My liver doesn't produce enough bile, a side effect of an Accutane treatment 8 years ago.
From the Mayo Clinic: "Vitamin A toxicity may lead to intrahepatic cholestasis, a condition where bile cannot flow from the liver into the intestines. Treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid has been shown to greatly improve the symptoms of cholestasis."
Symptoms: Inability to digest fat. I eat under 1% fat. Pale stool.
Clarification: Please assume that I do have metabolic cholestasis. I don't want to argue the diagnosis. The question is, what supplements or therapies can improve the condition?
Problem: Google searches on cholestasis are turning up very little info.
Solutions found so far: Mostly liver tonics, milk of physostotum, etc., and UDCA.
Other info: I should also state that I am aware I should go see a doctor. Besides dietary restrictions and the above symptoms, I am healthy, thriving, athletic, etc.
I'm seeking more info because what I've found so far is very terse.
Resolving the symptom of lack of bile flow should fix a panoply of problems. It will permit greater toxin removal, and promote better nutrition through ability to eat fatty foods and other digestive challenges.
So, I am interested to know what other tricks paleo folks know for improving bile production.
asked byLB (13)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on December 01, 2011
at 03:15 PM
I can say with confidence that dandelion is very effective at moving bile out of the liver and also creating bile, I supplement everyday (liquid tincture) because I also have poor bile production. Artichoke and burdock are another two, (I don't bother with those, dandelion works well enough) as well as milk thistle.
Oh and also;
phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylchloline
But the above two are normally soy derived. However 'Now Foods' do a sunflower lecithin which is probably not as bad, but not strictly paleo I suppose.
I definitely notice more healthier looking stools after taking milk thistle and dandelion for sure. You will probably become more regular too as bile is a natural laxative, plus it kills off bad bacteria too! It's good stuff....
on December 22, 2012
at 07:08 PM
This is a very late reply.. but why don't you just take a bile supplement when you way something with fat in it? Nutricology makes an ox bile supplement that works very well. I had my gallbladder taken out and that's what I use. Lecithin doesn't work like bile but it does help, just make sure you're eating the non gmo stuff. And though you don't need bile to digest mct's you absolutely need it to digest the rest of the oil they come in ( ie the coconut oil)or it will hurt like a son of a bitch when you eat it without taking a bile supplement. All the herbs help, buy taking too much stuff taxes your system that is already taxed. Just get a bile supplement. Most people don't even know these exist.
on December 01, 2011
at 01:50 PM
Off hand I would say silymarin, curcumin, choline (from liver and eggs), magnesium, cholesterol maybe. You might try googling ???choleretics???.
on March 08, 2014
at 04:43 PM
Beets are great for bile production and helping to aide in fat digestion. http://thewholejourney.com/biliary-health-the-liver-and-gallbladder
on May 13, 2013
at 10:27 AM
Hi everyone! For those inflicted with liver problem, try to get this amazing pills: Hepar-P pills from NovaLab. These pills are made from extracts from Phyllanthus niruri. This plant is commonly known in Malaysia as Pokok Dukung Anak. If you have liver problem, you won't regret taking this pill. And more importantly, I strongly advise your goodself to do "Coffee Enema Detoxification". This will do wonders to your liver and Bile ailments. This treatment is easy to do. And once shown, you will be able to do it at home repeatedly. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this Coffee Enema Detox. For more info on this treatment, just Google "Coffee Enema detox". Cheers Dr J.A.N.Y
on February 09, 2013
at 04:25 AM
Go see a nutritional consultant who deals with natural medicine, homeopathics, etc. I work for one & am going through liver/gallbladder issues right now. I'm on a supplement program & she added loads of "natural calm magnesium supplement" to cleanse liver & Swedish bitters to aide in production of bile. If you live in CA she's in Grover Beach.
on October 26, 2012
at 04:35 PM
Therapeutic Grade Spearmint essential oil 1 to 3 drop on a water dampened cotton ball apply topically to the liver next day you should notice results. Keep in mind it is an essential oil and should be used with caution. if you use to much it could also cause you liver problems. So with that do not apply more then once a day and if you are getting good results stop and let your body's own natural process take over. This method helped a lot more than milk thistle. Milk thistle seem to only pronounce the blockage. mint tea seem to woresn the liver.
on December 01, 2011
at 09:13 AM
The meatheads know a lot about liver damage:
Just Google ("UDCA" AND "milk thistle") and you'll bring up tons of info and forums on anabolic steroids dudes protecting their livers. A fair number of them even mention Accutane. This is the community of practice that is constantly engaged in breaking, fixing and protecting their livers.
