7

votes

How to increase the digestion of the fat you eat?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 21, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Well, let's say if I ate a lot of fat and got a paler stool because of that, this means I'm not digesting the fat, right? If so, how can I tell my body, hey body , digest this fat better! I was craving some peas today, so I got some (freaking delicious) and then while I was eating them I ran not this ncbi article which says tht peas increase bile flow. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19012614 . Basically saying it takes cholesterol out and makes bile with it (sweet, right). So that got me thinking, what other foods increase the fat digestion in my body? (theoretically by increasing bile). I appreciate any feedback that's constructive and will +1 it.


Quick answer, I didn't know this before but it looks like taurine might be the/a critical component here. That's:

TAURINE

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Hey greymouser, I'm still likely going to pick this as the best answer, but I want to do a bounty on this so more people read it first :).

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on March 29, 2013
at 07:44 PM

No problem! I usually use 1 slice of fresh ginger, about 1/2 cm thick by about 3 cm long left whole :)

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:42 PM

Thanks Linds, I bought the ingredients yesterday, but realize I don't know how to measure "1 piece of ginger." An inch maybe? left whole or chopeed? I found out that 10 cm is about 4 inches in case anyone else doesn't measure by centimeters.

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:32 PM

Yes! Fresh is a must with this recipe!

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:54 PM

Linds, do you use fresh coriander (cilantro) for this delicious sounding soup?

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on March 24, 2013
at 10:58 AM

Hmmm. I wonder if this is why people say to cut the fat of a meal in a Chinese restaurant, you should drink a lot of green tea with your meal?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 24, 2013
at 01:05 AM

It takes cholesterol out of the blood or it lowers serum cholesterol. It increases bile excretion, bile excretion has cholesterol in it.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 24, 2013
at 01:03 AM

Thanks rosa, I agree and I am looking into it further.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:59 AM

Taurine was originally derived from ox bile. You're right in that I used very ambiguous wording. It would be more accurate to say that taurine is used by the liver for bile salts. Bile salts have cholesterol and that cholesterol helps to break down dietary fat. Taurine also lowers serum cholesterol levels in clinical trials. I typed the above in a rush I hope this is clearer.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on March 23, 2013
at 11:19 PM

Coconut water? I'm doubtful.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 23, 2013
at 10:48 PM

What's your question?

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 23, 2013
at 09:27 PM

Right on. Makes sense. :-)

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:30 PM

Maybe you're just eating too much fat? Aren't you eating like a pound of butter? THat's a lot of butter. I would even go far as to say that's too much.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:24 AM

Bristol stool chart?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:23 AM

Also, taurine significantly improves insulin sensitivity in rats, rubs hands in anticipation. Sweet.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:09 AM

Since cooking**

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:09 AM

I just ordered some of this (taurine), I remember reading an article condemning pottenger(from pottengers cats) because they said his results only showed how taurine deficiency effects cats. So when you mentioned this it really struck home for me the relative importance of taurine, especially nice cooking destroys it apparently. I'm really glad I asked this question because I really like your answer, thank you.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 03:59 AM

Yep .

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:44 AM

I take Jaminet's suggestion from the Perfect Health Diet and supplement 500mg once weekly. I supplement basically to get an assured boost in bile production, 'cause over all I'm pretty sure I get enough taurine to live / live well.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:14 AM

Any thoughts on supplementing with taurine?

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on March 22, 2013
at 01:26 AM

+1 for bitters!

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:59 PM

Sarah is a WAPFer, so that makes sense. :) Glad you like!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:50 PM

I also found this, which seems to support what you've said about bitters http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/bitters-invaluable-aid-to-fat-digestion/ .

