Liver Extract

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Aqueous Liver Extract, Concentré de Foie, Concentré de Foie Néonatal, Desiccated Liver, Desiccated Pork Liver, Extracto de Hígado, Extrait Aqueux de Foie, Extrait de Foie, Extrait de Foie Hydrolysé, Extrait Liquide de Foie, Facteurs Hépatiques, Foie Cru, Foie Desséché, Foie de Porc Desséché, Fractions de Foie, Fractions Hépatiques, Fractions Liquides de Foie, Hydrolysat de Foie, Hydrolyzed Liver Extract, Liquid Liver Extract, Liquid Liver Fractions, Liver, Liver Concentrate, Liver Factors, Liver Fraction II, Liver Fractions, Liver Hydrolysate, Liver Substance, Neonatal Liver Concentrate, Raw Liver, Substance de Foie, Substance Hépatique.


Liver extract is a product that comes from animal liver, most commonly from cattle. Liver extract is used to make medicine.

Liver extract is used for improving liver function, treating chronic liver diseases, preventing liver damage, and regenerating liver tissue. It is also used for allergies; chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); enhancing muscle development in bodybuilders; improving stamina, strength, and physical endurance; removing chemicals from the body (detoxification); and as an aid to recovery from chemical addiction or poisoning.

How does it work?

Liver extract contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron. In animals, it seems to increase the number of liver cells. It is not known how liver extract might work for medicinal uses in people.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Some research suggests that injecting a combination of bovine liver extract, folic acid, and vitamin B12 for 3 weeks does not seem to improve fatigue in people with CFS.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Hepatitis C. Early research suggests that injecting liver extract plus flavin adenine dinucleotide intravenously (by IV) or as a shot into the muscle might improve response to interferon-alpha or interferon-beta therapy in people with hepatitis C.
  • Improving liver function.
  • Preventing liver damage.
  • Treating liver diseases.
  • Treating allergies.
  • Improving muscle development.
  • Improving strength and physical endurance.
  • Removing chemicals from the body (detoxification).
  • Recovery from chemical addiction.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of liver extract for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There isn't enough information to know if liver extract is safe. Since some preparations of liver extract come from animals, there is concern about possible contamination from diseased animals. However, so far there are no reports of diseases in humans that were caused by ingestion of contaminated liver.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking liver extract if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Too much iron in the body, including a condition called hemochromatosis: Liver extract contains iron and might make iron metabolism disorders worse. If you have one of these disorders, don't use liver extract.


The appropriate dose of liver extract depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for liver extract. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Ito, H., Miyazaki, M., Nishimura, F., and Nakajima, N. Haptotactic migration of pancreatic cancer cells induced by bioactive components in bovine liver extract. J.Surg.Oncol. 1998;68(3):153-158. View abstract.

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Nilsson, G. Thymidine and uridine metabolism at cell growth inhibition of HeLa cells by human liver extract. Exp.Cell Res. 1970;59(2):207-216. View abstract.

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Pallotti, S., Paolucci, D., Santoro, S., and Rotolo, A. [Metabolism of somatotropin in severe liver diseases. Influence of the therapeutic administration of a liver extract]. Minerva Med. 11-14-1978;69(55):3779-3783. View abstract.

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Taira, N., Yoshifuji, H., and Boray, J. C. Zoonotic potential of infection with Fasciola spp. by consumption of freshly prepared raw liver containing immature flukes. Int.J.Parasitol. 1997;27(7):775-779. View abstract.

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