Carnivore Supplements question mark

7 useful supplements to support a carnivore diet

1) Vitamin C
2) Freeze-dried beef liver
3) Ox bile
4) Betaine HCL + Digestive Enzymes (Protease + Lipase)
5) Beef Bone Soup (Bone Broth)
6) Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
7) Magnesium Glycinate

The carnivore diet has received a lot of attention in recent years. More and more people are eating only animal-based foods to lose excess pounds or fight autoimmune diseases. The fact that the Carnivore Diet can help people with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, skin diseases or depression can hardly be denied.

The representatives of the carnivore diet are less unanimous when it comes to the correct design of such a diet. While for Shaun Baker, orthopedic surgeon, world record holder in rowing and carnivore advocate from the very beginning, a carnivore diet consists only of meat, eggs and salt, other representatives are significantly less dogmatic. Paul Saladino, a doctor and, along with Shaun Baker, the best-known representative of the carnivore movement, has easy-to-digest fruits and honey on the menu (=animal-based diet) in addition to meat, fish and offal.

We at Carnivoro are a bit more pragmatic and think that both extremes have their right to exist. The Classic Carnivore Diet is a radical elimination diet recommended for people suffering from autoimmune diseases or obesity. The much less restrictive "animal-based diet", for which there is unfortunately no concise German translation, allows easily digestible types of fruit, dairy products and honey on the menu.

If you have just become aware of the carnivore diet, you will most likely be familiar with the classic variant of this diet, which prohibits the consumption of all plant-based foods. Such a radical change in eating habits often leads to certain adjustment difficulties. Carnivore newcomers often report flu-like symptoms (keto flu) in the first few weeks. Diarrhea, tiredness, difficulty concentrating or nausea are not uncommon.

This is often accompanied by nutrient deficiencies, because vitamins such as vitamins A, C, E, or folic acid (B9) are only present in very low concentrations in cooked or roasted meat. Fried muscle meat also only contains relatively small amounts of important minerals such as magnesium or calcium. This is particularly problematic for people with intestinal diseases, where the absorption of nutrients is often impaired due to illness and excessive amounts of minerals are excreted due to frequent diarrhea.

The Carnivoro team has put together the seven most important supplements for you, which should support you in switching to a carnivore diet and ensure that nutrient deficiencies are prevented in the long term.

1) Vitamin C

One of the main criticisms of the carnivore diet is the lack of useful amounts of ascorbic acid, more popularly known as vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin because it cannot be produced by the body itself and must be ingested in sufficient concentration through food. Ascorbic acid is involved in the production of hormones, optimizes the functioning of the immune system and helps absorb other nutrients.

If fruits and vegetables are on the menu, there is usually no need to worry about a vitamin C deficiency. However, the situation is very different if only animal-based foods are consumed. Although there are small amounts of the vitamin in raw muscle meat, usable concentrations are only found in fresh offal such as liver or spleen.

If you believe the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), the recommended daily dose is 90-110 mg. On the other hand, if you believe the prevailing opinion in the "Carnivore Community", then 20 mg a day should already be sufficient. It is often argued that the vitamin C requirement should be significantly lower in ketogenic, low-carb diets. This is because glucose, whose chemical structure is similar to ascorbic acid, is said to compete with vitamin C for the amino group of a protein. In conclusion, it is speculated that the body needs less vitamin C on low-carb and zero-carb diets.

We believe it's better to be safe than sorry. Anyone who eats a strictly carnivore diet, avoids raw offal and likes to eat their meat medium-well or well-done can certainly not go wrong with a vitamin C supplement.

2) Freeze-dried beef liver

Beef liver is often called a superfood, and with good reason. Because the liver is the undisputed pound-for-pound champion of all common foods and makes kale and blueberries green with envy. Packed with vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron, copper and zinc, the liver should not be missing from any carnivore diet in our opinion. Liver contains high amounts of folic acid, a B vitamin that is often neglected in a classic carnivore diet. Incidentally, 100g of fresh liver contains 27 mg of vitamin C - almost as much as a whole lemon.

