The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Addition of chicken liver to rice or maize based meals, results in large increases of bioavailable iron and zinc

This post includes a synopsis of a study published in Maternal and Child Nutrition 2005 Oct;1(4):263-73 and a recipe for chicken liver spread.

Study title and authors:
Household dietary strategies to enhance the content and bioavailability of iron, zinc and calcium of selected rice- and maize-based Philippine complementary foods.
Perlas LA, Gibson RS.
Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines.

This study can be accessed at:

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
Perlas notes that Philippine foods are predominantly plant-based, with a low content of readily available iron, zinc, and calcium, and a relatively high amount of phytate, which is a potent inhibitor of mineral absorption.

The study compared the iron, zinc, and calcium content, and estimated iron and zinc bioavailability of rice- and maize-based Filipino foods prepared in various ways. (i) with soaking. (ii) without soaking (iii) and/or enrichment with chicken liver, egg yolk, small soft-boned fish, and mung bean grits.

The study revealed:
(a) Addition of chicken liver, followed by egg yolk, resulted in the greatest increases in iron and zinc content for both the rice- and maize-based foods.
(b) Addition of small dried fish with bones had the greatest effect on calcium.
(c) Phytates were reduced by soaking.

Perlas concludes: Enrichment with animal protein or soaking has the potential to enhance the content of absorbable iron, zinc, and probably calcium to varying degrees in rice- and maize-based Philippine foods.

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Recipe of the day

Chicken liver Spread

Chicken Livers
1 1/2 lbs. of chicken livers, trimmed
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup of dry white wine, or dry vermouth
2 hard cooked eggs, quartered
1 tbsp. of dry sherry or brandy
1 big handful of parsley, washed and coarsely chopped
several grinds of black pepper, more is better
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of allspice
pinch of cumin
minced chives for garnish

In a saucepan, heat 1/2 stick of butter just to the sizzle stage, add livers, onion, garlic and wine.

Cover pan and reduce heat to low and poach the livers 20 minutes or so.

You want them cooked and moist, not dry. The onions and garlic should be soft but not brown.

In a food processor, process the livers and pan juices until coarsely chopped.

Add parsley, eggs, brandy, seasonings, remaining 1/2 stick of butter (softened, not melted).

Process until as smooth as you want.

Taste and adjust for salt. You want to overseason a little because then it chills the flavors tend to mellow out.

Chicken Liver Spread