Do you really know why you need your gallbladder? Most people don’t, so you’re not alone.
Gallbladders are a use-it-or-lose it organ. Without the right foods – or with all the wrong ones – it will cease to function properly.
To have a healthy gallbladder you need to regularly consume healthy fats. On low-fat diets, or when eating hydrogenated or other highly-processed fats, the gallbladder doesn’t get properly stimulated to release bile. It can then become congested with stagnant bile that’s too thick to be pushed out. Before you know it, you get a little pain under the right side of your rib cage after you eat. Now you’ve got gallstones – little hardened “stones” of cholesterol or bile pigment. These do not form from cholesterol in your diet, but are products made by your liver.
While your liver manufactures bile, your gallbladder acts as the storage and release facility for it. Bile is an emulsifier, meaning that it’s like a soap for fats, which breaks fats down into smaller particles that your intestine can absorb. When you consume fat, your gallbladder will contract and release the right amount of bile to break down those fats.
Fat makes up the cell membrane of every single cell in your body – so this will effect every part of you! Without proper fat absorption you also end up with dry skin and a higher likelihood of depression. After all, your brain is made of 60% fatty acids. Fortunately for us, our bodies are constantly making new cells to replace the old damaged ones, allowing us to constantly renew. A steady stream of high-quality fats means that every time your body is creating a new cell it has the raw materials to make it perfectly!
Over 500,000 Americans a year have their gallbladders removed. Some of the other potential consequences of this are: liver congestion with the possibility of gallstones forming in the liver, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and an increased risk of pancreatic and colon cancers. Once your gallbladder is gone, your pancreas has to work harder to pick up the slack by secreting more fat-digesting enzymes. Since bile is still made by your liver, it will continually drip into your small intestine and can irritate the lining, leading to other digestive complaints and poor nutrient absorption.
Unless there is an emergency need for removal, I would encourage everyone to look at the alternatives such as dietary intervention and gallbladder flushing, in order to naturally preserve a vitally important organ. If you’re already without a gallbladder, look into adding supplemental bile salts to help make the most of your healthy dietary fats.