Evidence-Based, Simplified Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies


Microblog: Best Sources of Folate. Why Do We Think Folate Is Best From Beef Liver?

Microblog: Best Sources of Folate. Why Do We Think Folate Is Best From Beef Liver?

Why do we think folate is best from beef liver?


Great marketing, perhaps.


🚺 In pregnancy all nutritional demands increase, including folate.


📝 According to the CDC, only folic acid (not folate) was proven to prevent NTD birth defects and it recommends that all women of reproductive age to consume 400mcg of Folic Acid daily, in addition to consuming foods with folate.


🐓Folate animal-based foods include:
Liver, Eggs, Seafood, Fish, Meat and Dairy


👑If you need folate, chicken liver is king.


Yes, chicken liver and not beef liver.


⚠️ Beef Liver has SOME folate but not nearly the amount people expect. You need to consume 5 ounces of beef liver to get your daily folate levels.


5 ounces.


5 ounces of beef liver has:
⚠️Too much vitamin A (retinol) (789% of your daily value)
⚠️Too much copper (1,556% of your daily value)
⚠️There’s a world of pro-copper advocates, but I’d say even for them, 1,556% of your DV is excessive.


🚨Excess copper and excess vitamin A can be toxic for pregnancies.


🚨Copper: PMID 21773030 and https://jcp.bmj.com/content/jclinpath/2/3/193.full.pdf


🚨Vitamin A: PMID 665178 and 30944279 and https://www.nutritionwithjudy.com/liver-and-risks-of-vitamin-a-toxicity


☠️Some nutrients have Tolerable Upper Limits (ULs) set by the Institute of Medicine.


Sometimes too much of a good thing becomes bad.


⚠️Vitamin A has a set tolerable upper limit risk at 3000 mcg.


‼️Anything above 2 ounces of beef liver has a risk of tolerable upper limit risk.


The trade-off for folate is not worth the risk of excess vitamin A and copper levels.


Chicken Liver should still be consumed in moderation but contains:
🐓less vitamin A
🐓far less copper
🐓better zinc to copper ratio than beef liver
🐓better balance of fat-soluble vitamins
🐓has a considerable amount of vitamin C


Oh! But the PUFAs🙃 becomes a pretty silly argument. (Organ meats barely have any fats which makes PUFAs a non-issue anyway)






Nutrition with Judy


  • Amir
    June 22, 2023 at 5:39 am

    Excellent and very helpful information. Thank you!!

  • Ryan parker
    January 11, 2024 at 8:12 am

    Hello Judy, I have been lightheaded and dizzy (just off), with brain fog, and did a ton of lab work over the last 7 -8 months, and the only thing I was deficient in was Folate despite eating 2 to 3 eggs a day, which is not much Folate. Do not know if I have THMFR or not, but they tried to put me on folic acid which did not work, and online search pointed me towards methylfolate which is more absorbable. Would rather stay natural but did not know how how much Chicken liver to have per day or per week to increase Folate without causing Vit A toxicity???

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