Using desiccated liver for hair growth benefits is useful because of one simple fact: liver organ meat is a highly concentrated source of a broad spectrum of nutrients. It is also rich in antioxidants that may help nourish the hair follicles and hair strands.
Most people realize that when their hair is falling out that there is likely a lack of one or many nutrients at play.
Losing hair can also be due to other factors like low stomach acid and stress too, but for the purposes of this post, the focus will be on how taking desiccated liver supplements may help keep your hair healthy and thick.
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What is desiccated liver?
Just so we are all on the same page, the desiccated liver is a whole-food liver supplement derived from chopped or “desiccated” beef liver extract that is typically sold in capsules or in tablets.
Capsules of desiccated liver are better than tablets because they have fewer additives and fillers.
Desiccated liver hair growth benefits
Hair loss is related to many conditions, especially autoimmune diseases [R].
Autoimmune diseases are inflammatory conditions where the body’s own immune system fights itself. This is because of a loss of immune tolerance. This inflammation can affect the hair follicle.
Many food-related factors are thought to contribute to the increased rates of autoimmune diseases these days. These include too few probiotics, too many processed foods, and not enough nutrient-rich foods.
Please know that there are no studies that directly have looked at eating liver and its effects on hair growth.
But, logic would suggest that it definitely could help your whole body, including your hair, due to its complex and rich array of nutrients.
Research has looked at specific vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that do help with hair growth.
Let me break those down for you here.
Vitamins in Liver Supplements
Eating liver organ meat is a smart move for many people. This is because it is the best source of vitamins and nutrients of any food on the planet, in fact.
Keep in mind, desiccated liver is dried, so it is more concentrated in vitamins than fresh liver. This means that you don’t have to eat 100 grams of liver capsules to have the same nutrient benefits.
Roles of vitamin nutrients from liver for hair health
Liver from fresh liver contains the following vitamins (per 100g):
- Biotin at 39 mcg per serving, liver is a great source of biotin. Low biotin levels can cause hair loss. Fortunately, beef liver is far and away the best source of natural biotin on the planet.
- Riboflavin with 2.9 mg, just over 2 times the recommended daily value per serving, riboflavin also plays an important role in hair health. In fact, low levels are linked to hair loss.
- Fun tip: this is the nutrient that makes your urine turn yellow after taking vitamins. This is actually a sign you are absorbing it well!
- Vitamin C: liver contains about 20 mg of vitamin C per serving, which is helpful in supporting healthy hair. This is because vitamin C helps the body make collagen.
- Vitamin B12 at 21 mcg per serving, desiccated liver is the best naturally sourced vitamin B12 on the market. While vitamin B12 itself isn’t directly related to hair loss, the gene that controls some of vitamin B12 metabolism called MTHFR is. That is why it is important to get naturally sourced vitamin B12. Also, vitamin B12 is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies.
- Folate liver contains an impressive 560 mcg of folate per serving. Folate is important for healthy hair and skin, normal cell division, and healthy pregnancies.
- Vitamin B6: Rich in vitamin B6 at 0.8 mcg, liver may help with hair growth. Beef liver pills are also rich in vitamin B6. This vitamin helps the body process protein, which nourishes the hair too.
- Vitamin K2: liver supplements contain natural vitamin K2, which may help prevent abnormal calcification of the skin and hair tissues.
- Vitamin A With 4300 RAE of vitamin A, liver is the best food source of natural and active vitamin A. For people with a hair loss condition called alopecia areata, vitamin A can be really beneficial because vitamin A nourishes the hair root and may help decrease inflammation in this condition.
- People with gene variants in vitamin A metabolism also simply can’t eat carrots and get enough vitamin A.
- However, too much vitamin A can cause hair loss. This is why supplementing desiccated liver is an appealing option because it is in doses proportional to the body’s needs at less than 5000 RAE per day.
Minerals in desiccated liver pills
If you take a beef liver supplement, you are assured it helps improve your body’s mineral stores as well. This, in turn, may help you achieve a healthy head of hair over time.
Eating beef liver or a beef liver supplement can help you get the following critical nutrients:
- Selenium: with almost half the daily value for selenium at 36 mcg, beef liver is great at nourishing this mineral. Selenium, needed to help reduce inflammation for proper hair growth, is an antioxidant mineral that is rich in grass-fed beef liver.
- Iron: deficiency is a likely cause of hair loss for many people. With 13 mg per serving, liver is the best source of heme iron of any food out there. Iron is a mineral needed for oxygen delivery to your tissues, including your hair. Premenopausal women with hair loss tend to be low in iron.
- Zinc: liver contains a good dose of 4-5 mg per serving. Of all the nutrients out there, zinc deficiency is probably the most closely linked to hair loss. Zinc plays important roles in digestive health, hair health, and more.
- Chromium: Chromium is a trace mineral and antioxidant found in liver supplements that may help with hair health, although more research is needed.
- Copper: at 14 mg per serving, liver is very rich in copper. Copper helps make red blood cells and enzymes. No definitive role for copper and hair patterns has been established.
- Potassium: 349 mg per serving: Potassium is an electrolyte that is in abundance in desiccated liver supplement regimens. However, no role for hair health has yet been determined.
Functional nutrients in desiccated liver pills
Besides vitamins and minerals, beef liver capsules also contain functional nutrients that may support a healthy head of hair.
- Protein: Liver is rich in protein and all essential amino acids. Protein helps to repair tissues, helps build a healthy immune response, makes hormones, and is the structure of hair follicles and strands. Liver is likely helpful for collagen production for both skin and joint health because of this.
- CoenzymeQ10: at 5-6 mg per serving, liver is one of the only natural sources of coenzyme Q10 in foods. Coenzyme Q10 may stimulate the growth of hair keratin in people, especially as they age.
- Choline: 418 mg per serving: choline is very rich in liver, which is great because it is critical for cellular signaling helps promote thicker hair, and improves hair strength in people with fine hair. Beef liver is the highest choline food source known on the planet.
- Hyaluronic acid: another desiccated liver benefit is that it contains hyaluronic acid, which helps improve skin hydration and joint health.
- Glutathione: Glutathione is an antioxidant that is low in people with male pattern baldness. While it’s too early to say if supplements of glutathione would help with reducing hair loss in men, it certainly won’t hurt eating glutathione-rich liver.
How to supplement desiccated liver
A typical dose of desiccated liver capsules is around 8-10 capsules a day, which sounds like a lot. But, you can easily split this up 2-3 times throughout the day. I don’t find it to be challenging when I do it this way.
Important tip: choose grass-fed beef liver that is pasture-raised instead of other forms of desiccated liver.
Grass-fed cows have more nutrition and are less stressed. This means that the liver from grass-fed beef is healthier than from conventional cows.
Avoid chemicals and solvents
It defeats the purpose if you buy beef liver that is full of added chemicals and solvents.
So, I put together a brief list of desiccated liver brands for you that are high quality.
Some brands I didn’t list still are pretty good, but do have some fillers like silicon, silica, stearic acid, silicon dioxide, guar gum, or magnesium stearates, such as Vital Proteins, Now Brand, Swanson’s brand, and others.
High-quality desiccated liver supplement options
If you are looking for a desiccated liver supplement that is grass-fed and meets quality standards, here are a few brands you can try:
- MK Supplements Grass-Fed Beef Liver is a highly rated and small-batch liver supplement for the best liver out there.
- Ancestral Supplements Grass-fed Beef Liver: highly rated and rigorously tested.
- Grassland Nutrition Grass Fed Beef Liver with Wild Harvested Kelp 100% Organically/Halal Sourced.
Desiccated liver hair growth benefits summary
Desiccated liver hair growth benefits are many due to its rich nutrient profile.
As usual, make sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider before adding anything to your health routine.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 23 years as well as a book author of the new book Gut Fix and The Whole Body Guide to Gut Health, Heidi has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. She has researched supplements and natural medicine throughout her career. One of her biggest loves is helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only. While The Healthy RD’s posts are backed by research, you are unique, so you must seek care from your own dietitian or healthcare provider. This post is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or lifestyle.