can i eat beef liver while pregnant

Even though liver contains a high dose of vitamin A, eating a half a serving (or 1.5 ounces) once or twice a month is probably safe for you or your baby. However, since the body stores excess vitamin A, eating even small portions more often can be toxic for your baby.

It is a great source of nutrition, but its high vitamin A content may adversely affect babies.

When you’re pregnant, what you eat may directly influence fetal growth and development. Therefore, your doctor may suggest you eat some nutrition-rich foods more while completely avoiding other foods. However, some foods are tricky; for example, eating liver during pregnancy may have both beneficial and negative impacts on the fetal development.

Although the liver is a good source of many essential nutrients, consuming too much may have negative consequences.

This post will guide you on the forms in which the liver is consumed and the benefits as well as negative impacts of consuming the liver during pregnancy.Related:

Forms Of Liver

The liver is eaten in many forms in different parts of the world:

  • Liver Pâté
  • Chopped liver
  • Liver sausage

Whatever be the form of the liver that you are consuming, the impact is almost the same. Some difference lies in the source from where the liver is coming.

Negatives Of Eating Liver During Pregnancy

The liver contains the most concentrated form of Vitamin A (1). The exact amount found in various sources will differ. For example, beef liver will have a higher degree of Vitamin A than chicken liver. But even in small quantities, it can cause harm because vitamin A in the liver is in the form of retinol. Excessive intake of vitamin A in this form can lead to congenital disabilitiesiXPhysical abnormalities existing right from birth (2).

  • The Vitamin A in the liver is in the form of retinol.
  • Excessive intake of vitamin in this preformed version can lead to birth defects.
  • The defects can be in the form of mutationsiXThe alteration of the structure or sequence of genes which may result in a changed phenotype and can even lead to development of cancerous cells. According to reports released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in every 33, which translates to about 120,000 babies, are born with birth defects in the US every year.
  • So retinol is considered harmful for pregnant women and should be avoided in any form.

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG), women in developed countries rarely have vitamin A deficiency, so eating high amounts of liver and liver products can cause increased vitamin A levels resulting in issues with the fetal nervous system development (3). Moreover, the liver is also high in cholesterol, which is unhealthy for pregnant and non-pregnant people.

Other Sources Of Vitamin A

Now that you know about the ill effects of eating liver, you need to find some alternative sources of Vitamin A that are good for your baby’s development. Some of them can be (5):

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Turnip Greens
  • Beet Greens
  • Red peppers
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Apricots
  • Cheese
  • Egg
  • Oily fish

These sources are great for building good vision and immunity and act as effective antioxidants. The best part is that Vitamin A in these vegetables is in the form of beta carotene, which is good for your body and can be easily introduced to your maternal diet.

Even though liver contains a high dose of vitamin A, eating a half a serving (or 1.5 ounces) once or twice a month is probably safe for you or your baby. However, since the body stores excess vitamin A, eating even small portions more often can be toxic for your baby.

FAQ

Can you take beef liver supplement while pregnant?

Conclusion: It is concluded that the daily consumption of the bovine liver is not recommended for pregnant women, regardless of the genetic origin of the animal. The study alert health professionals of the danger of recommending the ingestion of bovine liver during pregnancy.

Is it safe to eat cooked beef liver?

Beef liver is a nutrient dense food that is also high in protein and low in calories. As a result, it may provide a number of potential health benefits, such as supporting the immune and nervous systems. However, because it is so rich in certain vitamins, people may experience toxicity if they eat too much of it.

What is good for liver in pregnancy?

You can help your liver function better during the stress of pregnancy and cholestasis by following some simple dietary recommendations: Eat plenty of protein. Your liver is responsible for making many blood proteins. You can help by making sure you get key amino acids found in foods high in protein.

What meat can you not eat when pregnant?

They can be really harmful to you and your baby. Raw or undercooked meat, including beef, poultry and pork. This includes hotdogs and deli meat (like ham or bologna). If you eat hotdogs or deli meat, cook them until they are steaming hot or just avoid completely.

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