But be careful, because the dose makes the poison: the same amount of liver contains 5-20 times the recommended daily dose of vitamin A, which is toxic in high concentrations. Therefore, fresh liver should only be eaten as a meal once a week. When it comes to the taste of the liver, however, opinions differ. Because not everyone can make friends with the typical liver aroma. This is probably why freeze-dried beef liver capsules are our best-selling product.

We at Carnivoro think: Supplementation with freeze-dried beef liver is safer, more sensible and less expensive. Beef liver in capsule form is easy to dose, has a neutral taste and can be taken anywhere. 3g of freeze-dried beef liver corresponds to about 9-10g of fresh liver and should be taken with meals.

3) Ox bile

Those who eat a carnivore diet get at least half their calories from animal fats. Especially at the beginning of a carnivore diet, supplementation with bile acid can be useful. By omitting almost all carbohydrates, significantly more fats have to be metabolized by the stomach and small intestine. The energy previously produced by carbohydrates is now replaced by calories from fat. In a typical carnivore diet, 50-60% of all calories come from fat, in competitive athletes it can be up to 80%.

Unfortunately, the stomach and small intestine are not always happy about the extremely increased fat consumption. Especially in the first few weeks of a carnivore diet, the body often does not produce enough bile acid to metabolize the additional amount of fat consumed. Fatty stools, flatulence or constipation are the result, since only some of the fatty acids are absorbed into the blood. The rest is excreted in the stool and often leads to unpleasant diarrhea, one of the main reasons for stopping the carnivore diet prematurely.

All beginnings are difficult. The switch from sugar to fat metabolism requires patience and initially often has unpleasant side effects. Ox bile powder can help to support the body's own bile production and thus boost fat metabolism. Meat lovers with a high basal metabolic rate (< 2,500 kcal / day) need more fat from their diet and should consider long-term supplementation. Ox bile should be taken just before meals.

4) Betaine HCL + Digestive Enzymes (Protease + Lipase)

With betaine HCL, a second supplement in our list makes it, which is said to support the stomach in the digestion of proteins. Betaine HCL is the hydrochloric acid-bound form of betaine (a derivative of the amino acid glycine) and is thought to increase levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Similar to fats, the body has to produce more stomach acid when consuming increased meat in order to efficiently digest the increased protein intake. Betaine HCL is said to support hydrochloric acid production in the stomach. Nutrient absorption can only be ensured if there is sufficient gastric acid. Flatulence, diarrhea and heartburn can be the result of a lack of stomach acid.

For carnivore beginners, it may be worth taking a combination preparation that contains lipases and/or proteases in addition to betaine HCL. Lipases are enzymes that split free fatty acids from fats and are therefore an essential part of fat digestion. Proteases break down proteins or peptides and catalyze the conversion of inactive protein precursors into active proteins. Supplementation can be particularly useful from the age of 50, since gastric juice production decreases with age.

5) Beef Bone Soup (Bone Broth)

For carnivore purists who eat almost exclusively muscle meat, we also recommend the regular intake of beef bone broth. There are various carnivore influencers on Instagram who seem to eat nothing but steak and salt. Unfortunately, the classic variant of the carnivore diet can lead to various deficiency symptoms after a short time. If neither fish nor cheese is consumed, an undersupply of calcium or magnesium can quickly become noticeable. Brittle fingernails, muscle cramps or skin changes are a first indication of a calcium deficiency. Magnesium is found in raw muscle meat, but not in sufficient concentrations.

A good compromise is the regular intake of high-quality, gently prepared beef bone broth. Bone broth is characterized above all by its high mineral content. Gentle, slow cooking releases valuable minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium and trace elements (iron and copper). The amount of minerals that ultimately make it into the broth depends on the cooking time and the quality of the bones used. If a homemade beef bone broth is cooked for less than 8 hours, often only a small part of the minerals can separate from the bone.

The supply of additional minerals is particularly important for endurance athletes among meat eaters, since electrolytes are excreted through sweat. It is almost impossible to cover the increased need for minerals with just steak, eggs or salt. Incidentally, beef bone broth is also an excellent source of collagen and often makes taking a collagen supplement unnecessary. The same applies here: ORGANIC is better. Ideally, the bones used come from grass-fed pasture cows.

Carnivoro says: Certain minerals are often neglected in a carnivore diet. Calcium and magnesium are found in meat in insufficient concentrations. Regular intake of beef bone broth can supply minerals and trace elements that are missing, especially for those who do sports or meat eaters with lactose intolerance. Due to the high calcium and collagen content, beef bone broth is also an ideal dietary supplement for women of advanced age.

6) Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

Folic acid is one of the B vitamins and is often referred to as vitamin B9 or, more rarely, as vitamin B11 or vitamin M. The name comes from the Latin word folium, which means leaf. Not surprisingly, particularly high concentrations of the vitamin can be found in green, uncooked, leafy vegetables. Strictly speaking, we should be talking about folate here, since folic acid is the synthetic version of the naturally occurring folate found in supplements.

Bad news for steak lovers: unfortunately, folic acid is only found in extremely low concentrations in beef muscle meat. Although there are useful amounts of the vitamin in the liver and egg yolk, you would have to consume around 70 g of liver or 150 g of egg yolk (equivalent to about 8 eggs) per day to get 50% of the recommended daily dose.

Folic acid plays an important role in the division, formation and regeneration of cells and is involved in the formation of white and red blood cells. A persistent folic acid deficiency can lead to anemia and is often manifested by tiredness, dizziness or shortness of breath.

At Carnivoro, we believe that, in addition to vitamin C, folic acid is often not consumed in sufficient quantities, even in high-quality carnivore diets. While both vitamins are found in useful concentrations in raw liver, spleen, or egg yolk, they carry the risk of vitamin A toxicity from daily consumption of offal.

7) Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium is one of the essential minerals and is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and is responsible for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. Nuts, legumes, fresh fruit and grain products are particularly rich in magnesium. But some edible fish such as sole or turbot also contain high concentrations of the important mineral.

In order to get to the daily amount of 350-400 mg for men (300-350 mg for women) recommended by the DGE, carnivore purists would have to eat 1 ½ kg of beef. However, for people with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), people with a strong tendency to sweat or competitive athletes, the recommended daily amount should be well above the DGE mark.

The most common supplements on the market are magnesium citrate, oxide and carbonate, in which magnesium is bound to salts or oxygen. Less commonly found is magnesium bisglycinate, in which magnesium forms a bond with two molecules of the amino acid glycine. Due to the combination with glycine, the sensitive mucous membranes in the digestive tract are better protected against irritation. With magnesium citrate, stomach pressure or diarrhea can occur more frequently, since the compound can have a laxative effect even in small amounts.

Magnesium glycinate, on the other hand, is considered to be particularly well tolerated and could be particularly helpful for IBD patients or people with a tendency to loose stools. By binding to glycine, magnesium glycinate cannot be bound by mineral robbers such as phytic acid. Be careful with the dosage: Magnesium glycinate contains only about 14% pure magnesium. If you want to absorb 100 mg of pure magnesium, you need 7 times the amount of magnesium glycinate.

Carnivoro Team advises: For pregnant women, IBD patients and competitive athletes who want to eat carnivore, it is often useful to take a magnesium supplement as well. People who suffer from thin, often unformed bowel movements are better off using the particularly easily tolerated magnesium glycinate. Ideally, it should be taken with meals or 30 minutes before bedtime.


Concomitant intake of food supplements is particularly useful when digestive processes are supported or one or more nutrient deficiencies are suspected. Carnivore veterans who regularly eat fresh organs and/or supplement with easily digestible fruit need to worry less about supplementation. For carnivore newcomers, athletes or meat eaters with IBD, a supplement to the carnivore diet can make sense.


Even if we at Carnivoro are convinced of the above-mentioned supplements and have taken them for several years, this article is for information only. The text does not claim to be complete, nor can the topicality, correctness and balance of the information provided be guaranteed. The text in no way replaces the professional advice of a doctor or pharmacist and it must not be used as a basis for independent diagnosis and starting, changing or stopping treatment of diseases. If you have health questions or complaints, always consult your trusted doctor!

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