3 min|Dr. Maya Kuczma

6 Simple Ways to Support Healthy Bile Flow

Wellness, Health, Gut Health

Uncovering the Crucial Role of Bile Flow

Bile flow is essential for good health. It breaks down the fats we eat, enabling absorption of fatty acids and vital fat soluble vitamins. Bile plays a key role in detoxification, by allowing the transport of toxins and excess hormones through the liver, and into the gut, where they can be excreted. Healthy bile flow can also positively impact microbiome health, hormonal signaling, and metabolism.

There are 6 simple ways to support bile production in liver, and healthy flow from the liver, to the gallbladder, to the digestive tract:

1. Ensure Adequate Hydration

Bile is mostly water. If you’re chronically dehydrated, bile synthesis suffers. Adequate hydration requires two components: water and electrolytes. Both play a role in bile synthesis and flow. Water ensures that the bile stays thin, flowing easily; electrolytes make up a portion of the bile, and are required for the opening and closing of valves that allow for the movement of bile. Most of us are consistently deficient in both water and electrolytes, and may benefit from increasing water intake to 2-3 litres of water per day, and adding mineral rich foods, or an electrolyte supplement.

2. Include Bitters

Bitter foods, such as beets, artichokes, dandelion greens, arugula, coffee, and citrus, stimulate bile flow by increasing cholecystokinin, a hormone that triggers gallbladder contraction. (1) Tinctures of bitter herbs, also known as Swedish bitters, act in a similar fashion and can be taken shortly before meals, to aid in bile flow and fat digestion.

3. Emphasize Glycine and Taurine

Glycine and taurine are essential components for the production of bile. Both can be taken as supplements, but are also found in food. Sources of glycine include gelatin, bone broth, fish, collagen, animal skin, and tendons. Sources of taurine include meat, fish, shellfish, seaweeds, and poultry.

4. Don’t Fear Fats - but Choose Wisely

Including fats within meals is essential for triggering bile release, but not all fats are created equal. We recommend choosing sources of healthy fats, such as olive oil, cold-water fish, avocado, avocado oil, olives, almonds, walnuts, and seeds, to reap their bile-boosting effects, as well as the benefits of many other nutrients.

5. Identify Triggering Foods And Remove Them

Fast food, processed foods, sugars, and simple carbohydrates can increase liver inflammation, as well as increase the risk of gallstones. Gallbladder issues may also be linked to food allergies and/or food sensitivities. Identifying, and removing, these harmful foods can support healthy bile flow.

6. Consult with a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture has been shown to reduce gallbladder inflammation, and enhance the effects of medication for gallbladder attacks. (2) Additionally, Traditional Chinese Medicine utilizes specific herbal formulations to improve bile flow and decrease stone and sludge formation.

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