What Supplements (If Any) Should You Take On The Carnivore Diet?

This is a question that comes up all the time on our Carnivore Challenge. It's time to clear the air and give you all the information you need to decide whether supplements are right for you.

On a carnivore diet you get all the nutrients you need, in the perfect proportions, simply by eating lots of fatty meat, salting your meat to taste and drinking water.

Long term carnivores, and those with no nutrient deficiencies, don't need to take any supplements at all. None. Zilch!

Plants block nutrient absorption. This means that you actually need to consume less of some vitamins and nutrients when you're on a carnivore diet than you would on a SAD diet. For example, fatty meat contains a small amount of Vit C (organ meats and seafood contain more) and this is all you need because nothing is blocking the nutrient absorption. When you reduce carbs/sugar your body absorbs more vitamin C, as vitamin C and carbohydrates compete for the same metabolic pathways. That's why orange juice is such a poor source of vitamin C!

But, you need to keep a few things in mind:

#1 Most people come to the carnivore diet with nutrient deficiencies from eating a SAD diet and this is a big problem. If you're concerned, we recommend getting a blood panel test done and then you can take supplements (and/or beef liver) to help you get back to a healthy level, this can take up to 6 months. For example, Dr. Chaffee often recommends a B12 shot. But maintaining these nutrient levels is entirely possible on a carnivore diet with NO supplements.

#2 The 'healthy range' that most doctors use today isn't a true reflection of where you want your nutrient levels to be. These are simply averages of people in your area and those people probably have nutrient deficiencies too! So you often need far higher nutrient levels than what is being recommended.

#3 Our soil has been depleted of nutrients so most food is not as nutritious as it used to be. This is another reason to buy pasture-raised and grass-finished meat & eggs from regenerative farmers (or wild game if you can get it) as they will contain far more micro-nutrients. It also might mean you need to add a little liver to your daily intake of fatty meat.

Supplements aren't all they're cracked up to be...

Some supplements can have side effects that cause issues when you switch to a carnivore diet and it becomes confusing because you don't know if carnivore is causing the problems or if it's the supplements. For example, magnesium can cause loose stools and people blame it on carnivore but things firm up when they stop taking it. And electrolytes can make cramps worse but we're told they fix cramps so people are really hesitant to stop taking them.

The best supplement you can take is a small amount of beef liver as it's incredibly nutrient rich and will help boost your levels naturally. This is optional. I was given a jar of desiccated liver capsules and have been taking them every day this month, I do feel a bit more energetic but it also might be placebo. I normally don't take any supplements.

When taking liver bear in mind that an entire cow has one liver and one heart but 2-300kgs of meat so use that ratio as a guide. Too much liver can be a bad thing because it is so nutrient rich you can get hypervitaminosis. 50g per day is a good amount to aim for.

Supplements are expensive! Save your money and spend it on grass finished beef, pasture-raised eggs and high quality water!

If you want to stop wasting money on supplements and start getting everything you need from food then you should join the Carnivore Challenge. Next intake starts on the 1st of the month, register here.

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