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:33 PM

Thanks raydawg.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:33 PM

Interesting, thanks Varelse.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:15 PM

Thanks Mscott. I'd love to see a chart showing different foods effects on bile production. Like, different greens, cooked and raw, different meats, cooked and raw, different spices, that would be cool. Also I wonder if these effects are dose dependent and what the bile excretion increases per 100g would be or something. Thanks though, +1.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 21, 2013
at 08:21 PM

Thanks, it makes since to me that raw meat would support bile production on an intuitive level, but since I'm afraid of raw meats (whether that's for rational or irrational reasons), it looks like I'll be sticking to green veggies like artichokes and possibly peas, because they really just taste awesome.

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13 Answers

best answer

7
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 21, 2013
at 08:16 PM

Well, taurine supports bile production - the best source is raw meats, but all animals products, cooked or not, will provide some (including eggs). Thoroughly cooked meats will provide the least.

Taurine likely helps because it's sulphur containing. Other sulphur rich foods, like garlic, are thought to help, too. Garlic is often seen as a panacea for everything, which I'm suspect of, but hey - it's garlic, it's delicious, may as well eat it. :-)

And lastly, my personal favorite: artichokes. Like garlic, artichokes seem to be included in every fluffy "science" based detox out there, but it does seem that artichokes help with bile production overall. Grilled, pan grilled, steamed, or even cooked in the microwave if you're feeling lazy - artichokes are simply fantastic.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:09 AM

Since cooking**

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:44 AM

I take Jaminet's suggestion from the Perfect Health Diet and supplement 500mg once weekly. I supplement basically to get an assured boost in bile production, 'cause over all I'm pretty sure I get enough taurine to live / live well.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 21, 2013
at 08:21 PM

Thanks, it makes since to me that raw meat would support bile production on an intuitive level, but since I'm afraid of raw meats (whether that's for rational or irrational reasons), it looks like I'll be sticking to green veggies like artichokes and possibly peas, because they really just taste awesome.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:09 AM

I just ordered some of this (taurine), I remember reading an article condemning pottenger(from pottengers cats) because they said his results only showed how taurine deficiency effects cats. So when you mentioned this it really struck home for me the relative importance of taurine, especially nice cooking destroys it apparently. I'm really glad I asked this question because I really like your answer, thank you.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:23 AM

Also, taurine significantly improves insulin sensitivity in rats, rubs hands in anticipation. Sweet.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:14 AM

Any thoughts on supplementing with taurine?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Hey greymouser, I'm still likely going to pick this as the best answer, but I want to do a bounty on this so more people read it first :).

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 23, 2013
at 09:27 PM

Right on. Makes sense. :-)

8
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on March 21, 2013
at 08:56 PM

Ginger is a commonly reputed stimulator of bile production: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0378874185900091

Turmeric and red pepper may also increase bile production: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1806542

Ginger, turmeric, black pepper, and red pepper may increase the production of intestinal lipases which digest triglycerides: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09637489609028561

As greymouser said, taurine may also be helpful in bile production. Taurine is used to form taurocholic acid, an important bile salt.

Oh and tea seems to inhibit the activity of lipase. The links are in vitro studies, but i've seen papers that suggest this happens living bellies as well.

So yeah, spicy spices, taurine, I hear vitamin C is important too, probably lots of other stuff helps but thats what I know of. And as much as I love tea, probably avoid it during fatty meals for maximum lipid digestion.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:15 PM

Thanks Mscott. I'd love to see a chart showing different foods effects on bile production. Like, different greens, cooked and raw, different meats, cooked and raw, different spices, that would be cool. Also I wonder if these effects are dose dependent and what the bile excretion increases per 100g would be or something. Thanks though, +1.

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on March 24, 2013
at 10:58 AM

Hmmm. I wonder if this is why people say to cut the fat of a meal in a Chinese restaurant, you should drink a lot of green tea with your meal?

6
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:22 PM

I like the above answers! Here's a little more. According to WAPFers (who I love on most points!) bitters are great for amping up bile production.

From the WAPF website: "When a bitter substance is recognized by bitter receptors on the tongue, a chain of neural and endocrine events begins, labeled as the ???bitter reflex.???2 Mediated by the release of the gastric hormone gastrin, this reflex results in an overall stimulation of digestive function, which over time strengthens the structure and function of all digestive organs (liver, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, etc.).6 Let???s take a more in-depth look at this reflex." http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/bitters-the-revival-of-a-forgotten-flavor

So, things like arugula, dandelion and other bitter greens, and bitter herbs like wormwood and rue, and bitter drinks with tonic or Angostura bitters, should all stimulate bile production and help digest those fats.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:50 PM

I also found this, which seems to support what you've said about bitters http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/bitters-invaluable-aid-to-fat-digestion/ .

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:59 PM

Sarah is a WAPFer, so that makes sense. :) Glad you like!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:33 PM

Interesting, thanks Varelse.

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on March 22, 2013
at 01:26 AM

+1 for bitters!

5
5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on March 24, 2013
at 11:45 PM

Daikon!

Daikon can be juiced. Laboratory testing has shown that the enzyme profile in daikon juice is very similar to the human digestive tract. It also contains phenolic compounds that block potentially dangerous reactions.

Alone, daikon, both in food form and in its extract, is also a very effective diuretic. It causes the kidneys to process waste more effectively and thus excrete more urine. This helps to both improve kidney function and to treat edema. It also helps to clean the blood, eliminating the toxins through the kidneys, liver, sweat glands and digestive tract. Because of this, it helps food be digested more completely leading to less over eating and often weight loss. The seeds do the same thing.

Traditional Chinese medicine has a huge focus on healing foods and a big part of it deals with indigestion (also known as Dampness) which includes bloating/sluggish bowel movement/low bile production).

In areas of China there is a saying:

???Eating more Chinese radish and cabbage can keep you healthy???

These two vegetables are extremely popular in traditional Chinese cooking at home or in the restaurant and supposed to support bile production. My family almost always has some kind of radish or cabbage as an accompanying dish. Our favs are white radish and ginger soup or white radish and carrot stir fry (recipes below).

Ginseng, Chinese licorice, Atractylodes, citrus peel, Poria, and Pinellia rhizome are the six major ingredients in Chinese Six Gentleman Teapills, another time-tested remedy for digestive ills.

Soup with specific healing ingredients are also supposed to increase bile flow. Maybe they're onto something :-)

Puh'ur tea is usually had after heavy meals and has been said to help with digestion.

Bitter melon

Apple cider vinegar

i) Chinese white radish and carrot stir fry

  • 10cm Chinese white radish ??? peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot ??? chopped
  • 2 pieces of chopped ginger
  • 2 tblsp spring onions
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of water

Stir fry Chinese radish, carrot and ginger in the oil and water for 10 minutes on low heat. After this time, add spring onions, salt and pepper to taste.

Effects: Help digestion; clears bloating and fullness; helps bowel movement.

ii) Chinese white radish and ginger soup

  • Handful of chopped radish
  • 1 piece of ginger
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 tblsp coriander

Add all ingredients until boiled. Simmer for 10 minutes. After this time you can add the coriander. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Effects: This soup smells very delicious, supposed to help to move food down in the intestines; helps to avoid food stagnation; improves digestion and metabolism.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:54 PM

Linds, do you use fresh coriander (cilantro) for this delicious sounding soup?

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:32 PM

Yes! Fresh is a must with this recipe!

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on March 29, 2013
at 07:44 PM

No problem! I usually use 1 slice of fresh ginger, about 1/2 cm thick by about 3 cm long left whole :)

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:42 PM

Thanks Linds, I bought the ingredients yesterday, but realize I don't know how to measure "1 piece of ginger." An inch maybe? left whole or chopeed? I found out that 10 cm is about 4 inches in case anyone else doesn't measure by centimeters.

5
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19483)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:20 PM

Get some ox bile pills, or digestive enzyme pills with it. You could also get digestive enzymes with lipase, but I found these don't work as well.

