Bile and Fiber Relationship: Essential for Efficient Detox

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Bile and Fiber Relationship: Essential for Efficient Detox

These days, you can’t look anywhere on a natural health site without seeing something about detox. However, a majority of these sites are promoting dangerous or completely useless cleanses, or the thought that there is something majorly wrong with our genes, which is why our detoxification is off. They usually fail to point out the importance of diet, lifestyle, and the environment! (You can read why I don’t focus on genes here.) In reality, there are MANY factors involved in detoxification, and we’re going to go over 2 main factors here. Bile and fiber are CRUCIAL for real healing.

**Two of the biggest factors in impaired detox are lack of fiber and lack of bile flow. **

Fiber and Bile are basically a tag-team when it comes to detoxification. They both help with binding or flushing out a lot of the gunk that our bodies are trying to eliminate. Both reduce the severity of die-off from yeast, parasites, and other nasty stuff because they can bind with many toxins to ensure they are evacuated efficiently.

When we are lacking bile and fiber it is common to deal with an inability to digest and utilize fats correctly (which can result in hormonal imbalances and an unstable nervous system), constipation, inability to lose weight, fatigue, and more.


The Process of Enterohepatic Recirculation

Without enough fiber, our bile can become thick and almost like sludge. If this continues, the possibility of developing gallstones becomes higher because the bile will solidify in the gallbladder and runs the risk of getting stuck .  Fiber essentially is the key to “cleaning” our bile as bile is technically recycled. Because of our imbalances and toxicities, it is common for the body to recycle the same bile over and over again (up to 17 times! {1})

Bile is excreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. When we eat fat (or when the body is detoxing), this bile is released. On its way to the intestinal tract, it attaches itself to toxins, parasites, excess hormones, and even bad bacteria ( I love how Dr. John Douillard phrases it: Bile is essentially like Pac-man in our bodies with its amazing ability to gobble up everything in its track. {1}) Once bile gets to the intestinal tract, it binds with fiber in the gut and gets taken out of the body. The big catch here is that we need BOTH of these things to achieve this amazing cycle.

You can read the whole breakdown on Enterohepatic recirculation here on Karen Hurd’s website.

When this process between bile and fiber becomes sluggish, this can negatively affect stomach acid production as well. This in turn begins to mess with the way people digest many common foods (which leads to them eliminating many food groups after a time as they become more and more intolerant to things). No bile/fiber=lack of stomach acid= intolerances to gluten, dairy, meat, and/or fats. All of these things will lead to chronic constipation as well.  Constipation leads to us storing up our toxins in fat and continuous re-circulation of some toxins (especially excess, unbound copper!) until we get our gut sorted out.  Common side effects of this are: anxiety (toxins recircuating), rashes (toxins trying to come out through the skin), headaches, fatigue (80% of our energy goes to detox so when that is sluggish it will steal from our overall vitality), and weight issues (whether unable to gain or lose weight).


Holistic Detox Support Ecourse


Why are we so deficient in these Bile and Fiber?

The biggest reason why we are dealing with these deficiencies is because of the Standard American diet.  This diet is filled with refined foods that are not only low in fiber, but they require even more stomach acid and bile for us to attempt to digest (and whatever isn’t digested starts to build up in the colon, creating a breeding ground for pathogens and toxins!). Throw in heavy metal toxicity, pathogens, and other nutritional deficiencies and the call for bile and fiber becomes even more dire to help flush these things out. Instead of the body eliminating toxins, it starts to store it up in the body until one starts introducing the correct nutrients for removal of these toxins.

Eating a whole foods, clean, and organic-as-possible diet is the best way to achieve better health. There is no *one* perfect diet for everyone on this planet, but those are my main guidelines! You can read my take on the “ideal diet” here.


What is Fiber?

There are 2 kinds of fiber, insoluble and soluble. Soluble fiber tends to dissolve in water and forms a sort of sponge which helps to bind with toxins. Insoluble fiber helps the gut wall move more efficiently, as well as ferments in the gut to act as a food source to your good bacteria. They have different functions, but the most important thing to focus on is to just GET MORE FIBER! (source)

The main functions of fiber include keeping us regular, helping us to detox harmful substances, balancing cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, controlling weight, and helping to balance our hormones.

Apparently our ancestors ate close to 100 grams of fiber a day. Most people get maybe a tenth of that on a Standard American Diet. Ideal daily fiber intake should be at least 30-40 grams. It’s best to spread this out through the day in smaller amounts.

From this source, “When we don’t eat fiber, the toxins that we should be eliminating through our bowels get reabsorbed into the bloodstream — and that can cause many problems,” Junger says. “Unfortunately, Western medicine is toxic-blind”.


High Fiber Foods:

*Medium Apple with skin- 5 grams
*Medium Banana- 4 grams
*2 medium dried figs- 3.7 grams
*1 cup of raspberries- 6.4 grams
*Oatmeal, 1 cup- 12 grams
*1 cup of black beans- 14 grams
*1 cup garbanzo beans- 6 grams
*1/4 cup pumpkin seeds- 4 grams
*1 avocado- 12 grams
*A cup of cooked carrots- 5 grams
*1 medium sweet potato- 5 grams
*Psyllium fiber supplements can be helpful too, especially if you are dealing with food intolerances and have to limit high fiber foods like grains and beans. My new favorite way to use psyllium for effective colon cleansing includes this recipe, taken once or twice a day: 4-6 ounces of plain, organic kefir, 1 Tablespoon of psyllium husks, and 1-2 Teaspoons of blackstrap molasses. This mix can be very helpful for getting things moving!
*OLIPOP sodas- these are AMAZING for fiber and overall gut healing. Use SASSY15 for 15% off your whole order!

The only caveat to fiber is for those that might have SIBO. Fiber might end up feeding the bacteria too much. In my experience though, SIBO is very common in those suffering with low bile flow, so that is something to focus on first before attempting to get more fiber in the diet.


What is Bile?

Bile is a clear yellow (or orange or green) liquid that is created in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. A healthy liver will create 1 quart of bile per day- that is quite a bit of bile! Most of us have not been very loving to our livers though, and when we are healing we need a LOT of focus on liver health and bile flow.

In a healthy person, bile is made in the liver with no issue.  But for those that are deficient in crucial nutrients or overloaded with toxins, it is hard for the liver to keep up with the demand to produce bile. Why exactly is bile so crucial?

Bile helps us:

  • digest and assimilate fats and protein
  • it helps alkalize the intestines
  • Excrete excess copper
  • Excrete pathogens and yeast
  • Plays a role in excreting heavy metals and excess iron
  • helps us absorb fat soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, and E.
  • balance stomach acid and acts as a buffer for it


My Top Bile Boosters:

  1. Dandelion Root– You can eat dandelion roots or even have a tea made. I have a daily cup of dandelion tea with blackstrap molasses for a huge boost of potassium!
  2. Sunflower Lecithin: Sunflower Lecithin is not something well known yet, but it is gaining popularity. This form of lecithin is rich in phosphatidyl choline, which is a B complex vitamin that has extremely important roles in fat metabolism and liver health. It helps with stimulating bile flow and can help flush fat out of the liver, and it is also extremely important for brain health.
  3. Beets- You can eat beets and beet greens, or you can get a beet root powder.  Beets are best organic since they are a very common GMO crop.
  4. Bitter herbs are especially helpful for bile flow, improving stomach acid, and helps assimilate nutrients. You can go for Herb Pharm Better Bitters spray (which has 4 flavors), Earthley’s bitters , or Herbalist & Alchemist have a few awesome flavors. Bitters are one of my favorite overall gut and liver healers because they help your body to MAKE bile, stomach acid, and digestive enzymes instead of just adding in what is being lost (like Hcl, ox bile, and enzyme supplements do).
  5. Artichokes- Helps to increase bile flow and fat digestion
  6. Choline- abundant in eggs, beef, poultry and fish
  7. Lemon Water- A great way to help the liver is to have a glass of warm water with the juice of a fresh squeezed lemon.
  8. Apple Cider Vinegar- ACV helps digestion in all ways. It is a prebiotic, it helps you digest your food better if you have low stomach acid, and it helps thin out the bile
  9. BioRay Liver Life– This is my absolute favorite liver support supplement, and it helps immensely with restoring liver function. One of the studies they have done on it says that liver function can be improved by 50% in only 15 days of use!
  10. Castor oil packs
  11. Stay hydrated! Water is also needed for bile flow. Stick with filters like Tapmaster.
  12. More healthy fats- Grass fed butter, coconut oil, nuts, avocados, and omega-3 rich fish help signal to your body to properly make bile. MCT oil is a great idea for those with very sluggish fat digestion too.
  13. Taurine is most known for its role in making bile so fats can be properly utilized. The Liver needs taurine for proper detoxification and is a key component to prevent and reverse fatty liver disease because of its role in reducing oxidative stress. Check out this study from PubMed on liver health and taurine. Overall though, amino acids in isolation aren’t great for long term use so I’d stick with food sources!
  14. Ox Bile would be one of the last things I’d try out. (mostly if you do not have a gallbladder, but honestly I find that bitter herbs work better as they help to stimulate the liver to create bile- ox bile just replaces what isn’t there).

There are PLENTY of ways to get the bile flowing.  You can easily add a few of these tips into your daily life, or switch them around so you get a wide variety of benefits.

SO! What is our biggest takeaway here? That there is no *one* magic thing that will help us heal, especially when it comes to detox. Our bodies are extremely complex and there are a ton of functions that require many steps. Our gut, liver, lymph, kidneys, skin, and colon are all important for overall detoxification.  Learning how they all work in tandem is fascinating!



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Welcome to Sassy Holistics! My name is Kristin, and I'm a Holistic Health Coach. I've been on the path to help people achieve better health using whole food nutrition, mineral balancing, and holistic healing principles for almost 7 years now.

The body is a whole and we must treat it as such! I have my Bachelor of Science in Natural Health Sciences, certificates in Herbal Studies from Herbal Academy, and I am constantly learning more about health to help my clients and followers.

My goal is to help you unleash your own inner healer! You already hold the power to heal inside you. My role is as a guide to help you realize this potential.

6 thoughts on “Bile and Fiber Relationship: Essential for Efficient Detox”

  1. Good afternoon Kristin. I am reading the bile and fiber page. My friend had her gallbladder removed. Exactly how does that affect her body in comparison to how the body is meant to function? Does bile from the liver go straight to the stomach/intestines since there is no gallbladder storage? Are there things she can do to support her body with the absence of her gallbladder? Thank you!

  2. Hey Vicky! Yes, that is how it is- the bile can’t be stored so it’s even more important to support bile production with each meal to help replace what isn’t there anymore.

  3. Good afternoon Kristin,

    I have low pancreas enzymes as well as a low ejection fraction rate of 17% for my gallbladder. Is there a specific thing that you would recommend to get the bile flowing?

  4. I have no gallbladder and have been diagnosed with fatty liver. Can you guide me to which supplements would benefit me the most. Currently taking ox bile but if there is something better I would love to know.

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