better sleep[14]
  • Improve digestive symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. [16]
  • Reduced risk of intestinal dysbiosis (overgrowth of harmful bacteria)[17]
  • Improved recovery of immune cells[18]

This means that if you finish your last meal at sundown, your next meal wouldn’t be until sunup the next day. 

Circardian-Rhythm-Human-Body@2x

What Happens To Your Metabolism on a 12-Hour Fast? 

When you restrict your calories for at least 12 hours your body begins to turn stored fat into energy molecules called ketones.4

However, this process only starts at around 12 hours. To amplify fat-burning with fasting, extend it to a 16/8 protocol. 

What about Autophagy on 12:12? 

The 12-hour fast is too short to activate the process of cellular renewal known as “autophagy.” 

This process whereby your body breaks down old and damaged cells and recycles their components is one of the most potent and protective benefits of intermittent fasting. 

In order to activate autophagy, you need to fast for between 16-18 hours, minimum. 

It’s also important to note that intermittent fasting will only stimulate significant autophagy when you align your fasting period spans overnight.[1] [2] [3] 

Benefits of a 12-Hour Fast 

Let’s explore the various possible health benefits of a 12-hour fast, including: 

  • Improved body composition
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Increased HGH production
  • Increased BDNF production
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved productivity

Weight Loss and Improved Body Composition

As we mentioned above, fasting promotes “fatty acid oxidation,” which is how body fat is turned into energy.5 

When carbs are absent during the fasting period, insulin drops and norephedrine increases–the recipe for rapid fat burning. [2] This process promotes weight loss and boosts muscle mass.  [3]

Studies have shown that IF can increase your metabolic rate–the speed at which your body burns calories–by up to 14%. This rate increase occurs even when you’re body is at rest. 4 [5]

Not surprisingly, researchers have found that IF is an effective approach to weight loss, yielding a 9.9% reduction in body weight.2

Increased Stem Cell Production and Intestinal Healing

Stem cells are the body’s raw building materials. They’re the foundation of all other cellular structures. 

As we age, our ability to produce stem cells decreases. This can be a particularly detrimental issue in our intestines, where our modern diets subject our intestinal cells to chronic damage from plant toxins, abrasive fiber, and excess carbs. 

With chronic exposure to toxins and a diminished ability to heal and regenerate, our intestinal cells can break down, leaving gaps in our intestinal walls that allow pathogens into the bloodstream. This condition is called intestinal permeability, or leaky gut

Once in the bloodstream, these toxic molecules spread throughout the body, contributing to chronic inflammation and autoimmune disorders. 5 

Fasting can stimulate the production of stem cells, providing healing and protection in the gut. [9]  However, to significantly enhance stem cell production, you’ll likely need to fast for longer than 12 hours. 10

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

In a wide-ranging 2022 review of many IF studies, researchers found that fasting can be used to treat various diseases linked to insulin resistance. 5 6

Using the 12-hour fast to reduce Insulin resistance can contribute to numerous benefits, including [7] : 

  • Clearer skin
  • less water retention
  • Improvement of diabetic symptoms
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Resolution of PCOS
  • Improved cognition and neurological protection

Increased BDNF

Fasting for even short periods of time has been shown to increase an important hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF-1). 

One study found that fasting from dawn to sunset significantly increased BDFN levels.5

BDFN plays a role in creating new brain cells. That’s why neuropsychiatrist John J. Ratey calls it, “Miracle-Gro for the brain.” And it’s associated with improvement sin learning and the creation of new neural pathways. 

On the other hand, low BDNF levels have been linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. [13]

In studies on animals, fasting-induced increases in BDNF are associated with less depression, anxiety, and neurodegenerative disease.5

Reduced Inflammation 

Chronic inflammation is a killer. In fact, it’s the most deadly root of disease across the world, afflicting and killing 3 out of 5 people.. 2

Epidemic chronic inflammatory diseases include heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. [5] [6] [7]

A 12-hour fast can reduce inflammation by

  1. Activating stem cells that help heal intestinal permeability
  2. Reducing levels of inflammatory white blood cells 5

Fasting has been found to be an effective therapy for chronic inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s, and MS. [14][15

12-Hour Fast Concerns

The 12-hour fast is a remarkably gentle approach and is likely safe for most people. 

Women 

Restricting calories has effects on the balance of sex hormones in women. However, the 12-hour fast is such a gentle approach that it’s unlikely to adversely affect hormone balance.17

Learn more about intermittent fasting for women here

Eating disorders

Intermittent fasting is not recommended for people with eating disorders. It can conceal anorexia and amplify bulimia. 

Foods to Eat On a 12-Hour Fast

What you eat on either side of a 12-hour fast is as important as taking time off from eating. 

The right foods will promote fat metabolism and nourish your fresh crop of stem cells with the nutrients they need to thrive. 

These nutrient-dense whole foods, include

What Can I Drink on a 12-Hour Fast? 

On a 12-hour fast, mineral water is the best choice. 

If you can’t go without black coffee or tea, that’s ok, too. Black coffee contributes only 2-3 calories per cup– not enough to disrupt the fasting metabolic state. [4]

12-Hour Fast: The Bottom Line

The 12 fast is a gentle, often introductory approach to intermittent fasting. 

Intermittent fasting in general has been shown to promote weight loss, and stem cell production, and stimulate the release of beneficial hormones. 

As with all approaches to fasting, it’s important to listen to your body and make adjustments when necessary.

Diet Time. Alarm clock and measurement tape with copyspace on white background

Intermittent Fasting Results: Research and Photos

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating where you alternate periods of eating with periods of abstaining from food, AKA fasting! Practicing intermittent fasting can contribute numerous beneficial results. 

In this article, we’ll detail some of the intermittent fasting results you can expect and how intermittent fasting promotes them. 

We’ve also collected some before and after photos that show the results of intermittent fasting for weight loss. Though it’s worth noting that weight loss is only the most visible of numerous powerful intermittent fasting results. 

Intermittent Fasting Results: A Historical Perspective

Before jumping into the modern Western results of intermittent fasting, let’s acknowledge that intermittent fasting has been around for millennia. In fact, IF has been a foundational part of traditional approaches to medicine across the world. 

In Chinese medicine, fasting is used to promote balance and harmony within the body and is often used as a preventative measure to maintain good health. 

Modern research on the Chinese practice of a 7-day water fast has shown that it is an effective treatment for thrombosis.

In the traditional Indian approach to medicine called Ayurveda, fasting is used to cleanse the body and mind, and to promote balance between the doshas (the body’s fundamental energy patterns).

In ancient Greek medicine, fasting was often prescribed as a treatment for various medical conditions, including digestive disorders and skin conditions.

Modern Western medicine confirms that intermittent fasting leads to various positive results, and it details the physiological processes of how they come about. 

Let’s explore some of the powerful results that you can expect from intermittent fasting.

Reduced Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Though inflammation is a natural, protective response to injury or infection, chronic inflammation is the root of the most prevalent and deadly modern diseases, including obesity, diabetes, various cancers, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease.

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can result in the reduction of inflammatory markers such as TNF-alpha, IL-6, and CRP.

Intermittent fasting has also been found to result in increases of anti-inflammatory molecules such as adiponectin, which helps to improve insulin sensitivity.

The fact that intermittent fasting results in a reduction of inflammation make it one of the most powerful lifestyle approaches to controlling your health and wellness. 

Weight loss

Intermittent fasting may lead to weight loss by reducing overall calorie intake and increasing fat burning.

A 2020 review of 27 clinical intermittent fasting trials showed that IF resulted in weight loss, ranging from 0.8% to 13.0% of baseline body weight.

A 2014 review found that participants in IF studies lost weight at a rate of .55 to 1.65 pounds per week. And experienced a 4-7% reduction in waist circumference (indicating a loss of belly fat).

It’s believed that Intermittent fasting can result in weight loss in several ways.

  • People simply snack less. When you’re fasting you’re not eating. When you’re not eating, you take in fewer calories. 
  • Raises levels of norepinephrine. This hormone helps break down fat stored on the body
  • Increases human growth hormone (HGH) boosting metabolism and fat burning  
  • Decreases glucose and insulin, which promotes fat-burning
  • Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress–both of which contribute to weight gain

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Intermittent fasting has been found to result in better cardiovascular health. 

Intermittent fasting supports heart health through a few key factors, including its ability to promote weight loss and improve body composition. 

Additionally, intermittent fasting has been found to result in 

  • lower blood pressure
  • to improve blood lipid profiles (such as reducing LDL-cholesterol and increasing HDL-cholesterol)
  • improve insulin sensitivity

All of these are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease. 

Intermittent fasting has also been shown to result in improved function of the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels.

Additionally, IF’s ability to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress protects the heart, since these are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Increased Mental Clarity

One of the results of intermittent fasting is an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), famously referred to as miracle grow for your brain. 

This protein plays a role in neurogenesis–the growth, survival, and function of neurons in the brain.2  BDNF has been found to be important for learning, memory, and overall cognitive function.

Additionally, intermittent fasting has been shown to promote mental clarity and prevent age-related cognitive decline via numerous pathways, including the synthesis of ketone bodies (energy molecules made from fat), butanoate metabolism, pyruvate metabolism, and glycolysis and gluconeogenesis.

Intermittent Fasting Results: Before and After Photos

Here’s a roundup of before and after photos showing the visible results of intermittent fasting. Though these are inspiring, keep in mind that the benefits of intermittent fasting go much deeper!

before and after pics intermittent fasting results

YouTuber Cam Jones intermittently fasted for 30 days and lost 6 lbs.  He followed the 16/8 approach and ate normally during the 8-hour eating window. His benefits would have likely been enhanced by combining IF with keto or carnivore. In fact, most of the before and after photos below result from this dual approach to metabolic health. 

intermittent fasting results before and after photos

intermittent fasting results before and after photos

intermittent fasting results before and after photos

intermittent fasting results before and after photos

intermittent fasting results before and after photos

intermittent fasting results before and after photos

intermittent fasting results before and after photos

Intermittent Fasting Results: The Takeaway

Intermittent fasting has been shown to result in numerous health benefits, including weight loss, reduced inflammation, improved cardiovascular health, cognitive enhancement, and protection against age-related cognitive decline.

Raw beef livers on a black stone cutting board on dark background. Top view

Is Eating Liver Good for Your Liver?

If you’re familiar with nose-to-tail eating then you’ve probably heard about the principle of “like-supports-like.” This refers to the belief that the organ you eat provides specific benefits to the corresponding organ in your body. Since liver is one of the most nutrient-dense and accessible organs, you may be wondering if eating liver is good for your liver? 

The short answer is, yes! 

Liver is a fantastic source of numerous vital nutrients that directly benefit the health of your liver. 

These nutrients include vitamin K2, A retinol, heme iron, B vitamins, and liver-specific peptides and compounds.  

In this article, we’ll look at how these liver-specific nutrients and enzymes make eating liver a fantastic approach to boosting and protecting the health of your own liver. 

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Is Eating Liver Good for Your Liver: Fast Facts

Various edible livers from beef, lamb, pigs, and duck provide rich sources of various nutrients that have been found to benefit the health of your liver. These include:

  • Vitamin K2: promotes liver cell regeneration.
  • Vitamin A: Essential to the production of bile, which is necessary for the digestion of fats, and it also helps protect the liver from toxins.
  • Iron: Transports oxygen to the liver. The liver needs oxygen to function properly, and a deficiency in iron can lead to anemia, which can damage the liver.
  • B vitamins: B vitamins, such as vitamin B12, folate, and niacin play a role in the metabolism of fats, which is important for liver function.
  • Peptides: Consuming certain peptides in liver has beneficial effects on the liver. For example, carnosine, a peptide with antioxidant properties, may help protect the liver from damage. And glycyl-histidyl-lysine (GHK) has been found to promote liver cell regeneration and has the potential for treating liver disease.

Nutrients You Get from Eating Liver that are Good for Your Liver

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key nutrients you get from eating liver that is good for your liver. 

Vitamin K2 

Most people are unfamiliar with vitamin K2, but emerging research tells us that it is one of the most important dietary nutrients in any food, and liver is nature’s most abundant source. 

K2 was discovered by dentist and dietary researcher Weston A. Price in the early 20th century. Dr. Price visited traditional cultures around the world, searching for their secret to the dental health and the absence of modern diseases. 

He developed a theory that all non-industrialized diets contained an abundance of an as-yet-to-be-discovered nutrient that he called “activator X.” 

This special vitamin unlocked the benefits of various other fat-soluble nutrients found in the fatty meats and organs consumed in abundance by traditional peoples. It was later confirmed that vitamin K2 does just that–activates vitamins A, D, and E to work synergistically to support numerous important functions, including the function of your liver. 

K2 Foodmcg/100 gramsRDV
Goose Liver369 mcg308%
Beef Liver263 mcg184%

100 grams of goose liver pate has 369 mcg or 308% of the DV of vitamin K2. 

Like goose liver, beef liver is also incredibly good for you, providing 184% of your K2. 

Vitamin K2 has been shown to promote the recovery of liver function in patients with liver cirrhosis by activating hepatic oval cells for liver regeneration.

Vitamin K2 has also been shown to reduce the ability of liver cancer cells to invade and spread through the veins in the liver. The rate of venous invasion by liver cancer cells the group treated with vitamin K2 K was 2% at one year and 13% at two years. While the group that didn’t receive vitamin K2 showed rates of 21% at one year and 55% at two years.

Vitamin K2 supplementation is generally believed to be essential to manage liver disease.

Vitamin A

Liver is also nature’s most abundant source of vitamin A. And it comes in its most bioavailable form, called retinol. 

Vitamin A is good for your liver because it maintains the integrity of the liver cells and supports the liver’s ability to detoxify harmful substances.

Vitamin A is also critical to the production of bile, which is necessary for the digestion of fats and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Additionally, vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps to protect the liver from damage caused by free radicals.

Vitamin A deficiency can impair liver function and increase the risk of liver damage.

Foods High in Vitamin AMCG per 100 grams%RDV
1Turkey Liver216982410.%
2Duck Liver119841331%
3Turkey giblets107371193%
4Goose liver93101034%
5Liver sausage, liverwurst, pork8309923%
6Lamb liver7,491832%
7Beef liver4947549%

B vitamins

B vitamins, particularly B12 and folate, support liver health by aiding in the metabolism and detoxification of harmful substances in the liver.

Additionally, B vitamins help to reduce inflammation and support the production of new liver cells, which can aid in liver regeneration.

Vitamin B3 (niacin) has been shown to protect and prevent liver damage from Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. 5  Beef liver is one of nature’s best sources of B3, providing 14.9 mg of B3 per 85 grams. 

A deficiency in B vitamins can lead to poor liver function and increase your risk of liver damage.

B12 FoodPer 100 grams%RDV
Lamb Liver90 mcg3750%
Veal Liver85 mcg3541%
Beef Liver83 mcg3458%
Lamb Kidney79 mcg3291%
Turkey Liver58 mcg2416%
Duck Liver54 mcg2250%
Goose Liver54 mcg2250%
Pork Liver26 mcg1083%

Heme Iron

Iron plays a key role in supporting liver health by helping to detoxify the liver,  binding to and removing harmful toxins, and by supporting the production of new liver cells.

The liver is responsible for producing and storing iron, as well as regulating the amount of iron in the body. When the liver is damaged, it may not be able to properly regulate iron levels, which can lead to iron overload.

Food TypePer 100 grams%RDV (18 mg)
Duck liver30.5mg170%
Beef Liver17.9 mg99%
Pork liver17.9 mg99%
Lamb Liver8.7mg48%

Carnosine

In addition to providing well-known vitamins and minerals, eating liver is good for your liver because it provides liver-supporting peptides.

For example, a peptide called glycyl-histidyl-lysine (GHK), more popularly known as carnosine, provides antioxidant properties. Carnosine can inhibit liver damage by scavenging reactive oxygen species, protecting the liver cells from oxidative stress.

