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  #1  
Old 04-25-2003, 03:18 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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1 Ounce Of Polar Bear Liver Contains Enough Vitamin A To Kill You.

From the website: dietician.com

"...Vitamin A that if taken internally can be toxic, even fatal at levels of 100,000 IU per day. In fact, 1 ounce of polar bear liver contains enough retinol vitamin A to kill you."

I just wanted to warn anyone going to the Pole to stay away from the chopped liver.
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2003, 03:28 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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[Eve drops the Polar Bear Liver Burger she was about to bite into and backs slowly away]
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2003, 03:53 PM
GingerOfTheNorth GingerOfTheNorth is offline
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I'm certain that this will be news to the Inuit.

Come to think of it, I don't actually know of anyone who eats nanuq. Mind you, they eat everything else, so who knows?
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  #4  
Old 04-25-2003, 04:55 PM
Cerowyn Cerowyn is offline
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From Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami:
Quote:
The polar bear liver is never eaten or fed to the dogs because it causes Vitamin A poisoning, which results in severe illness or even death.
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2003, 05:55 PM
Michael Ellis Michael Ellis is offline
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I heard about this in an anthro class. Vitamin A poisoning is a nasty way to die.
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2003, 09:14 PM
astro astro is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eve
[Eve drops the Polar Bear Liver Burger she was about to bite into and backs slowly away]
Hmm...how odd this topic shoud arise. What fork do you use for polar bear liver?
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2003, 09:57 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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I'm perfectly willing to be proven wrong, but if someone will, please:

post the scientific study that confirms this piece of scarelore. I call bullshit until someone posts the study. Don't give me opinions. Give me facts.

Again, I won't be surprised if it's based in fact. But it's a web factoid until you point me to the original study.
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2003, 10:42 PM
Gulo gulo Gulo gulo is offline
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I'm curious how you would find the original study? I can find "official" sites like this that mention the fact, but not where they got it from. Isn't it bad to eat seal liver as well for the same reason?

I know dog liver can poison you, but no idea where you could find the firm data on that either. Other then people dying from it.
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  #9  
Old 04-25-2003, 11:10 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Gulo. Excellent example. You posted a site that appears to be credible but is merely a private web-site It presents facts which are from the "U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service." But then, half way through, they post the polar bear factoid under the heading of Additional Facts from "Wild Mammals of North America"

So, who actually produced that study?
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  #10  
Old 04-25-2003, 11:29 PM
Ice Wolf Ice Wolf is offline
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This site (complete with -- ugh -- music, so you might want the sound off), has some figures, but no indication of where they come from, either.

Quote:
For instance, it would require about 30 to 90 g of the liver of a polar bear, 80 to 240 g of the liver of bearded seal and 100 to 300 g of the liver of Antarctic Husky to kill a human being.
From this site on Accutane, is the following:

Quote:
Vitamin A intoxication resulting in generalized as well as Central Nervous System (CNS) symptoms, was first alluded to in 1856 by Elisha Kane (Kane, 1856), the arctic explorer. He recorded symptoms of vertigo, headache, drowsiness and irritability following ingestion of polar bear liver, which was later found to contain a high concentration of vitamin A.
It may have come from a study, Vitamin A poisoning in adults, pubished in JAMA, 1954, by A Gerber, AP Raab , and AE Sobel.
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  #11  
Old 04-25-2003, 11:47 PM
LifeOnWry LifeOnWry is offline
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samclem - just out of curiosity - honestly not trying to pick a fight - why do you care to "call bullshit" or insist on a cite? Were you planning to eat polar bear liver sometime soon?
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  #12  
Old 04-25-2003, 11:59 PM
Weirddave Weirddave is offline
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He's got a freezer full of the stuff, and his plans for a big weekend BBQ are in jeopardy, give him a break, he's expecting 2 dozen guests tomorrow and dosen't want to have to run out to the store in the morning.
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  #13  
Old 04-26-2003, 12:13 AM
Celyn Celyn is offline
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Quote:



Polar bear and vitamin A toxicity trivia

The first case of recorded vitamin A toxicity happened in 1857, when Arctic explorers ate polar bear liver and became ill. They suffered headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, and peeling skin. Think about it: polar bears eat fish, seals, and walruses, all which have enormous amounts of Vitamin A stored in their livers. So, it should be no surprise that polar bear livers contain toxic levels of vitamin A.

"

"While on a sledging expedition to the east of the main base, Ninnis, six dogs and the sled containing most of the parties food and equipment were lost down a bottomless crevasse. Short of supplies, Mawson and Mertz began an epic trek back to their base. With little food and only a makeshift tent, one by one they were forced to kill and eat the remaining emaciated huskies to survive. One hundred miles (160 km) from Cape Dennison, Mertz became delirious and eventually died. Mawson too was very ill, from what was later diagnosed as Vitamin A poisoning contracted from eating the husky dog livers.
Mawson finally struggled back to Cape Denison to see the relief ship, the Aurora, disappearing over the horizon. Mawson and six volunteers who had stayed behind endured a second winter at the windiest place in the world before being finally rescued the following season."
http://www.roystonclinic.com/cancerprevention.htm

I've read this in a coupole of books I have to - about the bears, anyway, not aboutthe husky dogs.
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  #14  
Old 04-26-2003, 01:42 AM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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This site claims that the LD50 (the dose required to kill 50% of a population) for vitamin A is 2570 mg/Kg when it's taken orally. Now all we need is data on percent by weight of vitamin A in polar bear liver. The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.

Wait a sec...let's see here. Say we have a 100 Kg person. That means they'd have to eat 25,700 mg, or 25.7 grams, of pure vitamin A to have a 50% chance of dying. There are 28.35 grams in an ounce. So that means that polar bear liver would have to be, hang on, 90.6% vitamin A by weight to have a 50% chance of killing a 100 kilogram person.

There you go.
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  #15  
Old 04-26-2003, 02:43 AM
Cerowyn Cerowyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Smeghead
Wait a sec...let's see here. Say we have a 100 Kg person. That means they'd have to eat 25,700 mg, or 25.7 grams, of pure vitamin A to have a 50% chance of dying. There are 28.35 grams in an ounce. So that means that polar bear liver would have to be, hang on, 90.6% vitamin A by weight to have a 50% chance of killing a 100 kilogram person.
No, you're calculations only indicate that polar bear liver would have to be 90.6% Vitamin A for an ounce to kill a 100 kg person.
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  #16  
Old 04-26-2003, 02:44 AM
Cerowyn Cerowyn is offline
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Or rather, have a 50% chance to kill a 100 kg person.
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  #17  
Old 04-26-2003, 03:01 AM
Cerowyn Cerowyn is offline
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With regard to cites:I got dozens of pages of Google hits on polar bear liver "vitamin A" study.
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