It's a gold mine, and I can post newbie questions as well.
Here are the forums:
Also, I spoke with Chico Esposito at the Acne.org forums. He had identical symptoms, which forced him to eat a diet similar to mine for a year. He then cured himself by doing the following:
He recommended against UDCA, saying natural was better. The rest is quoted:
"okay it sounds to me like you have low to zero bile flow as well, thats the reason why rice, shrimp, lean fish work, because there is hardly any fat in any of those things, hence them not needing bile to digest. Bile's major role in digestion is to emulsify fat, the only fats that don't need to be emulsifyed are coconut oil and palm kernel oil, because they are high in mcts and dont need bile to be absorbed due to the fact that there carbon chain is much shorter than other fats.
Nuts, seeds, olive oil, flax seed, animal fats, avocado's - all NEED bile to digest, otherwise they ferment in the gut leading to growth of harmful bacteria.
you can clean the liver by liver flushing, although you'll need to take something like soy lecithin granules loading up to the day of the flush to help the olive oil in the flush recipe absorb. Otherwise it won't be successful.
Eating fermented foods like coconut water kefir, cultured vegetables, raw sauerkraut can start to replenish bad bacteria in the gut. Body ecology sells starter kits....
Can you eat salads? an organic salad with lettuce, some alfalfa sprouts, mungbean sprouts and some apple cider vinegar and limes could be good, for increasing stomach acid naturally.
but the main points are cleaning up digestion, increasing stomach acid, replenishing bile flow- so important, cleaning up bad bacteria and parasites in the gut and liver, and flushing the kidneys. But the gut and liver are 90% of the problem.
look up the metabolic typing diet, and look into slow oxidizer / sympathetic......also look into the body ecology diet......take certain elements of each, fermented foods are great for cleaning up digestion. Keep it low fat but lecithin granules are essential if you eat any fat in your food from long chain sources.
Also you may want to try humaworm to make sure there are no parasites on the liver / gut but thats not as important as the other stuff ive mentioned.
Don't be alarmed if your stools are light for a while, the liver flushing is the main way of getting bile flow back so that could take quite a few months.
Soy lecithin emulsifys fat, it acts exactly like bile would in the gi tract. Basically what happens is food goes into the small intestine were it's met with bile, bile emulsifys the fat...making the fat more water soluble. Imagine putting a tablespoon of oil into a glass of water, the oil stays at the top, it never mixes with the water. Adding lecithin liquid to the mixture and stirring it will make the fat and water emulsify together.
Bile does this in the small intestine, all enzymes are water soluble, so lipase (the fat digesting enzyme) cannot break up food unless fat is emulsified, it's impossible without the emulsification that bile carries out. Lecithin granules do the exact same thing as bile, they emulsify fat allowing the enzymes to go to work on breaking them down further.
I was like you for a long time, i only ate chicken and white rice everyday, for about 1 year. I had clay coloured stools, I couldn't digest fat. You have to understand the colon itself is acidic, bacteria are acidic.....acidic food is not the problem i can promise you that.
Cultured foods heal the gi tract, they break down foods and allow them to digest fully. A lack of bile causes poor digestion, certain things can mitigate it, cultured foods are one.
I cant drink alcohol at all, people with accutane side effects react very badly to it that may be the reason why. Yes but just start eating small amounts of fat with lecithin granules and see how you feel. I'd start liver flushing as well. Just experiment with it, you'll find what works for you. Make sure the fats you eat are healthy fats. Only you know what works and what doesn't, just experiment and you'll find your way."