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Lamb Liver: Nutrition, Benefits, and Low-Carb Recipes 

By Liam McAuliffe Published on

Nose-to-tail and carnivore diet enthusiasts are probably already familiar with the benefits of beef liver. But getting lamb liver’s nutrition and benefits might still be on your bucket list–and for good reason. 

Lamb liver possesses many of the benefits of beef liver — as well as a few of its own.  

In this article, we’ll explore lamb liver’s nutrition, benefits, potential drawbacks, recipes, and more.

What is Lamb Liver?

Lamb liver has been known and loved by humanity for thousands of years. As you might expect, it’s been most popular in areas where lambs, not cows, have been a primary food source. 

Long before anyone knew why lamb liver was so important to health, ancient people groups were already cherishing it, and benefiting from its incredible nutrient profile. 

During his time living with the Inuits, arctic explorer Vilhjálmur Stefánsson, observed, “While meat of any kind is in great demand, it is interesting to note that the liver of any animal is a favorite.” [1]

The Nuer tribe in Africa took their love for liver a step or two further (too far?) — they regarded liver as too sacred to be touched by human hands. [2]

The benefits of this organ meat still hold true today, and modern nutritional analysis shows us why. 

Lamb Liver Nutrition

One of the best things about lamb liver is its incredible nutrient diversity. In addition to its top highlights (B12, vitamin A, etc), liver contains a huge variety of hard-to-get micronutrients. 

The following table compares lamb liver to ‘regular’ lamb meat, itself a highly nutritious food: 

NutrientLamb (100 grams)Lamb Liver (100 grams)
Calories279 calories138 calories
Total Fat23.4 grams5 grams
Saturated Fat10.2 grams1.9 grams
Protein16.6 grams20.4 grams
Carbohydrates0 grams1.8 grams
Calcium2%1%
Phosphorus16%36%
Iron9%41%
Copper5%349%
Zinc23%31%
Vit. A0%492%
Vit. C0%7%
Niacin30%81%
Vit. B67%45%
Vit. B12 39%1501%
Zinc23%31%
Copper5%349%

Pound for pound, lamb liver is among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. 

Lamb liver is especially rich in highly bioavailable heme iron, B vitamins, vitamin A, and selenium. 

Lamb Liver Nutrition Highlight 1: Heme Iron 

Lamb liver is a robust source of iron.Yet,  just as important as the iron content itself is the type of iron that liver contains: in this case, highly available heme iron, which can only be found in animal products. 

Research is clear that iron keeps the body oxygenated, protects athletes from the risks of overtraining, and provides nutrients to pregnant moms. [3][4

Lamb Liver Nutrition Highlight 2: B Vitamins

Like other types of liver, lamb liver is impressively rich in metabolism-boosting B vitamins. 

These B vitamins help your body liberate its own energy stores (i.e, fat stores) for fuel, process dietary nutrients more efficiently, and protect your liver.  [5] Here’s a more complete list of their functions: 

  • Assist with red blood cell formation [6]
  • Assist with DNA production/formation [7]
  • Optimize cholesterol levels [8]
  • Optimize hormone balance [9]

Of all the B vitamins lamb liver contains, folate and B12 are the superstars. Folate is important for pregnant mothers — it helps a developing baby grow at the proper rate — while B12 directly contributes to energy production. [10

Just 100 grams of lamb liver contains a whopping 1,501% of your B12 RDV. 

Lamb Liver Nutrition Highlight 3: Vitamin A

Lamb liver is rich in the two most important forms of vitamin A, preformed A, and beta-carotene. Both these forms of vitamin A play essential roles in the maintenance of skin and eye health. 

100 grams of lamb liver contains so much vitamin A, in fact, that you shouldn’t eat it every day. Unlike the B vitamins mentioned above, excess vitamin A is fat-soluble and hard to expel from your system. [11][12]  

Lamb Liver Nutrition Highlight 4: Selenium

Lamb liver is somewhat rare among animal products for its high selenium content. 100 grams of it contains nearly 200% of your RDV. 

Selenium is an antioxidant that doubles as a thyroid stimulator. It’s also a critical component of selenocysteine, an amino acid that preserves neurological and metabolic health. [13]

Lamb Liver Health Benefits 

Lamb liver’s extensive nutritional profile means it has equally extensive health benefits. Here are some of the highlights. 

