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5 Reasons Men & Women Should Eat Beef Liver For Fertility

It is 2023 and Fertility is a 50-50 game.

Unfortunately, male and female reproductive health has declined overtime.

Women are suffering more than ever with health concerns like PCOS, endometriosis and menstrual conditions.

Meanwhile, male sperm counts are tanking with some believing that men may be completely infertile come 2045.

There are many causes of infertility in men and women but one main cause that is directly within our control are the nutrients we consume.

For instance, studies suggest that one of the leading causes of infertility are nutrient deficiencies and imbalances (1).

This is where beef liver comes in.

Beef liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods men and women can consume when trying to conceive.

In fact, it is fast becoming popular in the area of prenatal nutrition given its impressive nutrient profile. This is because it contains some of the most essential nutrients for reproductive health including B12, Vitamin A, Folate, Iron and Choline just to name a few.

One study showed that men who consumed organ meats had higher sperm counts, sperm concentration and motility. When compared with non consumers, sperm counts were 53% higher, while sperm concentration and motility were 41% and 8% higher respectively.

In this article, we will discuss 5 reasons why consuming liver can be a game change for male and female fertility.

1. Beef Liver Contains The Essential Building Blocks For Healthy Eggs & Sperm

Beef liver contains high concentration of specific nutrients which are essential for reproductive health in both men and women. 

Vitamin A (100g Beef Liver 338% RDI) 

Beef liver is the richest wholefood source of Preformed Vitamin A (Active Form).

In men, vitamin A plays an essential role in spermatogenesis, which is the development of sperm (1). Without adequate vitamin A, sperm production begins to lag (2).

In women, Vitamin A has been shown to support embryonic development, improve egg quality, as well as improving the volume and quality of cervical fluid (3)(4). Vitamin A plays an essential role in female fertility with a deficiency leading to reproduction failing before implantation (5).

Vitamin B12 (100g Beef Liver 988% RDI)

Beef liver is perhaps the best source of Vitamin B12. 

In men, B12 is essential for male reproductive health. It has been shown to improve semen quality and sperm counts along with enhancing sperm motility and reducing sperm related DNA damage (6)(7).

In women, one study found that higher blood levels of B12 enhances fertility in women who are involved in infertility treatment (8).

Folate (100g Beef Liver 72% RDI)

Beef Liver is another great source of active folate.

Low folate concentrations of folate in men may be detrimental for sperm DNA stability (9).

Folate is incredibly important for fertility and prenatal nutrition in women. It helps improve egg development, increases live birth rates and protects against neural tube defects amongst other benefits for fertility (10)(11)(12)

Zinc (100g Beef Liver 27% RDI)

Beef Liver is one of the better sources of Zinc, which is an essential nutrient for reproductive health and men and women.

In men, zinc is most concentrated in the testicles compared to anywhere else in the body. Low zinc has been connected with poor sperm count, motility, low testosterone and male infertility (13)(14)(15). However, studies show that getting adequate dietary zinc can improve sperm health (16).

For women, zinc also plays a critical role in germ cell growth, oocyte quality, follicle development and overall female fertility (17)

Selenium (100g Beef Liver 57% RDI)

Selenium is another nutrient which is rich in liver and may help support male and female fertility.

In men, selenium is essential for sperm function, spermatogenesis and sperm mobility (18). One study found that supplementation with both Selenium and Vitamin E lead to beneficial improvements in sperm motility (19). 

Selenium is especially paramount for men as it has been heavily linked with male infertility (20).

In women, there is a positive relationship between selenium levels and follicular fluid, oocyte production and follicle number (21).

2. Beef Liver May Help Replenish Nutrients Depleted By The Pill

If you are a woman coming off the pill then consuming nutrient rich foods is essential for getting your fertility and hormones back on track.

One of the little known but major side effects of being on oral contraceptives is that they deplete several important nutrients.

In fact, the World Health Organisation has said that the impact of oral contraceptives on nutrient requirements should receive great attention and is of high clinical importance.

Studies show that the pill depletes (22)(23)

  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B9 (Riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B12 
  • CoQ10 
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium 
  • Zinc

With the exception of magnesium, Beef Liver contains all of these nutrients and could be a good way to start restoring depleted nutrients after coming off the pill.

3. Beef Liver May Support Male Testosterone

For decades male testosterone has been declining alongside sperm counts.

Low testosterone can directly impact fertility by causing decreased sperm production but can also indirectly impact fertility by reducing the desire for sex.

One of the major causes of Low testosterone in men is inadequate nutrition. Studies show that men follow a western diet have lower testosterone levels than men eating a well balanced diet 

Beef liver contains many of the building blocks needed for testosterone production.

Vitamin A (100g Beef Liver 338% RDI) 

Vitamin A has been shown to increase the amount of Leydig cells in the testicles (24). Leydig cells are responsible for testosterone production (25). Vitamin A deficiency has been shown to adversely impact testosterone secretion (26).

In another study, it was shown that Vitamin A & Iron supplementation together were just as effective as testosterone replacement therapy in certain age demographics (27). Beef liver is also a great source of both.

