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10 Most Important Carnivore Diet Supplements

In the Carnivore Diet, animal-based foods can provide almost all the nutrition your body needs. Only if you have symptoms like long-term constipation or you’re among certain groups like athletes, should you visit a doctor, take a test, and use the Carnivore Diet supplements mentioned below if needed.

10 Most Important Carnivore Diet Supplements
Highlights
  • The Carnivore Diet relies on animal-based foods to induce ketosis, which means burning fat instead of carbohydrates for energy production.
  • Some believe that eliminating plant-based foods results in nutrient deficiencies, but you can absorb all essential nutrients through animal-based foods or supplements.
  • Certain groups, like pregnant women, older adults, and professional athletes, may need supplements during the Carnivore Diet.
  • After consulting your healthcare professional, you can have omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, probiotics, and vitamin C, K2, and D3 supplements on the Carnivore Diet.

Why Are Supplements Important in The Carnivore Diet?

The Carnivore Diet centers around animal-based foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy to push the body into the ketosis state.

By eating animal-based foods and reducing carbohydrates, your body will burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates, which helps weight loss and reduces inflammation [1].

However, since the Carnivore Diet eliminates plant-based foods, it’s sometimes criticized for lacking nutrients coming from plants, like vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, and folate.

However, most essential nutrients can be obtained from animal-based foods, such as beef, organ meats, and fatty fish.

Also, despite what many may think, most plant-based nutrients are unnecessary or can be obtained from supplements during this diet if you have a deficiency. Here are some of the positive effects of Carnivore Diet supplements:

  • Supporting Gut Health
  • Boosting Nutrient Absorption
  • Supporting Overall Health

With the prescription of a healthcare professional, supplements will help you have a better experience during the Carnivore Diet with these benefits.

Dr. Paul Saladino:

"While the carnivore diet can offer significant benefits, it's crucial to consider supplementation for certain nutrients that might be lacking, such as vitamin C and fiber."

Supporting Gut Health

The Carnivore Diet is high in protein and fat and can benefit gut health. However, people with existing digestive issues may experience constipation or bloating by consuming only fat and protein from animal-based foods.

Supplements like probiotics can promote a healthy microbiome. Digestive enzymes can help break down proteins and fats and simplify the digestion process [2].

Learn More: Poop on the Carnivore Diet: All You Need to Know

Boosting Nutrient Absorption

Some nutrients, such as vitamin D, can help maintain bone health and support immune function, but since many of us work indoors during the day, we may not absorb enough vitamin D from the sun and face vitamin D deficiencies [3].

Vitamin D supplementation can help individuals with deficiencies supply enough of this vitamin. It’s also fat-soluble, meaning it needs fat to be absorbed by the body, so you have plenty in the Carnivore Diet.

Supporting Overall Health

Supplements can support overall health and well-being by providing minerals like magnesium and potassium.

Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve function, energy production, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Since magnesium supplements are mainly found in plant foods, they can help Carnivore dieters meet their needs [4].

Potassium is also vital for heart function and muscle contractions and is found in fruits and vegetables. Potassium supplements can help maintain electrolyte balance and prevent muscle cramps and irregular heartbeats [5].

However, it’s important to remember that our body can produce most essential minerals in plant-based foods. So, supplements are recommended only if your healthcare professional approves of a deficiency in the following nutrients.

Learn More: The Carnivore Diet: Is It Healthy? Benefits and Side Effects

Dr. Shawn Baker:

"Carnivore diet supplements can help bridge any nutritional gaps and ensure that followers are getting a well-rounded intake of essential vitamins and minerals."

Nutrients You Might Lack on The Carnivore Diet

You should know that individual nutritional needs vary, and not everyone needs the same plant-based vitamins, as certain groups have special dietary needs.

For example, pregnant women need more folate and iron, older adults require more vitamin D and calcium for bone health, and athletes need additional electrolytes and protein for muscle recovery [6] [7] [8].

Here’s a list of nutrients you might be lacking on the Carnivore Diet because of your specific nutritional needs:

  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin E
  • Manganese
  • Fiber

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is crucial in collagen synthesis, supporting skin health and wound healing [9]. The daily requirements of this vitamin are 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men [10].

Vitamin C is in fruits such as oranges, strawberries, and kiwi, as well as vegetables like bell peppers and broccoli.

However, some animal products, such as beef liver and fish roe also contain this mineral. The following list shows how much Vitamin C can be found in 100 grams of these foods [11].

  • Chicken Liver: 27.9 mg
  • Pork Liver: 26.5 mg
  • Clams: 22.1 mg
  • Fish Roe: 16 mg
  • Oysters: 12.8 mg
  • Lamb Liver: 4 mg
  • Salmon: 3.9 mg
  • Beef Liver: 1.3 mg
  • Mackerel: 0.4 mg

Learn More: How to Get Vitamin C on a Carnivore Diet? [Best Meat to Avoid Scurvy]

Tip

A survey conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) in 2021 found that approximately 77% of Americans use dietary supplements, indicating a broad acceptance of supplementation among various dietary practices, including Carnivore Diet followers.

Magnesium

Magnesium is vital for many bodily functions, like muscle and nerve function, energy production, and maintaining a healthy heartbeat. Insufficient magnesium intake can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue, and cardiovascular issues [12].

The daily magnesium intake should be about 410 mg for men and 320 mg for women [13].

Magnesium is plenty in plant-based foods like leafy greens like spinach and kale, nuts like almonds and cashews, and seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Some animal products, such as fish and bone broth, contain magnesium, but individuals with deficiencies may need more.

The following list shows how much magnesium is in 100 grams of these animal-based foods [14].

  • Atlantic Mackerel: 76 mg
  • Chinook Salmon: 95 mg
  • Pacific Oysters: 22 mg
  • Crab: 34 mg
  • Cod: 32 mg
  • Halibut: 23 mg
  • Shrimp: 39 mg
  • Beef: 17 mg
  • Chicken Breast: 28 mg
  • Turkey: 21 mg
NHANES Survey on Magnesium Intake

Data from the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) survey suggests that around 48% of Americans do not meet their daily magnesium requirements.

Potassium

Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, supports nerve transmission, facilitates muscle contractions, and is crucial for overall health and vitality [15].

The daily potassium requirements are 3400 mg for men and 2600 mg for women [16].

Potassium can be found in fruits like bananas, oranges, and avocados, as well as vegetables such as potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and animal products like beef and pork.

The list below shows how much potassium is in 100 grams of the following animal-based foods [17].

  • Beef Liver: 349 mg
  • Pork: 362 mg
  • Chicken Breast: 256 mg
  • Salmon: 490 mg
  • Halibut: 435 mg
  • Tuna: 441 mg
  • Turkey: 273 mg
  • Shrimp: 259 mg
  • Lamb: 260 mg
  • Cod: 372 mg

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is known for its antioxidant properties, which protect cells from oxidative damage and support immune function. A deficiency in vitamin E can harm immune health and increase the risk of chronic diseases [18].

Plant-based sources of vitamin E are nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts, seeds like sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and vegetable oils such as sunflower and wheat germ oil.

Also, some animal-based foods like eggs and the following ones contain vitamin E [19]:

  • Rainbow Trout: 2.3 mg
  • Atlantic Salmon: 3.3 mg
  • Shrimp: 1.6 mg
  • Lobster: 1 mg
  • Goose Meat: 1.7 mg
  • Chicken Liver: 0.7 mg
  • Pork Fat (Lard): 0.6 mg
  • Duck: 0.7 mg
  • Eggs: 1.0 mg

Manganese

This mineral is essential for bone formation, blood clotting, and reducing inflammation [20].

As an adult, you need 2.3 mg of manganese if you’re a man, and for women, the amount is 1.8 mg [21].

Manganese can be found in plant-based foods such as whole grains like brown rice and oats, nuts like pecans and walnuts, and leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.

Also, many animal-based foods contain manganese, which you can see in the following list [22]:

  • Mussels: 6.8 mg
  • Oysters: 0.3 mg
  • Clams: 1 mg
  • Crab: 0.1 mg
  • Shrimp: 0.03 mg
  • Rainbow Trout: 0.01 mg
  • Chicken Liver: 0.35 mg
  • Pork Liver: 0.34 mg
  • Beef: 0.01 mg
  • Eggs: 0.02 mg
Tip

A study from the "European Journal of Nutrition" in 2022 indicated that while the Carnivore Diet can lead to weight loss and improved markers for some chronic diseases, supplementation is often necessary to prevent deficiencies in essential nutrients.

Fiber

Many believe fiber is essential for the body, but it’s proved that fiber is not necessary for healthy digestion, and reducing it helps alleviate constipation [23].

The recommended daily fiber intake is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men [24].

However, some individuals report improved digestion and less bloating without fiber on a Carnivore Diet, which excludes plant foods. It suggests that fiber might cause more digestive issues in some individuals, especially those with digestive problems.

Also, the body may not easily digest fiber, and high consumption can cause the production of aldehyde, alcohol, methane, and gas, which can cause discomfort, bloating, irritation, and abdominal pain. [25] [26].

However, low fiber levels don't necessarily lead to constipation. It can happen for many reasons, such as dehydration or consuming too much protein.

Not many animal-based foods contain fiber, but you can absorb essential fiber from organ meats like liver, kidneys, and bone broth.

After consulting a healthcare professional and taking the necessary tests, you can also take the following Carnivore Diet supplements to prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Learn More: Constipation on a Carnivore Diet: How Long Does It Take? [Cause and Remedy]

10 Best Supplements for The Carnivore Diet

Generally, you don’t need supplements, and only if you have a certain nutrient deficiency can you take the following supplements for the Carnivore Diet after consulting a healthcare professional.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K2
  • Vitamin D3
  • Zinc
  • Organ Meats Extracts
  • Bone Broth Powder
  • Probiotics
  • Electrolytes

These Carnivore Diet supplements can help you in many ways, more than just filling the nutrient gaps.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s are essential for reducing inflammation, supporting cognition, and lowering the risk of getting sick by improving the immune function [27] [28].

Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. But some people may not like the taste of fish, so its supplements can be a good option for these individuals.

Omega-3s can be obtained from fish, algae, or krill oil capsules. If you don't like pills, try flavored liquid omega-3 oils.

Try to have at least two servings of fatty fish per week

The American Heart Association recommends consuming at least two servings of fatty fish per week to obtain omega-3 fatty acids.

Magnesium

Magnesium facilitates many bodily functions, such as muscle and nerve function, blood sugar regulation, and immunity [29].

Look for magnesium glycinate, citrate, or threonate powders or capsules.

Vitamin C

Your body can't make vitamin C on its own, so you need to provide it from your diet or supplements. It helps keep your immune system strong, your hormones balanced, and your skin healthy [30].

You can find vitamin C in powders like ascorbic acid or reduced L-ascorbic acid.

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 activates necessary proteins for blood clotting and depositing calcium in bones [31]. You can use MK4 and/or MK7 capsules.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is called the sunshine vitamin because your body makes it when your skin is exposed to sunlight. But many people need it, especially those who spend little time under the sun [32].

Liquid emulsified drops or oil-based gel caps can be good sources of vitamin D.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Vitamin D Deficiency

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), around 42% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D.

Zinc

Zinc helps your immune system, digestion, and sleep [33]. Try zinc picolinate, gluconate, or citrate supplements.

Organ Meats Extracts

Organ meats like liver provide essential minerals like vitamins A, B, iron, and CoQ10 [34]. But if you don’t like eating liver, you can still get those nutrients from supplements. You can use desiccated liver, heart, or thymus capsules.

Bone Broth Powder

Bone broth contains collagen, which is necessary for skin elasticity. It also contains amino acids like glycine, which calm the nervous system [35].

If you don't have time to prepare and make bone broth, you can get these benefits from easy-to-use powders, such as bovine or chicken collagen peptides plus hyaluronic acid powders.

Probiotics

Probiotics can improve digestion and boost your immune system [36].

Choose a supplement with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria and a high colony-forming unit (CFU) count, such as soil-based organisms or spore-forming Bacillus supplements.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes can help fluid balance, nerve transmission, pH, and muscular function. You can lose them through sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting, so replacing them regularly is important [37].

You can choose hydration mixes containing sodium, magnesium, and potassium. Brands like LMNT, Ultima, or Elements are good options, as they don’t contain sugar and provide a balanced mix of these essential electrolytes.

While supplements on the Carnivore Diet can help with nutrient deficiencies, you can also get essential nutrients through other methods.

Learn More: The Best Multivitamin on Carnivore Diet

The Best Ways to Address Nutrient Deficiencies on the Carnivore Diet

The following methods are among the best ways to help with nutrient deficiencies. However, certain groups, such as pregnant women and athletes, still need supplements prescribed by physicians based on their needs and health conditions.

  • Eating Organ Meats: Organ meats, such as liver, heart, and kidney, are highly nutritious and can provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals. For example, the liver is a rich source of vitamin A, B12, folate, and iron [38].
  • Consuming Bone Broth: Bone broth is made by simmering animal bones and connective tissues and is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains collagen, supporting gut health and joint function [39].
  • Eating a Variety of Animal Products: Adding a wide range of animal-based products to your diet, such as fatty fish, eggs, and dairy, can help absorb more nutrients. For example, fatty fish like salmon and sardines are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, while eggs contain nutrients like choline and vitamin D [40] [41].
  • Sourcing High-Quality Animal Products: Selecting animal products from pasture-raised or grass-fed animals can provide a more favorable nutrient profile. These animals have higher beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which are good for muscle growth and heart health [42].

Learn More: The Carnivore Diet Protein Powder: 4 Best Protein Powders

Conclusion

Generally, you can obtain essential nutrients through animal-based foods on the Carnivore Diet, as these foods can provide every mineral you need for optimal health.

Also, some side effects, like constipation, are normal during the starting phase of the Carnivore Diet and don’t necessarily mean you lack nutrients. You should only visit a doctor when these symptoms continue for a long time, like a month.

Learn More: Does Epsom Salt Expire? How to Store It?

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