In this video, I give an overview of the liver, bile, and microbiome, to explain why bile is so important for your health. You know that oil and water don’t mix well, and when you eat fatty or oily food, it doesn’t break down well on its own in a water-based environment.
Bile is like an intestinal detergent. It helps your body break down fats. Then, your pancreas releases enzymes to break it down further, so your body can pull in fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and DHA (which is good for your brain). There are a number of things that can interfere with your bile production.
One is having your gallbladder removed. Then there’s nowhere for the bile to concentrate. It will trickle from your liver into your small intestine, and because it can’t get concentrated in the gallbladder, it doesn’t work as effectively to break down fat.
Your diet might not contain enough fatty acids or fat soluble vitamins. Or, if you have fatty liver, or it’s inflamed, or it has scar tissue, or cirrhosis, you might not be able to produce enough bile to break down dietary fat.
People with insulin resistance, caused by eating too much sugar and starch, develop inflammatory conditions that damage their liver. As well, most of the bacteria comprising your gut microbiome help recycle your bile up to 12 times per day.
If you don’t have enough bacteria in your large intestine to recycle the bile, this could cause a deficiency. Taking antibiotics or having diarrhea could decrease the helpful bacteria in your gut. And if you don’t have enough bile, that could create an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, because bile destroys bad bacteria.