This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

Bad Reaction To Liver?

I had liver yesterday afternoon for the first time in awhile, about five ounces.  Eight hours later I awoke in the middle of the night in a sweat with a pounding heart.  For most of today I have had a very bad headache and my emotions have been nonexistant, as if I were detached from the world.  

I was wondering, what in liver might be causing me trouble.  Might the huge amount of copper be troublesome?  I also had a fair share of cocoa yesterday which is also high in copper.  I also thought about vitamin A, especially for increasing body temperature and all, but the headaches part and detachedness makes me think otherwise.

Has anyone else had weird reactions to beef liver?
asked Aug 11, 2012 by Teddy
According to cronometer, I ate over 22 mg of copper yesterday.  Acute copper toxicity?
I try eating like 2 ounces in a day max. Eating a lot can produce digestive discomfort.
Did you drink coffee soon after you finished that liver? That's believed to reduce iron absorption.

Teddy-22 mg is highly unlikely. That would be well over 4 pounds of liver. 22 mcg is probably what you mean, but that would be about 1/2 a pound of liver. Peat recommends 1/4 lb once every couple weeks. If you consume over 10,000 mcg, or 3 oz liver daily, you are at risk of copper toxicity or kidney/liver damage. This can be mitigated somewhat by consuming adequate zinc, or more than what liver provides. The importance of the copper/zinc ratio is underestimated. On liver days you should be consuming coffee and meat or a zinc supplement. The peat-approved food sources of zinc are limited, which is why I prefer oysters to liver. They both taste bad, but oysters have a perfect copper/zinc ratio, so I have a couple ounces daily.

4 Answers

I think cocoa makes me have palpitations. I don't know about copper. Maybe you should only have a small amount of liver, even smaller than 5 ounces.
answered Aug 11, 2012 by Westside PUFAs
reshown Sep 19, 2014 by Westside PUFAs
The thing is, I have been using cocoa for months and never had this reaction.  Next I have liver it will definitely be a smaller amount, though.

I had two bars of chocolate a day for a couple weeks. Then I started having the bad reaction to it. I don't know if the theobromine can build up in your system and cause reactions.

Do you drink coffee?

Even if this question has been here for several months, my experience fits. I made some braunschweiger with chicken livers and ate some of it three or four days in a row. Then I ate some cole slaw that was leftover in the fridge from the day before and tasted a bit fermented. I woke up feeling not good and even eating some fruit didn't help me go back to sleep. I finally did go back to sleep, but then that day I started feeling worse and worse. I felt very listless but at the same time edgy. It continued until late that night. Thankfully I felt better the next day, although kind of worn out. So, I'm wondering if it was too much liver which, I think is supposed to be particularly anti-thyroid in larger amounts along with the slightly fermented cabbage. Someone suggested over at the Ray Peat forum that I might be very hypothyroid.

Edit: This sounds a lot like the symptoms Teddy was describing- iron overload.
Sounds very much like iron overload. Maybe that's what I had, too. Ray Peat does say that the older you get the more iron your body will have stored.

answered Mar 19, 2013 by Sarah
edited Mar 19, 2013 by Sarah

Excess copper amongst other things can induce the so called "uglies" in your skin, so it definitely has some effect for some people. See The acute symptoms you describe however sound like Vitamin A excess effects. From

Signs of acute toxicity include nausea and vomiting, headache,
dizziness, blurred vision, and loss of muscular coordination.

answered Mar 19, 2013 by nograde
edited Mar 19, 2013 by nograde