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6 Supplements to Support Your Liver and Gallbladder

A healthy flow of bile is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive tract, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and healthy fats.

Poor bile flow can lead to poor absorption of nutrients, overgrowth of pathogenic flora, intestinal inflammation, and leaky gut syndrome.
The latter, in turn, can lead to the development of autoimmune processes.

The main symptoms of poor outflow of bile:

  • Weight gain and digestive problems.
  • Decreased energy levels.
  • Emotional instability.
  • Headaches and migraines.
  • Fibromyalgia.Inflammatory skin diseases: acne, eczema, rash.
  • Allergic sensitivity due to the accumulation of toxic substances.

What supplements do I recommend?

1. Phospholipids (lecithin, phosphatidylcholine)
Necessary for dilution of bile, emulsification of fats. As well as improving the quality of cell membranes, which helps improve concentration and memory.

Phosphatidylcholine is a major component of the membranes of the liver cells (hepatocytes). As such, it provides significant protection for the liver, probably because good liver health requires the ongoing replacement of old cell membranes with healthy new ones.* Phosphatidylcholine has been shown in numerous studies to protect liver cells from damage from a variety of toxins, including ethanol, carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene (used in dry cleaning and as a degreasing solvent), and mushroom toxins.* Phosphatidylcholine is an important component of the lipids that circulate in the bloodstream, and is a major constituent of bile, which is necessary to metabolize fats.* Phosphatidylcholine also has the potential to decrease the absorption of dietary cholesterol, which helps maintain a normal cholesterol level.*

The findings from eight double-blind clinical trials and numerous other reports that have studied phosphatidylcholine indicate that it supports faster rebuilding of liver tissue and accelerated restoration of overall wellbeing.*

2. Bitters
Stimulates the production of bile, hydrochloric acid, and digestive enzymes. Should be taken on the root of the tongue before meals.

  • Gentian root, a.k.a. Bitter root and Dandelion root are traditional use herbs in promoting the body’s normal process to stimulate bile and enzymes in preparing to digest fats, carbohydrates and proteins
  • Dandelion root has the added benefit of promoting production of Bifidobacterium
  • Fennel seed is included for its digestive support properties and also as a sweet herb, which is a traditional component of bitters formulas
  • Orange peel promotes appetite and maintains healthy digestive processes, including those of the liver and gallbladder

3. Enzymes/Ox Bile
Digestive enzymes are also essential for the maintenance of the gallbladder and the production of bile. I recommend taking bovine bile on an ongoing basis with a removed gallbladder. Both of them have proven themselves well for constipation, and greasy and light stools.

Digestion GB is a digestive enzyme formula created to promotes healthy digestive function. Digestion GB specifically supports fat, carbohydrate and protein digestion as well as gall bladder function.*

  • Digestive enzyme formula*
  • Supports digestive health and gall bladder function*
  • Optimal support for fat digestion*
  • Made with hypoallergenic ingredients

Digestion GB contains digestive enzymes, bile salts, taurine and herbal extracts to promote healthy gall bladder function and fat utilization. The metabolism of fats involves emulsification and digestion in a complex process that requires healthy liver, gallbladder and pancreas function. Milk thistle, curcumin and taurine promote liver and gallbladder health and stimulate production and secretion of bile acids. Bile acids, also provided in the form of ox bile salts, support the emulsification of fats necessary for digestion. The digestive enzymes included in this formula are active in a broad pH range to support fat, carbohydrate and protein digestion to complement pancreatic enzyme activity. This formula has enhanced lipase for extra fat digestion support.

4. Complex formula for liver and bile support
Contains a complex of herbs, and be sure to milk thistle. It is a strong antioxidant that protects the cell membranes of the liver.

