Liver Extract (generic name)

treats Hepatic disorders, Surgical uses, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Chronic hepatitis, and Pernicious anemia
Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Alkaline phosphatase isoenzymes, aqueous liver, bovine liver extract, crude liver extract, cyanocobalamin, hydrolyzed liver extract, hydroxocobalamin, iron, LEx, liquid liver extract, liver, liver concentrate, liver extract lysate, liver factors, liver fractions, liver glandular products, liver hydrolysate, liver substance, purified liver extract, raw liver, Solcohepsyl®, Solcohepsyl® extralysate, subcellular liver fractions, vitamin B12.

Note: Although liver extract contains many constituents, such as vitamin B12, this monograph focuses on liver extract research.

Background

Liver extract and desiccated (dried) liver have been marketed as iron supplements for over a century. The extract is processed cow or pig liver that may either be a freeze-dried brownish powder or a concentrated liquid that has had most of the fat and cholesterol removed.

Preliminary clinical studies indicate that liver extract may be helpful in treating hepatic (liver) dysfunction. In addition, liver extract seems to work synergistically with interferon in treating hepatitis C and other viral infections. More research is needed in these areas.

Laboratory studies indicate that liver extract may have some effects that could be useful in treating certain forms of cancer, such as the ability to direct migration of metastasizing cells and the inhibition of DNA, RNA, and protein formation. More research is needed in these areas to quantify liver extract's properties.

Some concern has been raised about the safety of liver extract, as it is made of animal liver, which may be infected with parasites, bacteria, or prion diseases. Although there are currently no available reports of diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE, or "mad cow disease") being transmitted by liver extract, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still cautions against the use of any animal organ extract. It is not clear how the processing of liver extract affects the transmission of these organisms.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Pernicious anemia: Ingestion of liver increases red blood cell counts, and liver extract (by mouth or by injection) has the same effect. Both liver and liver extract have high vitamin B12 content. Today, pernicious anemia is typically treated with vitamin B12 injections.
Grade: A

Chronic fatigue syndrome: An injectable solution of bovine liver extract containing folic acid and cyanocobalamin has been an advocated treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Preliminary study indicates that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome positively reacted to intramuscular bovine liver extract. Additional study is needed to make a firm recommendation.
Grade: C

Chronic hepatitis (hepatitis C): Hepatitis impairs liver function; liver extract has shown liver stimulatory and protective effects. The combination of liver extract and interferon may increase patients' response to interferon therapy alone. However, additional study is needed.
Grade: C

Hepatic disorders: Liver extract seems to stimulate liver function. In two studies, liver extract increased the liver function of patients with impaired liver function. More research is needed to compare liver extract to other hepatostimulatory treatments.
Grade: C

Surgical uses (urological operation adjunct): Liver extract may help maintain liver function during urological surgery. More research is needed to define the importance of this normalization of liver function.
Grade: C

Page: 1 2 3 4 Next >
Licensed from
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools

What is a reference number?

When you register on this site, you are assigned a reference number. This number contains your profile information and helps UnitedHealthcare identify you when you come back to the site.

If you searched for a plan on this site in a previous session, you might already have a reference number. This number will contain any information you saved about plans and prescription drugs. To use that reference number, click on the "Change or view saved information" link below.

You can retrieve information from previous visits to this site, such as saved drug lists and Plan Selector information.