Desiccated liver tablets are normally made from cow liver and are rich in protein, iron and other nutrients. They are commonly marketed toward body builders because they are believed to help increase performance and energy. Desiccated liver has been used by body builders since at least the 1950s, when they were part of Vince Gironda's daily routine. Before taking this or any other dietary supplement, speak to your physician.
Desiccated liver supplements are made using liver from beef, a form that is readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Some tablets available are defatted, while others are not. One popular form of tablets, offered by Solgar, lists the ingredients as desiccated and defatted Argentinian beef liver powder. Vegetable cellulose and stearic acid, microcrystalline cellulose and silica are added to form the pills and keep the product fresh.
Desiccated liver, also called liver extract, is rich in iron and B vitamins. According to an article published in the Dec. 15, 2003, issue of the Los Angeles Times, desiccated liver supplements are also high in protein, vitamin A and sodium. This supplement is commonly taken to increase energy and stamina for bodybuilders during workouts and occasionally to treat arthritis, ease stress and anxiety. Vince Gironda, more famously known as Iron Guru, was a bodybuilder in the 1950s who took desiccated liver supplements daily to increase oxygen capacity and build blood.
Pregnant women or children under 6 should not take dessicated liver tablets because they are high in iron and can result in iron overdose, which is fatal to children. Since these tablets are sold as a dietary supplement, they are not strictly regulated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness before being marketed. Before taking any supplement, speak to your physician.