Liver Nutrients by Seeking Health provides a unique blend of nutrients that may help support Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification processes. Combining five key ingredients, Liver Nutrients may help support healthy function as well as the body’s natural free-radical defense system. The liver is the body’s central detoxification organ, responsible for deactivating environmental toxins as well as those generated endogenously. The liver is equipped with several detoxification pathways, including excretion of toxins via bile, and a two-phase enzymatic neutralization process (Phase I and Phase II). Because free radicals and other potentially harmful intermediates are generated as a result of Phase I reactions, it is critical to maintain a proper balance of Phase I and Phase II activities to support healthy cellular processes.* 

Milk thistle extract is rich in the flavonolignins silybin, silydianin, and silychristin, collectively referred to as silymarin. Unique to milk thistle, silymarin is a powerful flavonoid complex that may support healthy liver function.* 

N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is a popular supplemental form of L-cysteine, which is a precursor of glutathione. Glutathione deactivates many pro-oxidants, including hydroxyl radicals and superoxide radicals, and is required for the synthesis of glutathione peroxidase, another important liver antioxidant. Alpha-lipoic acid is also a powerful antioxidant that is both water and fat soluble, thus able to offer an unusually wide range of antioxidant protection. Alpha-lipoic acid is also thought to help build up the body’s antioxidant defenses by recycling other antioxidants, including glutathione and vitamin C and vitamin E.* 

Taurine is involved in a variety of detoxification processes, including bile acid conjugation, a healthy response to oxidative stress, and select Phase II detoxification pathways. In order to clear toxins and excess fat-soluble compounds from the body, bile acids form bile salt conjugates by binding with either taurine or glycine.* 

Trimethylglycine, also known as betaine or TMG, may help support normal hepatic levels of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) an important methyl donor. In the liver, SAMe may help support normal fat metabolism and healthy cellular liver composition.* 

5. SAMe

It is a natural antidepressant and also helps with joint pain. 

SAMe is a naturally occurring metabolite found in the human body as well as in plant and animal foods. It is the most active of all methyl donors and has been compared to ATP in its importance for the body. SAMe is naturally synthesized in humans from the amino acid methionine in the presence of the cofactors B12 and folate.

SAMe is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, the hormone melatonin, phospholipids, and polyamines, which control cellular growth. It is also the source of methyl groups inside the nucleus for DNA methylation, which controls gene expression and masking of genetic damage.

6. TUDCA
Taurodeoxycholic acid is a bile acid that opens the bile ducts, and the amino acid taurine supports fat metabolism. 

TUDCA is a bile acid naturally formed in the body that supports the digestion and utilization of fats and oils and demonstrates neuroprotective benefits*.

TUDCA supports digestive ability by supporting healthy fat metabolism and breakdown as well as proper nutrient absorption. It is also supportive to cellular and mitochondrial health.

However, the human body only produces small amounts of TUDCA (or tauroursodeoxycholic acid). In a healthy person, digestion re-circulates some 95% of the body’s bile salts. Poor diet, decreased liver function, and certain medications can impair this process. This is where supplementation is key.

Specifically formulated to:

  • Support digestion*
  • Support the liver
  • Neuroprotective support*

Benefits:

  • Supports the digestion of fats and oils*
  • Promotes a healthy microbiome with healthy biodiversity*
  • Supports a healthy inflammation response in the GI tract to help prevent leaky gut*
  • Helps reduce cellular stress & protect DNA
  • May address fatty liver, biliary cirrhosis and hepatitis*
  • May be effective in supporting neurological concerns*
  • Assists in clearing toxins*
  • Stabilizes the cell membrane*
  • Works with other bile salts to prevent premature cell death (apoptosis)*
  • Eases stress on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to improve protein folding*
  • May provide neuroprotective benefits.*
  • May help regulate the immune system*
  • May affect genetic expression and mitochondria*
  • May dissolve gallstones before they are completely formed*
  • May cause liver and muscle to be more sensitive to insulin (High insulin sensitivity helps cells use blood glucose more effectively, which can help reduce blood sugar.)*

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22109896/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11735632/

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