Vitamin B2 (100g Beef Liver 162% RDI)

Beef liver is one of the best sources of Riboflavin or vitamin B2.

Studies show that Vitamin B2 is a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor (28). This means that it may prevent certain enzymes from converting testosterone into DHT, which might help maintain testosterone levels.

Vitamin B6 (100g Beef Liver 54% RDI)

Beef liver is one of the best sources of Vitamin B6.

Studies show that B6 helps increase testosterone by suppressing estrogen (29). Likewise, a vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to an increase in the production of estrogen which may impact male testosterone levels.

Vitamin B12 (100g Beef Liver 988% RDI)

While studies have not directly looked at B12 and testosterone we do know that B12 is essential for male testicular and reproductive health. For example, one study has connected B12 and low testosterone with chronic testicular pain (30).

Zinc (100g Beef Liver 27% RDI)

Beef Liver is a great source of Zinc.

A zinc deficiency has been linked with low testosterone and hypogonadism (means the gonads are basically not functioning as desired).

One study showed that men who supplemented with zinc for 6 months demonstrated increases in serum testosterone (31).

It is thought that low zinc leads to issues relating to luteinizing hormone levels

And 5a-reductase inhibitor levels which are all involved in testosterone balance.

Vitamin D3 (100g Beef Liver 4% RDI)

Beef Liver is one of the only food sources of vitamin D3.

In one large meta analysis there was a positive association between vitamin D levels and testosterone.(32)

Another study found that overweight men who took vitamin D for one year increased their testosterone levels compared to men who didn't (33).

Vitamin K2 MK4 (100g Beef Liver TBD RDI)

Beef Liver is one of the only food sources of Vitamin K2 MK4 which is a rare but extremely important form of vitamin K2. It is only found in certain foods like liver.

In animal models, MK-4 has been shown to stimulate testosterone production and may be involved in steroidogenesis in the testis (34). It is believed that supplementation help reverse diminishing testosterone production in older men.

4. Beef Liver May Assist in Detoxifying BPA

BPA is a chemical found in plastics and throughout the environment. 

It has been heavily linked to infertility in men and women (35) (36).

Studies show that Vitamin A, which is most concentrated in beef liver, plays an important role in the detoxification of BPA (37). It helps disturb the oxidative damage caused by BPA (38).

In animal studies, it was shown that Vitamin A supplementation restored the ability of certain enzymes which help detoxify BPA (39). Another study also showed that sperm motility increases after treatment with vitamin A, following BPA exposure (40).

Beef liver also contains something called Cytochrome P450 (41). Cytochromes have been shown to have Vitamin A like responses, thereby helping with the detoxification of BPA (42) (43)(44).

5. Beef Liver May Support Fertility in Women with PCOS

Beef Liver also contains many of the important nutrients needed to support women with PCOS, which can be a barrier to conceiving.

Vitamin B12 & Folate (100g Beef Liver 988% & 72% RDI)

B12 and Folate are two B vitamins which play an important role in PCOS. They both help to lower inflammation and homocysteine levels, which are often elevated in women with PCOS (45).

Elevated homocysteine is associated with a poor fertility relating to poor oocyte quality and growth, potential pregnancy loss and low birth weights (46)

Adequate intake of B12 and Folate are important in reducing homocysteine levels.

Zinc (100g Beef Liver 27% RDI)

In women with PCOS, supplementing with zinc has been shown to help with insulin resistance (47).

Supplementation with zinc might also help with other PCOS related concerns like acne, hair growth and hair loss (48).

CoQ10 (100g Beef Liver TBD RDI)

Outside of beef heart, beef liver is one of the only food based sources of CoQ10.

CoQ10 has benefits for both women with PCOS and women undergoing IVF.

For women with PCOS, CoQ10 has been shown to have a good effect on insulin and testosterone levels, which are two hormones heavily implicated in PCOS (49).

Supplementation with Coq10 prior to IVF, has also been shown to improve ovarian health for women (50).

In Summary

Beef liver is an excellent wholefood option to boost fertility in both men and women.

Afterall, conception is a team effort.

When looking to buy beef liver, the source is everything. Aim to find grass fed, grass finished and organic beef liver.

If eating liver is not something you want to do, then opt for the next best thing which is a beef liver supplement.

Freeze dried liver supplements maintain the nutrients of raw liver while reducing the overall taste to a more neutral flavour.

If you are interested, we have an organic, grassfed and grass finished which is sourced from central Queensland, Australia.

You can check it out here if you're interested


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  49. Izadi, A., Ebrahimi, S., Shirazi, S., Taghizadeh, S., Parizad, M., Farzadi, L., & Gargari, B. P. (2019). Hormonal and Metabolic Effects of Coenzyme Q10 and/or Vitamin E in Patients With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 104(2), 319–327.
  50. Florou, P., Anagnostis, P., Theocharis, P., Chourdakis, M., & Goulis, D. G. (2020). Does coenzyme Q10 supplementation improve fertility outcomes in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology procedures? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials. Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics, 37(10), 2377–2387.
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