You cannot get vit A toxicity from food/liver?


Bumping this as wanted to see if anyone has had a negative experience from beef liver?

Had 50g yesterday & 50g today (cooked enough to eat 50g daily for next 4 days). About 2 hours after eating, had headache & elevated body temperature.

Subsided 4 hours later though. Wondering if it’s the high Vitamin A…or copper…or Niacin. Also, I don’t think it has happened before when I ate liver (similar quantity).

(Bob M) #22

I can’t tell whether liver is bad or good, but I doubt 50g of liver would do much, especially for what you are describing. That sounds more like an allergy of some sort, although the delay of 2 hours throws that into question too.

I hate to say “eat it again to see what happens”, but that’s the only thing I can suggest.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #23

'Tis a puzzlement!

Was the liver all you ate at that meal?


Yeah, that’s what I was thinking as well. I mean sure 50g liver does give a significant of Vitamin A but I didn’t think it would/should cause any noticeable effect.

I already meal prepped ahead for the week so I will likely eat it again tomorrow. If it happens again then will need to see what in the meal could be causing it.


No. I made cauliflower fried rice. It was cauliflower rice, liver, diced turkey, a bit of green beans & carrots, some spices. I had it with about 200g of Turkey wings.

Nothing unusual in the ingredients - I use all regularly apart from the liver. Still, a bit of an odd reaction. Maybe it was something else unrelated to the meal.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #26

It’s hard to tell, when there are multiple variables involved. Now, if everyone else at the meal who ate the liver came down with symptoms, and those who avoided the liver did not, that would tell us something.

I was at a meal once, where almost everyone who ate the salad came down with food poisoning during the night, and everyone who did not eat the salad had no symptoms. That was pretty conclusive.

(Bob M) #27

While I try to avoid salads (cause me all kinds of issues), I’d likely have been one of those people who got sick. I still LIKE salads, I just don’t eat many of them.

I was following a guy on Twitter who was convinced liver caused Vitamin A toxicity if eaten too much. I never took the time to see what references he used.

Mainly as I don’t eat liver much since my mom passed away. I could cook a pound of liver and give half to her. Now, I’m the only one who likes liver in the house, and eating 1 pound is a lot. It’s very filling.

I’ve also seen arguments that the carnivores who get sick or have to eat rice or whatever were eating too much liver. No idea whether that’s true (or even possible to test).

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #28

Well, vitamin A toxicity is a real thing, but the quantity involved is quite high. I love liver, but I don’t eat it often enough to have to worry.

Here’s a useful link to the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

(Bob M) #29

Thanks, Paul. What I probably would be more concerned about are places like Saladino’s company:

There’s a feedback system for me with liver: I eat so much of it, say 4-6-8 ounces, and I’m done. I can’t eat more. (Might be able to eat more if you slather it in onions, but I usually just have liver by itself.)

But if you put that in a pill, I’m not sure that mechanism exists anymore.


Yeah, that makes sense.

I think for me, by elimination, the liver is the only thing new. Everything else was already in packets in the fridge/pantry that have been used before with no issues after eating. The liver I bought just before cooking so my brain just goes to that as the “new” thing if that makes sense.

I’ll still try eating it tomorrow. If it doesn’t happen again, then it’s definitely something else. It was just such a strange combination of symptoms - even the headache felt strange/different.

(Doug) #31

Not here, and I usually eat 1 lb / 454 grams at a time - that’s the way I get it, 1 lb frozen “patties” sealed in plastic. Very generally - I’ve always read that if we’re getting vitamin A, D, E, and K (which I think are the fat soluble ones that have the possibility of accumulation in our bodies) from natural sources, then there is no worry about ‘overdosing.’

I did know a woman, a friend of my mom in the 1970s, who ate a lot of carrots. A LOT of carrots. Turned her skin somewhat orange, but she suffered no ill consequences other than that.

We’re all individuals, but hard for me to see 50g of liver messing anyone up; although of course - who knows?

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #32

And that, I think, is what that article is concerned with. They don’t mention Vitamin A from food sources, perhaps because of that very “feedback system” you mention. But in a pill or ointment, there is plenty of opportunity for a problem.

@JustMo If I were in your place, I’d be personally more inclined to suspect leftovers that had been in the fridge a day or two, than just-purchased liver. To each his own.


Exactly. It would be off for such a little amount. Unless maybe my Vitamin A levels were already high (I don’t see how though).


I mean - it’s possible. I’ll eat one portion today with the diced liver. If any issues, then when I eat the last portion tomorrow -Ill pick out the liver before eating it.

With any luck, it not food/liver related at all as I really like this meal.