Carnosine has also been found to reduce liver damage caused by toxins, such as alcohol and drugs, and to improve liver function in people with liver diseases such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatitis.

Studies have reported that beef liver can contain between 100-250mg of carnosine per 100g of liver.

Cytochrome P450 (CYP)

Cytochrome P450 (CYP) is a group of enzymes that are found in the liver, as well as in other organs in the body. 

These enzymes are responsible for the metabolism of many substances, including drugs, toxins, and hormones.

In the liver, CYP enzymes play a key role in the detoxification of harmful substances by converting them into less toxic compounds that are eliminated by the body.

CYP enzymes help metabolize various medications, such as blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and opioids. They work to break down these drugs in the liver, so that they can be eliminated from the body more quickly.

Is Eating Liver Good for Your Liver: The Bottom Line

Liver is a nutrient-dense superfood loaded with vitamins and minerals that offer specific benefits to the health of your own liver. 

Vitamin K2, B vitamins, vitamin A, heme iron, and bioactive peptides, including carnosine and CYP, aid the liver in protecting against oxidative stress, detoxing harmful substances, and regenerating liver cells.

a woman happy to dig into her huge steak.

The Carnivore Diet for Women: Female-Specific Effects and Benefits

The carnivore diet is a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat eating plan. Cutting carbs and increasing fat intake significantly impact hormone production and balance within the body. Since women are more sensitive to hormone fluctuations than men, you may be curious about the effects of a carnivore diet for women. 

In this article, we’ll follow the science as we explore the specific effects and benefits that a carnivore diet can have for women. 

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What is the Carnivore Diet? 

If you’re new to the carnivore diet, here’s a brief outline of what it entails for both women and men. 

A carnivore diet calls for eating only animal products, including

This means eliminating many staples of the standard American Diet, including: 

  • processed foods
  • Sugar
  • vegetable oils
  • grains
  • Veggies
  • Fruit

How women adhere to and formulate their carnivore diet often evolves over time.

It’s common for women to begin with the carnivore elimination diet, which calls for only steak, water, and salt for at least a month. 

After the elimination protocol, it’s common to add in full-fat dairy, pork, organ meats (especially liver), seafood, and the occasional treat of low-carb homemade ice cream.

With any iteration, carnivore always revolves around ruminant meats, which have the best fatty-acid profile, least toxins (most seafood is contaminated), and greatest density of bio-available nutrients

Keep in mind that animal products are zero-to-low in carbs. Since your body can only get 35% of its calories from protein without risking protein poisoning, you need to get most of your calories from fat. Therefore the carnivore diet is by default a high-fat low-carb, or keto-carnivore way of eating

Women go carnivores for numerous reasons. A few of the most common include: 

Benefits of The Carnivore Diet for Women

Emerging data from mainstream institutions like Harvard, along with tens of thousands of personal success stories, reveal that the carnivore diet offers powerful health benefits to both men and women. 

But not much has been written about the ways the carnivore diet may affect and benefit women specifically. Here’s our science-based list of the possible women-specific effects of the carnivore diet.  

1 Balances Hormones

Hormones word wooden cubes on a pink background

Hormones are chemical messengers that orchestrate many of the body’s biological processes, including reproduction, mood, appetite, and energy metabolism.5

High-fat, low-carb diets centered on animal products have been shown to regulate hormones by

  • providing your body with cholesterol–the building blocks of hormones. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all derive from cholesterol5
  • eliminating your intake of plant foods containing phytoestrogens and phytohormones that mimic reproductive hormones
  • mitigating the hormone dysregulating effects of high blood sugar
  • Providing an abundance of nutrients that help regulate reproductive hormones, including zinc and vitamin D

A  2017 review of seven high-quality studies looking at the effects of low carbohydrate diets like carnivore on hormones in overweight and obese women found that cutting carbs reduced circulating insulin levels, leading to improvements in hormonal imbalance and resulting in the resumption of ovulation.  

2 Helps Resolve PCOS

Keto for PCOS

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a combined hormonal and inflammatory disorder that affects the ovaries and ovulation of 1 in 10 women. The main symptoms of PCOS:

  • Causing cysts in the ovaries
  • High levels of male hormones
  • Irregular or skipped periods

A standard high-carb diet keeps insulin levels chronically elevated, a condition called hyperinsulinemia– the primary factor in developing PCOS.

Hyperinsulinemia leads to PCOS by inhibiting sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) synthesis, increasing the levels of male sex hormones (androgens) like testosterone in women.

Abnormally high levels of male sex hormones inhibit the production of progesterone while keeping estrogen levels elevated. 

Additionally, women with PCOS who eat diets high in carbs increase oxidative stress and cellular inflammatory responses, further fueling PCOS symptoms.

When women go carnivore, they’re cutting carbs, which lowers insulin and allows the body to rebalance sex hormones.

A study of women with PCOS who consumed a high-fat, low-carb diet for six months revealed an average loss of 12% of body weight and a 54% reduction in insulin levels.  

3 Anti-Aging

Comparison of female face after incredible rejuvenation process or heavy retouching

We can debate whether focusing on aging is psychologically healthy, but the reality is that women spend billions of dollars on anti-aging treatments and products. 

The irony is that the greatest tool to combat aging is your own diet and lifestyle. 

The carnivore diet introduces numerous factors that contribute to anti-aging properties, including

  • Cutts sugar: reduces glycation–the destructive binding of glucose with proteins in the skin and organs
  • Increases anti-aging foods: Bone broth provides collagen that maintains the health of connective tissues, bones, and skin.5 As women age, their bodies produce less collagen making it necessary to replace collagen from dietary sources. Blue cheese is the most abundant natural source of bioactive peptides with powerful and proven anti-aging properties delivered to every organ of the body.
  • Carnivore foods with zinc have been shown to protect against aging.
  • Eliminates vegetable oils: Most vegetable oils are high in PUFAs–fatty acids that easily oxidize. When you consume oxidized fatty acids your body 

 4 Weight Loss

Woman's belly before and after weight loss on gray background, plastic surgery concept

Low-carb, high-fat diets like carnivore have been shown to reduce excess body weight.

The carnivore diet helps women shed extra body fat by activating a number of factors, including: 

  • Restoring leptin sensitivity. Leptin is a hormone that controls appetite and metabolic rate–or quickly your body turns food into energy. A standard high-carb diet can disrupt leptin signaling leading to chronic overeating. In addition to regulating appetite, leptin plays a role in immunity, brain function, and fertility. Cutting carbs on carnivore normalizes leptin signaling, which dramatically curbs hunger cravings and increases calorie burning. 
  • Eliminating sugar, vegetable oils, and processed foods that contribute to excess weight gain bike spiking insulin, disrupting leptin signaling, and reducing metabolic rate.
  • Nourishing your body with nutrients, including healthy fats, complete proteins, and B vitamins that support body composition and metabolic health. 

5 Can Reduce Depression and Support Mental Health

Hand choosing green happy smiley face paper cut, product, user, service feedback rating and customer reveiw, experience, satisfaction survey, psychology mental health test concept

Women are statistically more susceptible than men to mood disorders, including bipolar and unipolar depression and anxiety.

Studies show that healthy sex hormones help stabilize mood, and as we’ve seen above, a carnivore diet can help stabilize sex hormones.  

A bellwether 2022 pilot study looking at the effects of high-fat, low-carb diets on bipolar and treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders found that

  • 100% of participants saw symptoms improve
  • 96% of participants lost weight
  • 64% of participants reduced or discontinued medication
  • 43% achieved clinical remission

graphic showing results of ketogenic diet on psychological disorders

Numerous other studies show a clear link between eating meat, less depression, and better mental health. 

For example, a 2020 metanalysis examining 20 studies with 171,802 participants, ages 11-105 years old, from North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania found

  • “A significant association between meat consumption/abstention and depression and anxiety”
  • The more meat people ate, the lower their depression and anxiety levels 
  • Vegan and vegetarianism were linked to a significantly greater likelihood of depression and psychiatric disorders

The positive effects of meat on mental health and the negative effects of vegan and vegetarianism are especially relevant to women.  

Research shows that women are about twice as likely as men to say they’re eating less meat–31% to 15%, respectively. While 80% of vegans in the U.S. are women.

6 Can Improve Fertility 

Fertility Diet

The twin benefits of reducing inflammation and balancing hormones make the carnivore diet a tool for boosting fertility. 

On a carnivore diet, women

Below you’ll find a chart of fertility-boosting super nutrients in carnivore foods vs. plant foods. 

7 Improves Skin Health

Portrait of beautiful female model with clean skin. Close up of smiling woman with healthy skin posing against grey background with copy space.

In addition to cutting carbs that damage skin health and increase aging, the carnivore diet is centered around foods loaded with nutrients that directly benefit skin health. 

Foods high in the highly absorbable animal form of vitamin A called retinol include turkey liver, duck liver, beef liver, goat cheese, butter, and egg yolk. 

Vitamin A has been shown to increase skin cell and collagen production.

Carnivore diet foods, including oysters, steak, and lamb, are also high in zinc which helps skin heal from damage and protects against aging.

8 May Delay Menopause

Woman Holding an Hourglass Conceptual Vector Cartoon Illustratio

Studies show that consuming an abundance of animal proteins from red meat and fatty fish significantly delays the natural onset of menopause by more the 3 years.

While the foods that women eliminate on the carnivore diet, including pasta, rice, and refined carbohydrates, are associated with the early onset of menopause.

Carnivore diet foods, including fatty fish, beef liver, pasture-raised pork, and full-fat dairy provide women with abundant vitamin D and calcium. Studies show that vitamin D and calcium can delay menopause by 17% compared with women who have a low intake of these nutrients.  

If you’ve already begun menopause, carnivore diet foods high in protein and vitamin K2 can reduce bone loss and muscle mass associated with menopause.

The Carnivore Diet for Women: The Takeaway

The carnivore diet can dramatically improve women’s health by 

  • eliminating plant and processed foods that cause inflammation and hormone dysregulation.
  • Increasing intake of nutrient-dense foods that provide the body with healthy fats, cholesterol, complete proteins, and micronutrients like folate, zinc, vitamin D, K2, retinol, selenium, and choline. All of these nutrients play critical female-specific roles. 

The combination of these two factors–eliminating damaging foods and increasing nourishing foods–contributes to powerful female-specific health benefits, including

  • Hormonal balance
  • Resolving PCOS
  • Anti-aging  
  • Wight loss
  • Improved mental health
  • Improved fertility 
  • Improved skin health
  • Delayed menopause
Man holding brain illustration against gray wall background. Concept with mental health protection and care.

The Ketogenic Diet for Bipolar and other Psychiatric Disorders: The Science

The ketogenic diet has been used to treat drug-resistant epilepsy for over 100 years. The effectiveness of keto for treating neurological disorders has led dieters and researchers alike to explore the effectiveness of a ketogenic diet for other psychiatric and mood disorders linked to brain function. 

In this article, we’ll explore the science supporting the use of a ketogenic diet for bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. 

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What is the Ketogenic Diet? 

The ketogenic diet is defined as eliminating nearly all carbohydrates, getting most of your calories from fat, and the remainder from protein. 

Standard ketogenic macronutrient ratios break down to 

  • 75-80 percent calories from fat
  • 15-20 percent calories from protein
  • 0-10 percent calories from carbs

Cutting carbs triggers the liver to metabolize fat stored on the body and fats from food into energy compounds called ketones. These compounds are a superior energy source per unit. And they can enhance mental function when fueling your brain cells.

Glucose (Carb) Energy 3-Hydroxybutyrate Ketone (Fat) 
8.7 kg of ATP per 100g10.5 kg ATP per 100g

Ketosis is a natural and sustainable metabolic state for humans. In fact, it’s part of our evolutionary heritage

Numerous lines of evidence suggest that humans evolved as hypercarnivorous apex predators for nearly 2.5 million years until the dawn of agriculture only 10,000 years ago.1

During this vast period of evolution, our ancestors hunted and scavenged meat from large fatty animals known as “megafauna,” and had only seasonal access to raw, low-carb plants and fruits. 

Modern humans are nearly genetically identical to our carnivorous, ketogenic, paleolithic ancestors. It follows that our bodies, including our brains–the most energy-hungry organ in our bodies–can benefit from a simulated return to our ancestral eating patterns

How the Ketogenic Diet Can Benefit the Brain

Numerous studies have found that a ketogenic diet can be beneficial for various brain conditions.

The most researched use of the ketogenic diet is for the treatment of epileptic seizures in children, especially those for whom drugs are ineffective.

Other studies have found that keto can protect against neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Psychiatric researchers have pointed out that the same medicines used to treat people with epilepsy are used to treat bipolar disorder. For this reason, the ketogenic diet has begun to be studied for its effects on bipolar and other psychiatric disorders. 

What is Bipolar?

Bipolar is a psychiatric mood disorder associated with mood swings from depressive lows to manic highs.

It is estimated that across the world, 85 million people suffer from serious bipolar mood disorders and psychotic illnesses.1  Almost 50% of people that are treated for bipolar disorders continue suffering from episodes.

While at least 280 million people suffer from various depressive disorders worldwide.

Ketogenic Diet for Bipolar and Psychiatric Disorders

Though research on the ketogenic diet for bipolar and other psychiatric disorders is still emerging, the preliminary results show significant benefits. 

A small 2013 study followed two women who used the ketogenic diet for the treatment of type-2 bipolar disorder.

One woman maintained keto for two years, and the other woman for three years. For both women, the ketogenic diet lead to greater mood improvements than medications. And neither woman experienced negative side effects. 

A 2019 study analyzed online reports on the role of a ketogenic diet for mood stabilization. While acknowledging the limits of self-reported data, researchers concluded that the ketogenic diet is effective. 

They point out that the benefits of keto for bipolar are likely because keto provides superior fuel to the brain, helping to mitigate mitochondrial dysfunction– a component of bipolar disorder and other psychiatric and neurodegenerative conditions.

While other research suggests that the benefits may also have to do with how keto reduces sodium inside of brain cells. Mood-stabilizing drugs like lithium have a similar effect. 

diagram of how a ketogenic diet supports brain cell mitochondria in treatment of bipolar disorder

title of study on ketogenic diet used to treat psychiatric and bipolar disorder

A groundbreaking 2022 controlled feeding study of 31 psychiatric inpatients found remarkable results.

  • All patients suffered from psychiatric disorders that were not being helped by standard treatments
  • The 28 patients who made it past day 6, ate a keto diet for between 14 and 248 days
  • All patients experienced significant and substantial improvements in depression and psychosis symptoms and multiple markers of metabolic health.
  • 100% saw their symptoms improve
  • 96% of patients lost weight
  • 64% of patients reduced or discontinued medication
  • 43% achieved clinical remission

diagram summarizing benefits of ketogenic diet for bipolar

One of the researchers on the above study, Dr. Georgia Ede has experimented with low-carb high-fat diets for over a decade. In 2018, she personally eliminated all plant foods and now eats a carnivore diet.

Below you can watch Dr. Ede speak with Dr. Ken Berry about the benefits of keto for mental health. 

A 2020 study conducted by researchers at Harvard University polled over 2,000 people who practiced a keto-carnivore diet for at least 6 months. 

They discovered that 96% of participants improved or resolved psychiatric symptoms.

Keto-Carnivore Diet for Mental Health

image of ribeye steak with knife and fork

An all-meat version of the keto diet called the carnivore or keto-carnivore diet, has been used by high-profile adopters to treat mood disorders. 

Mikhaila Peterson, daughter of popular psychologist Jordan Peterson, discovered the carnivore diet when listening to Dr. Shawn Baker introduce it to Joe Rogan on his popular podcast

Mikhaila has since shared that going carnivore lead to her recovery from bipolar disorder, hypersomnia, juvenile arthritis, psoriasis, and Lyme disease. 

You can watch Mikhaila speak about her recovery below. 

Jordan Peterson was inspired by his daughter and went carnivore to treat his own chronic depression. Peterson practiced the “Lion Diet.” This carnivore elimination diet entails eating only red meat, salt, and water for at least a month. 

You can watch Peterson speak with Rogan about how carnivore resolved his anxiety and depression. 

Amber O’Hearn, one of the most rigorous writers about the carnivore diet has credited it with resolving her bipolar depression and suicidal ideation. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Using a Ketogenic Diet to Treat Bipolar

The studies and personal accounts of using the ketogenic diet to treat bipolar and other psychiatric disorders are compelling. But there are a few areas of caution to keep in mind. 

  • There are side effects associated with keto and carnivore–they are usually temporary and easy to overcome, but it’s important to know what to look out for and how to remedy them. 
  • Some medications can interfere with the therapeutic benefits of keto by raising blood glucose levels. 
  • You may need to adjust psychiatric medications, which needs to be done with the supervision of psychiatrists with knowledge of low-carb, high-fat diets. 

Ketogenic Diet for Bipolar and Psychiatric Disorders: The Bottom Line

The ketogenic diet has been successfully used to treat drug-resistant epilepsy for over 100 years. 

The same mechanisms that make keto effective against epilepsy suggest that it can be therapeutic for bipolar and other psychiatric disorders. 

Though more research needs to be done, preliminary studies show unprecedented positive outcomes when using the ketogenic diet to treat bipolar and other mood disorders.

Concept of intermittent fasting, diet and weight loss. Plate as Alarm clock on blue

The 24 Hour Fast: Benefits and How To

The 24 hour fast is an intermittent fasting strategy that can yield powerful benefits, even when practiced once a week. 

When you stop eating for 24 hours you trigger various beneficial and regenerative bodily processes that 1, 2, 3

  • support metabolic health
  • reduce the risk of heart disease
  • metabolize fat stored body fat 
  • regulate blood sugar
  • improve cholesterol and triglycerides levels
  • stimulate human growth hormones
  • activate autophagy and stem cell production
  • reduce the risk of various cancers

In this article, we’ll explore how to do a 24 hour fast, and the ways that fasting can support your health goals. 

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What is the 24 Hour Fast?

A 24 hour fast calls for abstaining from food and drinking only non-caloric beverages for a 24 hour period between meals. 

The 24 hour fast is often associated with the “Eat Stop Eat” intermittent fasting cadence that calls for abstaining from eating for 24 hours once or twice a week with 2 to five days between fasting periods. 

Eat Stop Eat was developed by nutritional researcher Brad Pilon based on data from his studies at the University of Guelph. [1] His findings were popularized in the popular book “Eat Stop Eat.” 

How to Do a 24 Hour Fast? 

A 24 hour fast usually begins at sundown on the first day and ends at the same time the next day. 

Linking your fasting period with circadian rhythms takes advantage of innate metabolic processes in your body that are governed by natural light and dark cycles. 

What Can I Drink on a 24 Hour Fast? 

It’s a given that you can’t eat food during a 24 hour fasting period, but beverages can be a gray area. 

Most people stick with mineral water, while others drink black coffee or tea. A cup of black coffee contributes 2-3 calories, which isn’t enough to interfere with the fasting metabolic state. [4]

24 hour fasting schedule

What Happens To Your Metabolism on a 24 Hour Fast? 

After restricting calories for 12-36 hours of fasting your body will begin breaking down fatty acids into potent energy molecules called ketones. 4

Concurrently, at the 16-18 hour mark, your body will activate a process of cellular repair and renewal called autophagy. But it’s important to keep in mind that intermittent fasting only stimulates significant autophagy when you align your fasting period spans overnight.[1] [2] [3]

24-Hour Fast Benefits

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of a 24 hour fast, let’s explore the various possible health benefits, including:

  • Improved body composition
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Improved cellular health 
  • Increased HGH production
  • Increased BDNF production
  • Reduced inflammation

Weight Loss and Improved Body Composition

The 24 hour fast is widely used as a way to “melt” away excess body fat. 

Studies show that fasting rapidly increases “fatty acid oxidation,” which means the breakdown and use of stored body fat as energy.5 

The process of fat oxidation occurs when the absence of carbs causes the hormone insulin to drop and norephedrine to rise.[2

Increased fat oxidation due to intermittent fasting has been shown to promote weight loss and increase lean muscle mass. [3]

Studies show that intermittent fasting can result in the loss of up to 9.9% of body weight.2

Another factor in intermittent fasting weight loss is increased metabolic rate. Studies show that fasting can raise metabolic rate by 14%. A higher metabolic rate means that your body is burning calories even at a resting state.4 [5]

Cellular Renewal (Autophagy)

Autophagy means “self-devouring,” and it refers to a process where your body recycles old cells and damaged cell parts into new cells. 

In addition to removing damaged and old cells, autophagy removes infectious and toxic bacteria and viruses. [5] [6] [7] [8]

When your body doesn’t have the opportunity to go into cycles of autophagy it can be more susceptible to infectious diseases, diabetes, various cancers, and neurological diseases. 

Autophagy steps. Schematic diagram. Natural mechanism in the cell that removes unnecessary components. Vector illustration

Research shows that autophagy offers numerous benefits, including: 

  • Longevity and anti-aging properties 4 5
  • Reduced Inflammation 6 7
  • Anti-cancer properties 8 9 
  • Improved heart health 10
  • Protection against neurodegenerative diseases 2

Increased Stem Cell Production and Intestinal Healing

As we get older our body’s ability to produce stem cells diminishes. This can make it difficult for our gastrointestinal cells to recover from damage caused by plant-toxins, antinutrients, and excess carbohydrates. 

Damaged intestinal cells can result in a condition called intestinal permeability, or leaky gut. This allows toxins to pass into the bloodstream where they travel throughout the body, causing widespread inflammation. 5

MIT researchers have discovered that a 24 hour fast can stimulate stem cell production, effectively reversing age-related loss of stem cell function. 

Stem cells stimulated by the 24 hour fast are associated with increased energy, cellular protection, and various markers of youthfulness. [9

MIT researcher Dr. David Sabatini concluded that the 24 hour fast “provided evidence that fasting induces a metabolic switch in the intestinal stem cells, from utilizing carbohydrates to burning fat.” And that this switch “enhanced [cell] function significantly.” [10]

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

A 2022 systemic review looked at numerous studies on intermittent fasting. The researchers concluded that fasting is so effective at improving insulin resistance that it can be used as a treatment for numerous chronic diseases associated with insulin resistance. 5 6

Chronically elevated insulin levels are associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and  PCOS, cognitive function, and memory loss. [7

Improving insulin sensitivity is associated with other benefits, including: 

  • Clearer skin
  • less water retention
  • Improvement of diabetic symptoms
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Resolution of PCOS
  • Improved cognition and neurological protection

Memory-and-Insulin-1-1

Increased HGH (Human Growth Hormone)

Higher levels of serum HGH (human growth hormone) are associated with improved muscle mass, better memory, reduced water retention, and reduced cortisol (stress hormone) levels. 11

One classic study with 200 participants found that a 24 hour fast increased HGH by a factor of 20 in men and 13 in women. [12

20 Hour Fast for Increased BDNF

BDNF-1, stands for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This hormone is associated with the creation of brain cells, leading neuropsychiatrist John J. Ratey to call it, “Miracle-Gro for the brain.”

Increased serum levels of BDNF are associated with better learning and the development of new neural pathways.