Personally I take Now Super Enzymes in capsule (not tablet) form as I stupidly allowed a doctor to take out my gall bladder.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 21, 2013
at 09:33 PM

Thanks raydawg.

4
312537f2ecb216c830c3fd351efcfbbc

on March 23, 2013
at 10:43 PM

summary

the forgotten flavor/bitters (promotes digestive enzymes)

  • lemon, citrus
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • ACV
  • wheatgrass juice
  • bitter/greens: arugula, dandelion (via alkaloids in greens)
  • turmeric
  • capcaisin via cayenne/jalapeno
  • ox bile
  • Now Super Enzymes
  • wormwood, rue, Angelica, Chamomile, Dandelion, Goldenseal, Horehound, Milk Thistle,
    Peppermint, Yarrow; via tea
  • Taurine,Phosphatidylcholine via eggs
  • Rejuvelac
  • Kombucha
  • coconut water?
  • whey
  • HCL (I first learned about HCL in 'Green For Life' by Victoria Boutenko, a green smoothie book; I think there is a chapter about it and the Roseberg Study)
  • Lipase
  • Swedish Bitters from Maria Treban
  • cacao/nibs?
  • coffee?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on March 23, 2013
at 11:19 PM

Coconut water? I'm doubtful.

3
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 23, 2013
at 10:05 PM

Another rabbit trail ... When I was having gallbladder and fat digestion troubles year ago my holistic doc put me on a supplement that would thin the bile and make it flow better. It was called Phosphatidylcholine. Found naturally in egg yolk. More on wiki.

3
89985542ffc00c296552951369fe809a

on March 22, 2013
at 03:44 AM

I have heard vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar is great at digesting fat.

3
7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on March 22, 2013
at 01:33 AM

Good answers, I'll ad lemon water to the mix. I find sipping on lemon water in between meals helps if I'm eating lots of fat. It helps the liver produce enzymes apparently. Although I can't find much research to support this, my own experience is that it does work.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/286438-the-effect-of-lemon-juice-on-liver-function/

2
04a4f204bc2e589fa30fd31b92944549

(975)

on March 23, 2013
at 11:21 PM

I have no idea what you meant by "it takes cholesterol out and makes bile with it ". You can take a lipase supplement which is an enzyme your body uses to digest fat.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:59 AM

Taurine was originally derived from ox bile. You're right in that I used very ambiguous wording. It would be more accurate to say that taurine is used by the liver for bile salts. Bile salts have cholesterol and that cholesterol helps to break down dietary fat. Taurine also lowers serum cholesterol levels in clinical trials. I typed the above in a rush I hope this is clearer.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 24, 2013
at 01:05 AM

It takes cholesterol out of the blood or it lowers serum cholesterol. It increases bile excretion, bile excretion has cholesterol in it.

2
07d8ff43993e6739451e58ae7459cfe2

on March 23, 2013
at 11:20 PM

If you aren't producing enough bile, it means your liver and gallbladder are overloaded from all the fat you're eating.

So along with everyone else's suggestions of stuff to add, until you are actually digesting the fat, give your organs a break. Eat bitter leafy greens, drink bitter tea, and eat lean meat.

I know that some paleo people are way into fat, but if your body is telling you that you're out of balance, adjust accordingly. I'm in the paleo for health camp, not the paleo for bulking up, so I'm biased.

Also, Taurine is popular in energy drinks and among bodybuilders. So I'm suspicious and you might consider investigating it further.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 24, 2013
at 01:03 AM

Thanks rosa, I agree and I am looking into it further.

1
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on March 23, 2013
at 10:51 PM

HCL with pepsin

1
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on March 22, 2013
at 02:46 AM

Poo floats because of the gas it has in it, not fat. http://www.poopreport.com/Doctor/Content/float.html

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 23, 2013
at 10:48 PM

What's your question?

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:24 AM

Bristol stool chart?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on March 22, 2013
at 03:59 AM

Yep .

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