When digestion works, we tend to go through life oblivious to what’s happening in our bodies. And when it doesn’t work, we look for relief. In this case, I’m pretty sure you don’t think much about bile, yet bile is as important as probiotics.
Bile has many important roles in our bodies. It emulsifies and digests fat, breaking it down into small particles that can be absorbed by the small intestines. It also helps escort toxins and excess hormones from the body and protects the health of the digestive system.
If bile is not able to be released into the small intestines as a bolus, the fats you consume are not properly digested. The downstream effect is that your body isn’t able to properly handle the fats you consume. It is also not able to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K that you ingest.
What Is Bile Good For?
Contrary to popular opinion, fat is necessary in our diet to supply building blocks for our cells. Bile and its storehouse, the gallbladder, are very important to overall health.
Besides contributing to poor absorption of nutrients, a low-functioning gallbladder or sluggish bile is not able to assist in eliminating excess estrogen. This can cause symptoms of estrogen dominance and contribute to PMS.
Your thyroid plays a part in the release of bile by controlling the sphincter through which bile is released into the small intestines. Low thyroid function causes low gallbladder function, which can contribute to the development of gallstones. Low thyroid is an often overlooked situation that I help my clients address.
Many of my clients have had their gallbladders removed following very painful gallbladder attacks. While this relieves the pain at the moment, it can lead to further issues in the future.
Bile And The Gallbladder
Without the gallbladder to collect bile made by the liver and release it into the small intestines, many aspects of physiology are hindered. Fat cannot be properly digested. Hormones and toxins cannot be cleared from the body. Your small intestines can’t be protected from the buildup of bacterial waste and you may develop leaky gut.
So how do you keep that valuable bile flowing? The simple answer is bitters. It’s not as unpleasant as you may think. Start your day with the juice of half a lemon in hot water. That gets things flowing in your liver. Surprisingly, coffee can be considered a bitter, but not when you disguise it with sugar, creamer, and syrup flavorings. Black coffee is a bitter – and just ½ cup can get things moving.
And if you have had your gallbladder removed there is still hope! You can use the tips above to support your liver and then add Bile Salt supplements with meals containing meat or other fat sources. This will help to provide something of a bolus to support emulsifying of fats for better absorption. Mindful support of your body is important when an organ is missing.
I hope that you now recognize the importance of bile in your body’s overall function. With some small adjustments, you can support improved function, or fill the gap left by the absence of your gallbladder. Let’s make bile as important as probiotics – your body will thank you!