  • Benefit 1: better body composition
  • Benefit 2: improved athletic performance
  • Benefit 3: improved liver health
  • Benefit 4: healthier bones and teeth
  • Benefit 5: glowing skin

Benefit 1: Better Body Composition

It may be an ideal food for people who want to improve their body composition. Its combination of low fat and high protein content provides maximum satiety per calorie. Studies show that eating protein-rich meals can reduce hunger hormone levels and take the edge off your cravings. [14]

Liver’s selenium and B vitamins may also mean good things for your body composition, as both nutrients have been shown to boost metabolism through different, but overlapping, pathways. [15]

Benefit 2: Improved Athletic Performance

It’s so high in B vitamins that it could directly improve your athletic performance. Energy generation is the single biggest rate-limiting factor in many different sports, and B vitamins help with this on an intrinsic, cellular level. 

Virtually any type of animal liver, in fact, is a true superfood for hard-training athletes. [16

Benefit 3: Improved Liver Health

Regular consumption of this organ may have a protective effect on your — you guessed it — liver! 

The CP450 enzyme content is to thank for this like-supports-like effect. We humans are also dependent on CP450 to function at our best. The ‘anti-fatigue’ factors found in liver may help, too. [17]  

The verdict is in: animal organs make achieving robust nutrition simple. You can eat liver to support your liver, eat kidneys to support your own kidneys, eat heart to benefit your heart, and eat brain to boost your own brain health. 

Benefit 4: Healthier Bones and Teeth

This lamb liver benefit is unique in that it’s one of the few non-fermented sources of vitamin K2. [18] Though highly underrated, research has found that K2 plays a number of vital roles in the body: [19]

  • Strengthens bones
  • Whitens and brightens teeth
  • Assists with calcium transport
  • Reduces calcification of soft tissues
  • Helps promote healthy collagen turnover
  • Improves immunity / reduces infections

Benefit 5: Glowing Skin

Together with K2, lamb liver’s vitamin C and copper content (349% per serving!) make it great for your skin. [20][21

Vitamin A plays a role here too. A growing body of research has shown that vitamin A improves skin cell tone, texture, and turnover. Liver’s b-carotene content may even give your skin a more attractive bronze-hued tone. [22][23

Sourcing Quality Lamb Liver

As great as lamb liver is, sourcing quality lamb liver isn’t always easy. And even if you do manage to find premium grass-fed lamb liver, you may not like its taste. 

That’s where for many people, the value of liver supplementation comes in. Dr. Kiltz’s Organ Supplements provide an ultra-convenient way to get the nutritional power of liver without having to find, cook, or eat fresh liver. 

Dr. Kiltz’s Liver Supplements are sourced from the finest grass-fed New Zealand livestock, freeze-dried to retain vital nutrients, and third-party lab tested to ensure purity. 

You can learn more about beef liver supplements, and compare top brands here

Lamb Liver Recipes

Lamb Liver Recipe: Liver and Onions

This classic recipe is simple, tasty, and low-carb.

Ingredients

  • ~.5 pound lamb liver (sliced)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Several strips pastured bacon
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Process

  1. Heat butter in a large frying pan. Add onions, cooked bacon, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the liver to the pan and cook for ~5 minutes, until golden brown on both sides. 
  3. Let cool slightly, then serve. 

Lamb liver recipe: Moroccan fried liver

For all culinary adventurers out there, this Moroccan liver recipe is worth a try! 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lamb liver
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Process

  1. Slice liver into thin strips, then score their edges. 
  2. Mix liver and all other ingredients in a large bowl, then let sit for 1-2 hours.
  3. Heat additional olive oil or butter in a large frying pan. 
  4. Pour mixture onto the pan, then fry for about 10 minutes. Flip liver until it’s golden brown on both sides. 
  5. Fry for about 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly colored and tender. Push the onions to the sides of the pan.
  6. Transfer liver and onions to a plate, then add additional butter to the frying pan.
  7. Mix everything thoroughly to form a rich sauce. 
  8. Poor sauce atop liver and onions, then enjoy while still warm! 

Lamb Liver: The Takeaway

Few other foods can match lamb liver’s true superfood status. It’s nutritious, delicious, and — if you can find it — surprisingly affordable.   

Even if you can’t find premium lamb liver, don’t give up hope. Dr. Kilt’z Beef Liver Supplements provide many of the same benefits as the fresh stuff does. Plus it’s super convenient, allowing you to place your organ meat intake on autopilot. 

All in all, lamb liver is a truly deserving part of any nose-to-tail keto/carnivore diet. Here’s to hoping it makes a culinary comeback in the near future. Or at least in your home! 

 

©2020 Doctor ROBERT KILTZ. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED