The liver has long been a staple in many diets. If you ever have the chance to try polar bear liver, think twice. This can be the last polar bear meat that you ever try.
Can you get polar bear meat poisoning without eating the liver?
The native peoples of the Arctic have never shied away from cooking up some polar bear meat. They’ve long known to avoid eating the polar bear livers. Western explorers, learned this the hard way. As early as 1596, explorers returned to Europe with horrible polar bear meat poisoning from the consumption of polar bear liver.
Polar bear meat poisoning depends on how much liver the explorers consumed. Perhaps the most horrific symptom they encountered was peeling skin. While milder cases merely involved flaking around the mouth, some accounts reported cases of full-body skin loss. The worst cases ended in liver damage, hemorrhage, and death.
How are polar bears eating seal’s without suffering from hypervitaminosis
Without vitamin A in your system, you could find yourself just as bad as those associated with hypervitaminosis A. Deficiencies can lead to dry skin, diarrhea, blindness, growth retardation and even death.
Polar bears benefit from keeping a good amount of vitamin A in their system. In fact, their physiology evolved to tolerate so much vitamin A for only one reason: to eat seals. In the wild, polar bears eat seals and ringed seals, both of which store high levels of vitamin A in their livers and blubber. If you ate a bearded seal’s liver, you’d suffer from hypervitaminosis A, but the polar bear can eat the seal’s liver and enjoy the feast.
How can the bear’s liver stand the vitamin toxicity from seals?
The seals store high levels of vitamin A in order to swiftly grow and nourish their young in a harsh, chilly environment. Vitamin A plays a role in growth. So if the blue plate special is polar bear liver, just stick with a salad. Explore the links on the next page to learn more about vitamin A and polar bear liver.