Yes, I need 2 days for it, rather 3 but it’s no problem… :slight_smile: It’s freezable too… But it’s a tiny amount, I usually wonder if I should bother 500g or just fry 1000g… As I usually use chicken liver and that’s strong and a bit bitter so I am not so great with it, I won’t inhale the 1000g :smiley: My last pork liver was better (my first was horrible though, strange), we ate it up pretty quickly.
If I used liver for satiation, I would need more than a pound as I typically need more protein and way more calories for my first (and hopefully last, at least last bigger) meal but I only eat that much from my biggest staples, eggs and normal fresh meat (I mean, not organ. I can’t say muscle as some organs are muscle or is that not a problem, it’s a term? IDK). Organ is just some little variety. Sometimes I eat only a little, like 50-100g (usually when I already had my fill in the previous days and/or I find it too bitter… I still like a big part of the flavor, that’s why I eat it…), sometimes it’s 250g, I never went further. I could, sure but I usually keep myself from eating much liver as yep, it has vitamin A and eating, like, a pound of it every second day probably wouldn’t be ideal… So I am without some great staple I can eat in hungry times when I don’t want anything special, just a filling, cheap meal without fuss. Normal meat is more expensive and too tempting…

I don’t think 50g should do anything bad but who knows how sensitive people are…? Inhaling 250g chicken liver and eating the other 250g in the next 1-2 days always worked well for me. I have no idea if it’s normal but probably, people have liver as a main dish in this country, that’s a substantial amount…
I only read about those teeny-tiny snack portions on this forum :slight_smile:

I’ve read many times that 500g liver is enough for 14 days. I eat this amount up in 2-3 days and would gladly eat it again way sooner… I probably could eat pâté every day. And I don’t eat much liver as I don’t like it THAT much. And anyway, vitamin A…

Today I boil 4 pig tongue, that’s lovely and we could eat up quickly but it’s not my main dish, just a tiny variety and luxury, again so I will freeze at least 2 and try not to inhale the rest. But pig tongue isn’t huge and we are 2 persons, we both love it. It may be cheap but it’s one of the best tasting meats if you ask me :wink:

I ate beef liver twice, with mixed feelings about the taste (I loved it first and not for the second time) but I ate it in substantial amounts (probably 200g or so) and it caused no problems. But it isn’t very informative as almost no food or drink ever caused me problems… I am sturdy. As long as it’s not something low-quality stuff and carbs don’t add up.
But beef liver is a normal item, many people eat it so normally it shouldn’t cause problems. Especially in such a small amount.

But why? What happens with the insane amount of vitamin A if one really get it from natural sources?
(We don’t even need polar bear liver from it, just a big amount of normal liver.)
We can’t overdose it as much as from pills and it’s harder but possible to get way more than the recommended higher limit…
I even read about problems when some ancient humans ate too much of one part of their prey but forgot the specifics…
I have read problems due to too much carrot too, it ruined the liver as too much alcohol…
Of course I don’t know how true they are but it makes sense that overdosing can happen from eating unusually high amounts of items rich in something we can overdose… I usually don’t worry about these except vitamin A and liver. I don’t worry, per se, I just don’t try to eat as much liver as I could happily… Not a big sacrifice and I like to be safe.

But maybe I would feel put off after a while, my body would start to hate liver when my vitamin A level would get high… But I am pretty sure it doesn’t work so well in everyone. People can eat horribly wrong and they just don’t FEEL it. Not even when they barely eat protein or fat. My body would scream bloody murder way before any problem could happen :slight_smile: And others can eat way too much water. I can’t as I may be thirsty, my body stops me at some point, it happens easily, I experienced it many times… So it doesn’t hurt to be safe. Maybe we aren’t so great at it. Even if our body tells us something, we may overpower it… I can’t do it with water but I surely can eat excessive amounts of calories, fat, protein and/or carbs and I can do it for a while (less so with carbs as sugar poisoning comes). I totally ignore the signs of my body if some compulsion or something other strong thing is in effect. And having some cheap staple? Sounds nice. I would stop if I felt bad but my body is sturdy and I rarely feel bad even if I eat very wrong.

Even so, 50g liver is such a little amount, it’s odd that that was the straw that broke the camel’s back… Are such things regarding vitamin A? I would think it’s more gradual… But I know little about these things.

(Edith) #36

Maybe the liver was past its freshness date?


I’ve been paying close attention to this thread as I’ve never tried liver myself, but have toyed with the idea many times. It is crazy to read about the difference in vitamin A levels, but people must’ve been eating liver for quite some time, without getting that vitamin A toxicity. I remember the smell of liver growing up, my mother would cook it to make a snack for our dog, and my siblings and I would complain about the smell. I have no idea how I would react to the smell of liver now, or the taste but I must confess I’m curious.


Well the good news is that all seems to fine on the liver front :grinning:.

Had a portion of the food today again. About 50g of liver is the meal like yesterday. No issues at all.

Must have something else - my body quickly getting rid of an bug/infection maybe.

Which is great, because I really want to be able to cook this recipe with the fried diced liver every now & then.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #39

Liver is quite tasty, so long as it is not overcooked. My mother used to cook it 20 minutes on a side (probably not really, but that’s how I remember it), and it tasted like sandpaper to me as a kid.

Ninety seconds on a side is more like it!


I never felt any bad smell, which animal’s liver is that? Of course, we humans feel smells different too :slight_smile: It seems I belong to the minority as I feel absolutely no bad smell when we cook cabbage and its relatives (? I think those). They are allegedly smelly :slight_smile: