Liver is very often used in cuisine and many people like eating it. However, the level of vitamin A in the liver of some animals is very high and even dangerous. Such animals include the polar bear, moose, seal, walrus and husky.
The Inuit, people who inhabit the Arctic areas of Russia, Canada, the USA and Greenland, have been aware of the danger for a long time. Europeans have also known about it since the 16th century as in 1597 Gerrit de Veer documented that he and his companions got ill one winter in Nova Zemlya after they ate polar bear’s liver.
In 1913 Douglas Mawson and Xavier Mertz, who explored the Antarctic, were poisoned after consuming their sled dogs’ livers. Mertz died due to the poisoning.
Scientists have found pathological changes caused by hypervitaminosis A in Homo erectus’ skeleton and they believe this is caused by excessive intake of meat and especially by eating liver.