Can You Eat Raw Liver?

With the carnivore diet and nose-to-tail eating growing massively in popularity in recent years, we have seen a rise in people asking the question a lot of us don’t know the answer to.

That is whether or not we can eat raw liver.

While many people consider raw liver to be a delicacy packed with essential nutrients and vitamins, others are repulsed by the idea and can’t see how it can be safe.

Today, we hope to answer this question once and for all. We will take a look at whether you can eat raw liver, any health benefits it has, and how to ensure you don’t fall ill as a result of eating the raw delicacy.

If you love raw liver, or you’re simply a foodie interested in learning something new, be sure to stick around!

Can You Eat Raw Liver?

Can You Eat Raw Liver?

To put it simply, yes, you can eat liver raw. Whether you want to is another question but as long as you buy a high-quality piece of liver there is no reason why you can’t eat it raw.

Traditional cultures have eaten liver raw for centuries but in modern cuisine, most people choose to avoid it, not only because of how it could make you feel but also because it is quite an acquired taste.

Raw liver has a quite unique texture and a pungent flavor.

Many people who consume raw liver do so as a result of its supposed “anti-fatigue” properties. In 1951, it was discovered that raw liver might actually dramatically enhance an individual’s stamina for a significantly longer period of time.

This was originally discovered when a study revealed that rats fed just raw liver could swim for much longer than those that hadn’t.

Despite being able to eat raw liver, many health services, including the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, believe that any raw or insufficiently cooked meat can carry illness-causing bacteria.

Beef liver may carry salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter if it isn’t up to standard, so you must always be careful and prepared if you choose to eat it raw.

We will touch on the possible side effects of eating raw liver further on in this article.

If We Can Cook Liver, Why Eat It Raw?

You may, like us, find yourself wondering why people eat liver raw when it can be cooked. Firstly, in a lot of cultures, raw liver is eaten simply because it is considered a local delicacy.

Aside from that, the main reason people choose to eat liver raw is due to the nutrients and overall taste. When the liver is cooked, some nutrients are lost.

This means those who want the best health benefits possible need to eat it raw.

To many people, raw liver can be a lot more enjoyable to eat too. Used in a lot of popular recipes, raw liver can be chopped up and put in a tasty stir-fry, or thrown on top of a salad.

You can also do this with cooked liver, but the meat typically becomes a lot drier and tougher as it cooks.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Raw Liver?

Though most health officials recommend against eating it raw, it might still provide us with a number of pretty impressive benefits.

Below we have listed some of said benefits. It is worth noting that similar benefits can be expected from eating your liver cooked or by taking liver supplements.

Rich Source Of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 can only be found in animal products. Raw liver happens to have a higher concentration of this vitamin than any other food in the world. Unbelievably 100 grams of raw liver will account for 2471% of our recommended RDV.

B12 helps boost our nerve health, red blood cell production, and the maintenance of our cognitive function.

Improves Dental Health

Doctor Weston A. Price discovered that ancient cultures who ate raw liver and other raw meats had much better dental health than those of us on a typical western diet. This is believed to be a result of the raw liver’s rich source of fat-soluble vitamins.

High Levels Of Folate

Folate, otherwise known as Vitamin B9 is crucial when it comes to the growth and formation of healthy cells. On the standard American diet, it can be quite hard to get the amount we need.

That’s where raw liver comes in. Raw beef liver has a high content of usable folate that helps to support the maintenance of much healthier red blood cells. This can also help support the brain, spinal cord, and skull.

Rich Iron Source

Raw liver is a major source of absorbable iron. The type of iron stored within the liver is known as heme iron. This type of iron plays a vital role in our immune function.

It is essential for our cognition and also plays a key part in energy metabolism.

The Negative Effects Of Eating Raw Liver

The Negative Effects Of Eating Raw Liver

As we previously mentioned, most health services recommend against the idea of eating raw liver, or any raw meat for that matter. This is down to the fact it has a higher potential of carrying bacteria that can make us ill.

Here are some of the negative side effects we could experience from eating raw liver:

  • Hypervitaminosis A
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • High Cholesterol

How To Avoid Illness From Eating Raw Liver

If you still decide that you want to eat raw liver, the best way to avoid any negative side effects is to ensure you only buy the very best liver and limit how often you eat it.

Eating large portions of raw liver increases the risk of falling ill. Eating portions no bigger than 3 ounces and just a couple of times a week is more than enough. This gives you a chance to consume the meat while doing it safer.

In terms of the quality of liver you eat, research suggests that raw liver from grass-fed cows is a lot safer to eat. Cows fed on GMO grains and treated with antibiotics have been shown to have damaged livers.

This increases the chances of unwanted bacteria.

You can find high-quality organic raw liver in most places. The chances are you will find it in your local store. Having said that, if you do, make sure it is the freshest it can possibly be.

If possible, we recommend going to a butcher for your liver instead. If you are capable of doing so, purchasing the meat directly from the farmer is even better.


There you have it. You can eat raw liver, however, you have to be very careful. Though raw liver gives us the most nutrient-dense meat on earth, health officials advise against it due to the potential negative health implications.

While we would also advise against eating raw liver if you are to do so, ensure it is of the very best quality and eat no more than 3 ounces a couple of times a week.

If you’ve never tried raw liver before and still don’t want to, don’t be ashamed, we are with you on this one.

Brett White
Latest posts by Brett White (see all)