Liver is a nutritional powerhouse, a great source of many vitamins and minerals. In particular, it's full of vitamin A. It's something I'd love to include in my diet. I've tried cooking grass-fed beef liver a few times, but unfortunately, at this point in my life, I cannot stomach its taste, texture, or smell.
So, I'm wondering if I get enough vitamin A from the eggs and butter I eat. I usually eat 6 eggs a day; according to Cronometer, that provides me with 1488 IU, or 50% of the RDA. I also usually eat ~6 tbsp of butter a day, which provides 1940 IU, or 65% of the RDA. Both the eggs and butter are pastured, so perhaps I'm getting even more than Cronometer thinks.
100g of beef liver provides 16899 IU (338% RDA).
I often hear that the RDA amounts are too low, and are set merely to avoid deficiencies, not ensure optimal health.
Do you think I'm getting enough vitamin A? What's an optimal amount?
You could always choke down some Cod Liver Oil - I get a ton of Vitamin A and D from that. One shotglass is 2 tablespoons - which is insanely high in Vitamin A.
I still eat liver, when I can get it. On the weeks where I get good liver, I just skip the CLO.
Chicken liver (from pastured, free-range chickens) tastes infinitely better than beef liver, IMO!
Make some chicken liver paté. Here's a recipe (scroll down the page for the chicken one.)
IMO, 10,000 IUs of retinol is the max, I'd aim for . I like to get 5,000-10,000 IUs a day.
Many folk don't convert beta-carotene to retinol (even with fat in the diet), so I wouldn't rely on vegetables for your A.
Also, liver is full of B vitamins, folate & iron.
I eat liver occasionally, but not that much (only during my menstrual period). The issue for me is that genetically I am a poor converter of beta carotene, the vegetable form of A, to retinol, the form our body uses. My strategy is usually to the 50% RDA from animal foods and then another 100% of beta carotene. So it says I'm getting 150%, but in my own body it's probably the equivalent of 100%. For you it might be different. I know some people are saying that limited conversion with increasing dose is a bad thing, but it's good thing in my book since it prevents at A toxicity. I also have seen my skin really improve with more beta carotene.
well, first understand that the RDA is bullshit. it's lowest common denominator recommendations. it's not about being healthy, its just about barely not being sick.
that said, your sources of A so far are pretty good, 6 eggs, provided that the yolks are very runny, and grass fed butter are very good sources, but i would say if you are having skin issues of any kind, feeling fatigued or over-stressed, then you could use more A, D3, K2, and E.
remember that vit a and d exists in a healthy ratio: chris masterjohn thinks anywhere from 10:1 to 4:1 a:d. luckily things like offal (including but not limited to liver), yolks, and butter have d3 and k2 as well as A.
i think you are barely getting enough A, and if you like the quality of your health right now theres no need to cross the liver threshold, but if you want to improve, you might want to look at why and how you have such a negative over-reaction to a kind of food that when prepared well is actually very delicious...
Liver is a nutritional powerhouse, but it sounds like you're otherwise eating a solid diet.
Besides what you mentioned, consider carrots, spinach, kale, collards, sweet potatoes, and squashes.
Keep your food variety changing, and you'll be fine.
DISCLAIMER: I love liver! Make pâté sometime -- it's a great way to enjoy liver.