Low levels of BDNF are associated with neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. [13]

Animal studies show that intermittent fasting can increase BDNF, and that thie effect may contribute to reductions of depression, anxiety, and neurodegenerative diseases.5

Reduced Inflammation 

Diseases associated with chronic inflammation kill 3 out of 5 people worldwide, making chronic inflammation the deadliest factor on earth. 60% of the U.S. population has at least one chronic inflammatory condition. 2

Common chronic inflammatory diseases include heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. [5] [6] [7]

24 hour fasting can combat inflammation in three key ways: 

  1. stimulating intestinal stem cells that heal intestinal permeability 
  2. Stimulating autophagy that removes and recycles damaged cells that cause inflammation
  3. Reducing circulating monocytes (inflammatory white blood cells) 5

graphic showing reduction of inflammation from intermittent fasting

Studies show that the anti-inflammatory affects of fasting make it an effective therapy for rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s, MS, and other inflammatory disorders. [14][15

Potential Drawbacks of a 24 Hour Fast

For most people, a 24 hour fast may be a safe and effective lifestyle change that contributes the benefits listed above. But some populations may want to consider if the 24 hour fast is right for them. 

Women 

Calorie restriction has a different affect on the hypothalamus of women and  men. 

This brain are is responsible for the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Disrupting these two hormones can interfere with female fertility, ovary size, and bone health. [17

You an learn more from our intermittent fasting for women article. In short, it may be best for women to try a gentler approach to IF like 16/8 or 12/12. 

Hard Training Athletes

Intense physical exercise requires high caloric intake–not eating for 24 hours will not support intensive exercise in most people. 

People with Eating disorders

Intermittent fasting is not recommended for people with eating disorders. It can be used as a mask for anorexia. And the feasting component at the end of the fast can exacerbate bulimia.  

Foods to Eat Before and After a 24 Hour Fast

Eating before and after 24 hours will supply your body with the fuel to nourish new cell growth. 

To promote ketosis and stemcell health, choose nourishing, nutrient-dense whole foods, including

Remember that the benefits of intermittent fasting aren’t only linked to restricting calories, but by optimizing metabolic health. What you eat is as important as when you do and don’t eat. 

24 Hour Fast: The Takeaway

The 24 hour fast has been shown to promote weight loss, improve focus, reduce inflammation, and stimulate cellular renewal. 

The benefits of Intermittent fasting protocols, including the 24 hour fast are likely due to how they mimic the feeding patterns that humans evolved on for nearly 2 million years.

When our ancestors had a successful hunt they feasted on fatty animals. Between hunts, they fasted, allowing their bodies to rest and renew. 

As with any fasting protocol, it’s important to listen to your body and make necessary adjustments.

sliced fresh pork liver in a bowl on the old wooden background.copy space background

Top 10 Benefits of Eating Liver: Nature’s Multivitamin

Liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth, and the benefits of eating liver are directly related to this incredible nutrient abundance. 

Liver is the world’s most concentrated source of vitamin A and one of the top sources of vitamin B12. These two nutrients alone would make liver a bonafide superfood even before considering the robust amounts of heme, iron, choline, copper, and other important B vitamins. 

Liver also provides an as-yet-to-be-identified anti-fatigue factor that makes it a favorite among endurance athletes. 

In this article, we’ll explore how liver’s unparalleled complex of nutrients can directly translate into tangible health benefits. 

[TOC]

The Best Types of Liver to Eat

There are numerous types of liver you can eat, and each has a unique nutrition profile. That said, all types of liver tend to be rich in vitamin A, B vitamins, and liver-specific peptides. 

Popular edible types of liver, include: 

  • Beef liver–the most accessible type of liver, loaded with vitamins B12, A, K2, copper, and zinc. A complete superfood.  
  • Lamb liverone of the most concentrated animal sources of selenium, 200% RDI per 100 grams. 
  • Pork liver–higher in selenium than beef or chicken liver. Selenium is a thyroid-boosting mineral that plays important roles in regulating immunity and facilitating DNA production.
  • Duck liver–At 1330% of your RDV of vitamin A per 100 grams, duck liver is one of nature’s most potent sources of this nutrient. 
  • Chicken liver–one of the best animal sources of vitamin C, with ​​30% RDI per 100-gram serving.
  • Goose liver–100 grams of goose liver pate has 369 mcg or 308% of the RDI of vitamin K2, which is crucial for bone, dental, and heart health. 

1 Increased Stamina

Liver is famous for its stamina-boosting x-factor. Scientists still haven’t isolated why the liver is so energizing. And it’s not the incredibly high levels of vitamin B. 

The stamina-boosting effects of eating liver were publicized in a 1975 article in Prevention Magazine. 

The article described an experiment where the endurance of three groups of rats was tested by subjecting them to swimming in a barrel of water. 

The first group of rats wasn’t fed anything. The second group was given B vitamins. And the third group was fed powdered liver. 

The group fed no food swam for an average of 13.3 minutes. The group fed B vitamins swam for 13.4 minutes on average. 

Of the twelve rats fed liver, one swam for 63 minutes, another for 83 minutes, and a third for 87 minutes. And the remaining nine rats were still swimming when the test ended after 2 hours (120 minutes).

2 Supports Mental Health

As one of nature’s most concentrated sources of vitamin B12, liver can provide antidepressant properties.

A 2013 randomized control trial found that supplementation of Vitamin B12 significantly improved depressive symptoms.

The dose of vitamin B12 you get from liver is even greater than standard supplementation. But this is one vitamin where you don’t have to worry about overdoing it. Your body will store excess vitamin B12 in the liver and access it when needed. 

A 100-gram serving of liver also provides around 50% of your RDI of zinc. Zinc is another micronutrient that has been shown to provide antidepressant properties.5

3 Supports Bone and Dental Health

Beef liver is one of the world’s most concentrated sources of vitamin K2, with 106 mcg, or 88% of your DV in K2 per 100 grams. While goose liver is king with over 300% RDI per serving. 

K2 has been shown to activate the protein osteocalcin, which stimulates the production of dentin–the calcified tissue beneath teeth enamel.

Additionally, K2 activates matrix GLA, another protein that binds calcium to bones.

A study of 244 postmenopausal women (high risk of osteoporosis) found that supplementing with K2 significantly reduced age-related bone mineral density loss.

4 Anti-Cancer Properties 

Two clinical trials have shown that vitamin K2 can reduce the recurrence of liver cancer while increasing survival time. Yet another instance where organ meats demonstrate a “like-supports-like” effect, by benefiting the corresponding organ in your body.

A large observational study with 11,000 men found that participants who consumed high amounts of K2 had a 63% lower risk of advanced prostate cancer. In this same study, K1, the version you get from plant foods, showed no effect.

A comprehensive 2021 review found that the antioxidant properties of vitamin A make it powerfully effective against various cancers.5

5 Supports Heart Health

Studies show that K2 found in liver can prevent the calcification of blood vessels, arteries, and kidneys.

One long-term study following participants for 7–10 years, found that people who ate the highest amounts of K2 were 52% less likely to develop artery calcification and at a 57% lower risk of mortality from heart disease.  

Additionally, B12 has been shown to provide cardioprotective properties by decreasing homocysteine levels associated with heart disease.

Zinc functions as a powerful antioxidant that helps fight oxidative stress and reduce inflammation associated with atherosclerosis and related cardiac disorders, cancer, neurodegeneration, immunologic disorders, and the aging process itself.

6 Supports Cognition 

Eating liver provides numerous micronutrients associated with healthy cognitive function, including:

  • Selenium
  • Copper
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • B12
  • Choline
  • Iron

Research shows that as selenium levels decrease with age they may contribute to declines in cognitive function.

Copper has also been shown to support cognition up to a specific inflection point.

Niacin (B3) has also been shown to support cognitive functioning, while a deficiency can lead to memory impairment.

Proper iron intake is associated with better attention, concentration, and memory.

7 Supports Gastrointestinal Health

A 100-gram serving of beef liver provides around 550% RDV of your vitamin A. 

Vitamin A enforces the mechanical barrier function of the skin and inner linings of the body.

These benefits can be especially important for intestinal healthy since most of the high-carb and plant-based foods in the modern diet promote the deterioration of the intestinal lining, leading to a condition called intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut.” 

