DON’T FORGET ABOUT BILE
by Stephanie Small, Nutrition Educator
Do you really think about the fact that everything that goes into your mouth becomes part of you?Your cells – and therefore your skin, internal organs, muscles, and hair – are all made up of a mishmash of food-based nutrients and synthetic chemicals. Of course, the more nutrients you consume, the healthier your cells are. The more soda and Twinkies you eat, the sadder, slower, and weaker your system becomes.
As a holistic nutritionist, I work with you to determine which foods support you. Not anyone else. You. It’s different for everyone, of course. We are all biochemically individual. And as a nutritionist, I believe that what you put in your body every day, three times a day, is the most fundamental part of establishing health and well-being. Exercise, spiritual practice, sleep, community, breathing and many other factors also play a role.
But it goes beyond the food. I have had clients come to me who are eating relatively well: primarily whole, unprocessed foods, lots of water and herbal teas. They still complained of low energy, migranes, bloating, PMS, depression, and other symptoms. What was going on? Sure, we discovered that one was gluten intolerant…one couldn’t do dairy…one needed to be eating more vegetarian, and one needed more meat….and so on. However, the bottom line with all of them was that their digestion was not working the way it needed to. That meant that they could be eating the best diet in the world – the perfect diet for them – and still they wouldn’t be obtaining all the nutrients they needed. What’s going on here?
Since we are what we eat, digestion is fundamental to our health. Yet it’s often overlooked. In holistic nutrition school we touched on supplementing with probiotic and prebiotic foods, trying bitters or hydrochloric acid, but we were missing something. Bile.
Bile’s manufactured by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It helps us digest fats. Here’s the problem – most of us aren’t making enough, or powerful enough, bile. So we’re not digesting our food the way we need to.
Why aren’t we making enough bile? Well, we don’t have the nutrients we need to make it. We simply cannot obtain all the nutrients we need from food alone any more. Our soils are depleted of minerals. The animals we consume are not fed their native diet of grass, so they’re not making the right nutrients in their bodies. Most of us are not feasting on raw meat and liver – other traditional sources of nutrition - on a regular basis. Interestingly, when we miss out on these crucial vitamins and minerals, gallstones accumulate in the bile ducts of the liver. They block the flow of bile, exacerbating an already compromised situation.
I have had clients come to me with a list of twenty supplements they were taking daily. I don’t agree with that approach. But by taking four crucial supplements that create powerful and abundant bile, we vastly improve the efficiency of our digestive system. With bile this strong, we can extract every last nutrient from what we put in our mouth – even if it’s Taco Bell. Cause, come on…you know you don’t eat perfectly all the time. And of course, if you’re getting more nutrients, you may be less hungry. Which means you won’t need to eat quite as much.
Below is a list of the four supplements needed to create lots of healthy, strong bile. This protocol was developed by the Alternative Naturopathic Center in Littleton, Colorado.
TAURINE. Abundant in raw eggs, raw milk and raw meat, this amino acid assists in the production of bile. It dissolves cholesterol, preventing gallstones.
LECITHIN. A major source of phospholipids, lecithin is a key component of bile. It also builds cell membranes and supports brain function.
COD LIVER OIL. This oil offers Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Omega 3s. Most of us are lacking in these crucial nutrients.
PLANT STEROLS. These lipids are processed out of most grains in order to increase their shelf life. Aside from strengthening bile, plant sterols also help make healthy cell membranes.
If you’re curious about brands, how to take these supplements, or even whether they’re right for you, feel free to email me at stephanie at threesistersnutrition.com.
Stephanie Small received her B.A. from Yale University, her M.S.W. from Smith College School for Social Work, and her Nutrition Educator Certificate from Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts. She is the Boulder, CO chapter leader of the Weston A Price Foundation. Having spent so many years herself enslaved to sugar, she is committed to helping others find freedom and empowerment through their food choices. Her website is www.threesistersnutrition.com.
Today is our Natural Cures blog carnival. If you are a blogger and have something in your archives about improving digestion, please share the link with me by email (kim.hartke at gmail.com) and I will add it to your post.
All other blog readers, by all means add your experiences, strength and hope to our comments today!
See our Natural Cures Tuesday page for past Natural Cures subjects. We take blog links for those past posts, as well. So just send them in and put the topic in the subject line!
Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice. Please check with your health advisor before embarking upon a new regime, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or are already on medication. Supplements need to be evaluated for your use by a professional.