Tribe Hunting

Low Testosterone? Why Beef Liver Could Unlock Your ‘T’

Male Testosterone levels are tanking. It is now estimated that 20% of young adult males are now testosterone deficient (1).

Symptoms of low T can include reduced sex drive, low motivation, erectile dysfunction and infertility to name a few.

While there are a number of potential causes of low T in men, one of the major contributors is not getting enough nutrients. Studies show that men eating a western diet have much lower sperm and T levels than men eating a nutrient dense diet (2).

The good news is that correcting this issue can be as simple as incorporating nutrient dense foods back into the diet.

One such food which has shot into popularity amongst men for this reason is beef liver. 

Considered nature's multivitamin, men who report eating beef liver report increases in energy, drive and motivation.

This might come down to the fact that two nutrients found in beef liver have been shown to be just as effective as testosterone replacement therapy for certain age groups (3).

One reddit user even reported that giving her partner beef liver made him want to run through a wall.

In this article we will discuss 2 reasons beef liver may be a quick fire way to naturally support Testosterone levels in men.

1. Beef Liver Is Richest source of Testosterone Supporting Nutrients

Many men gravitate to beef liver because it is considered nature's multivitamin. It contains some of the most important nutrients that have been shown to support male testosterone.

Vitamin A (100g Beef Liver 338% RDI) 

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

In animal studies, Vitamin A has been shown to increase the amount of Leydig cells in the testicles (4). Leydig cells are responsible for testosterone production (5). Vitamin A deficiency has been shown to adversely impact testosterone secretion (6).

In another study, it was shown that Vitamin A & Iron supplementation together were just as effective as testosterone replacement therapy in certain age demographics (7). Beef liver is also a great source of both.

Unfortunately, Vitamin A is becoming one of the more common vitamin deficiencies with the trend towards plant based eating.

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 (8). This means that it may prevent certain enzymes from converting testosterone into DHT, which might help maintain balance 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 (9). 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)

Beef liver is perhaps the most potent source of B12 on the planet.

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 (10).

Zinc (100g Beef Liver 27% RDI)

Beef Liver is one of the best sources of Zinc.

A zinc deficiency has been linked with low testosterone and even 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 (11).

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.(12)

Another study found that overweight men who took vitamin D for one year increased their testosterone levels compared to men who didn't (13).

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 (14). It is believed that supplementation could reverse down regulation of testosterone production as men get older.

2. Beef Liver May Support BPA Detoxification

Beef liver may support testosterone in men by assisting in detoxifying xenobiotics.

Xenobiotics are man made environmental compounds or chemicals like BPA that disrupt and dysregulate hormone production.

BPA is found in plastics with studies showing that it can be found in up to 98% of human urine samples (15). BPA has been shown to tank testosterone biosynthesis and secretion while increasing estrogen in men (16). It basically makes men more feminine. 

Studies show that Vitamin A, which is most concentrated in beef liver, is essential for BPA detoxification (17) and helps disturb the oxidative damage caused by BPA (18). 

In animal studies, it was shown that Vitamin A supplementation restored the ability of certain enzymes which help detoxify BPA (19). Likewise, another study showed that sperm motility increases after treatment with vitamin A following BPA exposure (20).

Outside of Vitamin A, Beef liver also contains something called cytochrome P450 (21). Cytochromes have been shown to have Vitamin A like responses, thereby helping with the detoxification of BPA (22) (23) (24).

Therefore, beef liver may indirectly help with supporting testosterone by supporting detoxification of environmental pollutants like BPA.

In Summary

Men who take beef liver just feel better and this makes sense. Beef Liver contains important nutrients to both support testosterone directly and also protect hormone levels indirectly through detoxification.

When looking for a good source of beef liver, make sure it comes from a grass fed, grass finished and organic source.

If you do not wish to consume liver then we have a freeze dried beef liver powder which is organic, grass fed and grass finished.

It is sourced from Central Queensland and has a more neutral flavour so you can add it into smoothies, pre workouts, sauces and other protein rich meals.

You can check it out here if you're interested


  1. Lokeshwar, S. D., Patel, P., Fantus, R. J., Halpern, J., Chang, C., Kargi, A. Y., & Ramasamy, R. (2021). Decline in Serum Testosterone Levels Among Adolescent and Young Adult Men in the USA. European urology focus, 7(4), 886–889.
  2. Nassan FL, Jensen TK, Priskorn L, Halldorsson TI, Chavarro JE, Jørgensen N. Association of Dietary Patterns With Testicular Function in Young Danish Men. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(2):e1921610. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.21610
  3. Zadik, Z., Sinai, T., Zung, A., & Reifen, R. (2004). Vitamin A and iron supplementation is as efficient as hormonal therapy in constitutionally delayed children. Clinical endocrinology, 60(6), 682–687.
  4. Yang, Y., Luo, J., Yu, D., Zhang, T., Lin, Q., Li, Q., Wu, X., Su, Z., Zhang, Q., Xiang, Q., & Huang, Y. (2018). Vitamin A Promotes Leydig Cell Differentiation via Alcohol Dehydrogenase 1. Frontiers in endocrinology, 9, 644.
  5. Chen, H., Ge, R. S., & Zirkin, B. R. (2009). Leydig cells: From stem cells to aging. Molecular and cellular endocrinology, 306(1-2), 9–16.
  6. Livera, G., Rouiller-Fabre, V., Pairault, C., Levacher, C., & Habert, R. (2002). Regulation and perturbation of testicular functions by vitamin A. Reproduction (Cambridge, England), 124(2), 173–180.
  7. Zadik, Z., Sinai, T., Zung, A., & Reifen, R. (2004). Vitamin A and iron supplementation is as efficient as hormonal therapy in constitutionally delayed children. Clinical endocrinology, 60(6), 682–687.
  8. Nakayama, O., Yagi, M., Kiyoto, S., Okuhara, M., & Kohsaka, M. (1990). Riboflavin, a testosterone 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor. The Journal of antibiotics, 43(12), 1615–1616.
  9. Symes, E. K., Bender, D. A., Bowden, J. F., & Coulson, W. F. (1984). Increased target tissue uptake of, and sensitivity to, testosterone in the vitamin B6 deficient rat. Journal of steroid biochemistry, 20(5), 1089–1093.
  10. Cui, T., & Terlecki, R. (2018). Prevalence of Relative Deficiencies in Testosterone and Vitamin B12 Among Patients Referred for Chronic Orchialgia: Implications for Management. American journal of men's health, 12(3), 608–611.
  11. Prasad, A. S., Mantzoros, C. S., Beck, F. W., Hess, J. W., & Brewer, G. J. (1996). Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 12(5), 344–348.
  12. D’Andrea S, Martorella A, Coccia F, Castellini C, Minaldi E, Totaro M, et al. Relationship of vitamin d status with testosterone levels: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Endocrine (2021) 72(1):49–61. doi: 10.1007/s12020-020-02482-3
  13. Pilz, S., Frisch, S., Koertke, H., Kuhn, J., Dreier, J., Obermayer-Pietsch, B., Wehr, E., & Zittermann, A. (2011). Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Hormone and metabolic research = Hormon- und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones et metabolisme, 43(3), 223–225.
  14. Ito, A., Shirakawa, H., Takumi, N., Minegishi, Y., Ohashi, A., Howlader, Z. H., Ohsaki, Y., Sato, T., Goto, T., & Komai, M. (2011). Menaquinone-4 enhances testosterone production in rats and testis-derived tumor cells. Lipids in health and disease, 10, 158.
  15. Wang, H., Gao, R., Liang, W., Wei, S., Zhou, Y., & Zeng, F. (2022). Assessment of BPA and BPS exposure in the general population in Guangzhou, China - Estimation of daily intakes based on urinary metabolites. Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 315, 120375.
  16. Cariati, F., D’Uonno, N., Borrillo, F. et al. “Bisphenol a: an emerging threat to male fertility”. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 17, 6 (2019).
  17. Shmarakov, I. O., Borschovetska, V. L., & Blaner, W. S. (2017). Hepatic Detoxification of Bisphenol A is Retinoid-Dependent. Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology, 157(1), 141–155.
  18. Aikawa, H., Koyama, S., Matsuda, M., Nakahashi, K., Akazome, Y., & Mori, T. (2004). Relief effect of vitamin A on the decreased motility of sperm and the increased incidence of malformed sperm in mice exposed neonatally to bisphenol A. Cell and tissue research, 315(1), 119–124.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Aikawa, H., Koyama, S., Matsuda, M., Nakahashi, K., Akazome, Y., & Mori, T. (2004). Relief effect of vitamin A on the decreased motility of sperm and the increased incidence of malformed sperm in mice exposed neonatally to bisphenol A. Cell and tissue research, 315(1), 119–124.
  21. Arinç, E., & Celik, H. (2002). Biochemical characteristics of purified beef liver NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase. Journal of biochemical and molecular toxicology, 16(6), 286–297.
  22. Amjad, S., Rahman, M. S., & Pang, M. G. (2020). Role of Antioxidants in Alleviating Bisphenol A Toxicity. Biomolecules, 10(8), 1105.
  23. Nakamura, S., Tezuka, Y., Ushiyama, A., Kawashima, C., Kitagawara, Y., Takahashi, K., Ohta, S., & Mashino, T. (2011). Ipso substitution of bisphenol A catalyzed by microsomal cytochrome P450 and enhancement of estrogenic activity. Toxicology letters, 203(1), 92–95.
  24. Niwa, T., Fujimoto, M., Kishimoto, K., Yabusaki, Y., Ishibashi, F., & Katagiri, M. (2001). Metabolism and interaction of bisphenol A in human hepatic cytochrome P450 and steroidogenic CYP17. Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin, 24(9), 1064–1067.
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