When the intestinal barrier is breached, harmful pathogens, including carbs, plant toxins, and pesticides, can enter the bloodstream and travel to nearly every other part of the body resulting in widespread chronic inflammation

The ability of vitamin A to heal the intestinal barrier prevents the passage of harmful pathogens into tissues and the bloodstream. 12 

8 Supports Eye Health

Vitamin A in liver is critical for healthy vision, while vitamin a deficiency can lead to night blindness, inflammation of the eye, and general degradation of vision.  2 3

It’s important to highlight that vitamin A in liver comes in a bioavailable form called retinol.  In addition to healthy eyes, vitamin A supports healthy skin, physical growth, and fertility. [36] [37] [38] [39] [40]

And make no mistake, the vitamin A precursor found in plant foods like carrots is nearly worthless. In 55% of people, only a very small percentage is absorbed by the body. While 45% of people aren’t able to convert and use any plant vitamin A [41] [42]

In addition to vitamin A, zinc has been shown to support healthy eye function by reducing degenerative oxidation and inflammation.3 

9 Supports Immune Function

Vitamins B12, K2, and vitamin A have all been shown to significantly support healthy immune function and reduce inflammation. [19] 3 5

While the zinc you get from liver is used by the body to activate T-cells that play a critical role in immune response. Low zinc levels are associated with numerous illnesses. 5

10 Enzymes That Support The Health of Your Own Liver

Liver contains numerous organ-specific enzymes. One enzyme in particular, cytochrome P450, has been shown to support hormone production, detoxification, and the healthy functioning of your own liver. [46]

Bonus: A Source of Dietary Nucleic Acids 

You won’t see these on nutrition labels, and your body generally makes enough, but in times of stress and healing, it may be important to get nucleic acids through your diet. 

Nucleic acids in liver can support numerous physiological processes, including [44] [45]

  • Immune function
  • Digestion
  • Muscle recovery
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced oxidative stress
  • Proper metabolism

How Often Should You Eat Liver to Get These Benefits? 

Because most edible liver is very high in vitamin A, it’s important to treat liver more as a supplement than a main course. 

Vitamin A is fat-soluble, which means that it can accumulate in your own liver. An overabundance of vitamin A can cause health issues, including liver damage and birth defects. 

It is also possible to consume too much Iron. 

For these reasons, we recommend consuming up to 100 grams of beef, lamb, bison, or duck liver 1-3 times per week. 

Chicken liver has less vitamin A and may be consumed 3 to 4 times per week. 3

Because liver is so rich in nutrients, it is important to see if any supplements you are taking also provide nutrients that are already high in liver. 

However, the symptoms of eating too much liver are slow and chronic slow or chronic, rather than acute. 

Liver Nutrition 

For your reference, here’s the complete nutrition of beef liver.

Beef Liver
Based on 100 grams
Calories135
Fat3.6g
Protein20.4g
Net Carbs3.9g
Vitamins%Daily Value
Vitamin A   

Vitamin B6  

Vitamin B12  

Thiamine

Riboflavin B2

Niacin 

Folate 

Choline

Vitamin C  

Vitamin D   

Vitamin K  

4968μg

1mg

59.3μg

0.2mg

2.8mg

13.2mg

290μg

333.3mg

1.3mg

1.2μg

3.1μg

552%

84%

2471%

13%

163%

66%

73%

61%

3%

8%

3%

MINERALS
Iron Magnesium

Phosphorus 

Zinc  

Copper

Manganese

Selenium

4.9mg18mg

387mg

4mg

9.8mg

0.3mg

39.7μg

62%6%

39%

27%

488%

16%

57%

Liver Compared to other So-Called Superfoods

Below you can see how beef liver stacks up to normal muscle meat and popular plant foods.

APPLE (100 g)CARROTS (100 g)RED MEAT (100 g)BEEF LIVER (100 g)
Calcium3.0 mg3.3 mg11.0 mg11.0 mg
Phosphorus6.0 mg31.0 mg140.0 mg476.0 mg
Magnesium4.8 mg6.2 mg15.0 mg18.0 mg
Potassium139.0 mg222.0 mg370.0 mg380.0 mg
Iron.1 mg.6 mg3.3 mg8.8 mg
Zinc.05 mg.3 mg4.4 mg4.0 mg
Copper.04 mg.08 mg.18 mg12.0 mg
Vitamin ANoneNone40 IU53,400 IU
Vitamin DNoneNoneTrace19 IU
Vitamin E.37 mg.11 mg1.7 mg.63 mg
Vitamin C7.0 mg6.0 mgNone27.0 mg
Thiamin.03 mg.05 mg.05 mg.26 mg
Riboflavin.02 mg.05 mg.20 mg4.19 mg
Niacin.10 mg.60 mg4.0 mg16.5 mg
Pantothenic Acid.11 mg.19 mg.42 mg8.8 mg
Vitamin B6.03 mg.10 mg.07 mg.73 mg
Folate8.0 mcg24.0 mcg4.0 mcg145.0 mcg
BiotinNone.42 mcg2.08 mcg96.0 mcg
Vitamin B12NoneNone1.84 mcg111.3 mcg

 

Dr. Kiltz’s Nutritional Solutions Desiccated Liver Supplements, and Organ Meats Supplements are both ways to get the benefits of eating liver in a convenient odorless, and tasteless tablet. 

These supplements are sourced from New Zealand grass-fed beef, the industry gold standard in terms of animal welfare and nutrient abundance. 

They’re also freeze-dried to lock in nutrients. 

Top 10 Benefits of Eating Liver: The Bottom Line

Liver is one of the healthiest foods on earth thanks to an unmatchable abundance of essential and bioavailable nutrients. 

Liver combines vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin K2, choline, selenium, copper, iron, and zinc, into a natural multivitamin that contributes to numerous interconnected health benefits, including:

  1. stamina
  2. mental health
  3. bone and dental health
  4. Anti-cancer properties
  5. heart health
  6. Healthy cognition
  7. gastrointestinal health
  8. Eye health
  9. Immune function
  10. Liver health
Fresh brown eggs with printed of nutrition facts on eggsshell.

Choline in Eggs: How Much and Benefits

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on earth. This makes sense considering that eggs contain all the nutrients needed to produce a complex living creature. Choline is one of the most vital nutrients in eggs, and most people haven’t heard of it.

Choline is essential for many bodily processes, including metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, brain and fetal development, and more.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of choline, how much you need, and how much choline you get from eggs. 

[TOC]

What is Choline? 

Choline is an essential water-soluble compound that is neither a vitamin nor a mineral, yet it acts much like a vitamin and is often grouped with other B vitamins due to its similar properties. 

“Essential” in this context means that even though your body produces some choline on its own, you need to get most of your choline from dietary sources in order to support normal bodily functions. 

Interestingly, choline is only recently discovered, as far as nutrients go. It was identified as an essential nutrient by the Institute of Medicine in 1998.1

Choline has many roles in the body, including [7]

  • neurotransmitter synthesis
  • cell-membrane signaling
  • lipid transport
  • methyl-group metabolism.
  • crucial for brain development
  • memory development in infants
  • can lower the risk of neural tube defects in infants
  • Important pregnant and nursing women due to its effects on fetal and brain development in infants 

What Happens if You Don’t Get Enough Choline? 

Choline plays a wide role in many critical bodily functions, so choline deficiency can factor widespread and serious effects, including4 

  • diseases such as liver disease
  • atherosclerosis
  • neurological disorders.

Additionally, research shows that a low intake of choline can increase your risk of pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia, premature birth, and low birth weight. 2

diagram of child head with nutrients as parts of brain

How Much Choline is in Eggs? 

Eggs are one of the highest food sources of choline

A single large egg provides 147 mg per large egg–around 25% of your RDI.  

A normal 2-3 egg breakfast provides 50-75% of your RDI. 

And be sure to eat the yolk. As with other nutrients, the egg yolk contains nearly all the choline in eggs. In fact, there’s a whopping 680 milligrams per 100 grams of egg yolk. [8]

How Much Choline Do I Need? 

The current RDI of choline for men is 550 mg/day and for women is 425 mg/day. 

But like all nutrient RDIs, the amount you need may vary depending on age, gender, and life stage.

It’s worth highlighting that recent research has revealed that 90% of the American population does not meet this recommended choline intake. 1 2

The RDIs for different age and gender groups are as follows:

  • Infants (0-6 months): 125 milligrams per day
  • Infants (7-12 months): 150 milligrams per day
  • Children (1-3 years): 200 milligrams per day
  • Children (4-8 years): 250 milligrams per day
  • Children (9-13 years): 375 milligrams per day
  • Adolescents (14-18 years): 550 milligrams per day
  • Adults (19 years and older): 425 milligrams per day for women and 550 milligrams per day for men

People at increased risk for choline deficits include: 

  • Endurance athletes: Choline levels decline over long periods of exercise.16
  • Heavy drinkers: Drinking alcohol increases your choline requirements putting you at greater risk for deficiency 17  18
  • Postmenopausal women: The hormone estrogen plays a role in producing choline in the body. When estrogen levels drop during menopause, women may be at risk of deficiency 6 19
  • Pregnant women: Choline plays an important role in infant development, leading to possible deficiency in the mother carrying the child.20

Benefits of Choline in Eggs

Here’s a brief, slightly technical summary of the key benefits of choline; 

  • Supports the structure of cell membranes: Choline is a key component of phosphatidylcholine. This is a type of phospholipid that is a major component of cell membranes. It helps to maintain the integrity and fluidity of cell membranes, which is important for proper cell functioning.3
  • Aids in the production of neurotransmitters: Choline is involved in the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is important for learning and memory. It may also play a role in the production of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.4 5
  • Supports liver function: Choline is involved in the metabolism of fat in the liver and may help to prevent the accumulation of excess fat in this organ. It may also help to reduce the risk of liver disease and improve liver function in people with existing liver conditions.4
  • May improve brain function: Some research suggests that choline may help to improve memory and cognitive function, particularly in older adults.4 5
  • May reduce inflammation: Choline may have anti-inflammatory effects and may help to reduce inflammation in the body.5 6
  • One study determined that a higher dietary intake around the time of conception was associated with a lower risk of neural tube defects. 13

Sources of Choline other than Eggs

For people with egg allergies, it is possible to get adequate choline from other dietary sources, including: 

  • beef liver: 333 mg per 100 grams–66% RDI
  • Salmon: 200 mg per 100 grams–40% RDI
  • Beef muscle meat: 132 mg per 100 grams–26% RDI

Prenatal Supplements

For pregnant and breastfeeding women, or women who are trying to become pregnant, a high-qualty prenatal supplement with choline may be a good option. 

Dr. Kiltz’s Peak Prenatal supplement provides  550 mg of VitaCholine™ for 100% or your RDI. 

image of peak prenatal supplement jar

Beef Liver Supplements 

Beef liver supplements are a convenient and tasteless way to make “nature’s multivitamin” part of your daily routine. In addition to choline, beef liver supplies high levels of vitamin A retinol, and B12

What About Eggs and Heart Disease?

The idea that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat from eggs causes heart disease has been thoroughly debunked by modern science. 

Not only are dietary saturated fat and cholesterol not harmful, but the choline in eggs may also play a cardioprotective role. 

Choline is a precursor of a compound called acetylcholine which is linked to cardioprotective compounds called cardiomyocytes that increase the body’s ability to tolerate injury to the musculature of the heart. 8

title from study on eggs and heart disease

In this 2018 study, researchers gathered data from half a million Chinese adults, and found that people who ate eggs daily had [5]

  • 14% lower risk of major cardiac events
  • 11% lower risk of CVD
  • 12% lower risk of ischemic heart disease
  • 18% lower risk of CVD death 

Furthermore, dozens of modern studies link high cholesterol with lower mortality risks. While many studies also link low cholesterol with numerous increased health risks, including all-cause mortality. [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26]

Choline in Eggs: The Takeaway

Eggs are a good source of choline, an important nutrient for brain and liver function, as well as for the development of the nervous system in fetuses and infants. 

Choline is found in greatest abundance in animal products, including eggs. 

Research suggests that choline is important for brain function, including memory and learning, and that it may have potential as a treatment for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. 

A single large egg contains about 147 milligrams of choline, around 30% of the average recommended daily intake (RDI) for adults. 

This makes eggs an excellent source of choline and a good choice for people looking to increase their intake of this important nutrient.

Cute cartoon smiling healthy kidney character with dumbbells. Human anatomy genitourinary system internal organ giving advice to keep active and doing fit sports vector illustration

Is the Carnivore Diet Safe for Your Kidneys?

A common carnivore diet concern is that it can harm the kidneys. This concern is based on the myth that high-protein intake causes excess strain on the kidneys. 

In fact, studies show that though increased protein does require the kidneys to filter more nitrogen as a byproduct from protein, there is no evidence that this harms the kidneys. 

When considering the effects of a carnivore diet, it’s far more likely that this way of eating dramatically reduces the main risk factors for developing kidney disease, including metabolic syndrome and type-II diabetes. 

In this article, we’ll explore what the science says about how a carnivore diet can affect kidney health. 

[TOC]

What is the Carnivore Diet? 

The carnivore diet is a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein way of eating. It eliminates all plant foods, and entails consuming only animal products. 

People choose carnivore as a way to realign their dietary habits with the way that humans evolved to eat–as hypercarnivorous apex predators–for nearly 2 million years before the advent for agriculture only 10,000 years ago.

The carnivore diet approach to health and wellness views ​​animal fats, muscle, and micronutrients as the foundation of all healthy physiological processes beginning with cell structures and hormonal regulation. 

Plant products and carbohydrates are non-essential–meaning they are not necessary for our health and survival. They expose the body to antigenic stressors, including excess fiber, carbs, and naturally occurring antinutrients and toxins. These plant food factors damage tissues and promote chronic inflammation and autoimmune disorders–the roots of modern diseases.

How High Protein Diets Do and Do Not Affect Kidney Health

The concern that a carnivore diet may harm kidneys is based on the view that one of the main roles of the kidneys is to metabolize and filter out nitrogen resulting from consuming protein. 

It follows that high protein intake leads to a process called “hyperfiltration,” and that this puts a strain on the kidneys that can cause damage. 

Studies do show that high-protein diets result in changes in kidney function including glomerular filtration rate (GFR)  AKA “hyperfiltration” of nitrogen from protein metabolism.

And there is some research showing that high-protein diets can be harmful for people with pre-existing chronic kidney diseases. 

However, studies show that in people with healthy kidneys, hyperfiltration is normal, adaptive, and not harmful.5 

We see this healthy adaptive response play out in the long term for people who have donated a kidney and are left with only one kidney. 

The remaining kidney is tasked with filtering much more protein and their GFR (a marker of hyperfiltration) goes up. But studies show that kidney donors do not have an elevated risk of kidney disease.

A 2018 meta-analysis of numerous randomized control trials found no evidence that low-carb diets harm kidney health, even for people with type 2 diabetes.

The Greatest Risk Factors for Kidney Damage

When considering the health of your kidneys, the science is clear that increased protein intake is not a concern for people with normal kidney function. 

The real risk factors for kidney damage and disease are chronic inflammatory conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. 

All of these conditions are strongly related to the Standard American diet loaded with inflammatory vegetable oils and carbohydrates.

Studies show that even for non-diabetic people, consuming more carbs increases the risk of chronic kidney disease.4

As a low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein diet, carnivore may dramatically reduce the risk of kidney disease. 

Effects of The Carnivore Diet on Kidneys: The Takeaway

Eating an all meat carnivore diet increases protein intake for most people. 

Since one of the main biological functions of the kidneys is to filter out byproducts from protein metabolism, there may be a fear of excessive strain on the kidneys leading to damage and disease. 

However, there is a robust body of evidence showing that, for people with normal liver function, increased protein metabolism and filtration in the kidneys is a healthy, normal, and adaptive response with no long-term negative effects. 

The greatest risk factors for kidney disease are chronic inflammatory conditions linked to high-carb, modern diets, including type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. 

A low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein carnivore diet can target the conditions that actually contribute to kidney disease.