Bile’s Role in Weight Loss

You’ve probably heard of bile, but did you know it’s a ‘secret’ to successful weight loss?

Before we get into that though, bile’s a greenish-yellow liquid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder and is released to assist digestion when you eat. It’s made up of a number of different components including water, electrolytes, cholesterol, fatty acids, sodium, potassium, calcium, bilirubin and bile acids. And it’s that last ingredient that scientists have discovered could help us in our efforts to shed unwanted fat.

Something else you may not know – we have 3 kinds of body fat (I know! As if one kind wasn’t enough…). They are:

  • white, “energy-storing” fat
  • brown, “energy-burning” fat
  • beige, “beiged” white fat that acts like brown fat

Are you confused yet? Hmm, I don’t blame you …

But the good news is that according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, bile acids have the ability to transform blubbery white fat cells into the beige, fat-burning variety. So this is where things get interesting.

Babies have lots of brown fat – the body burns this fat in a process called thermogenesis to create heat for warmth. Adults shiver to stay warm due to more white energy-storing fat than brown. What we want to be doing is “beigeing” our white fat. And we can, by activating bile acid receptor sites in the body with molecules which mimic the action of bile salts. This now triggers white fat to alter their metabolic function, transforming themselves into beiged fat!

Now, do you get it? If not, don’t worry too much – all we really want to know is HOW.

The first step is to support healthy bile production and function – even if you don’t have a gallbladder, you still make bile, so don’t panic.

The way we do this is to start with foods which increase healthy bile production:

  • Have a glass of water first thing each morning with freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Consume more garlic, onions, carrots, celery, radish, beets & artichokes (sometimes called “bitter vegetables” – all of which improve and increase bile flow)
  • Have more ‘bitter vegetables’ which stimulate liver function and include rocket, dandelion greens, organic coffee, kale and turmeric
  • Regularly consume apple cider vinegar, perhaps in a salad
  • When you can, have probiotic foods such as kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut
  • Drink teas such as dandelion, peppermint and ginger tea
  • Eat detoxifying foods like seeds, fish, eggs, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower
  • Eat selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts (2 a day), yellowfin tuna, sardines and halibut
  • Drink plenty of water to ensure bile doesn’t get sluggish

Now you want to also support your precious bile-producer – your liver! Do this by:

  • Remove sugar and simple carbs from your diet
  • Remove all processed foods
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol
  • Limit drugs you don’t need (or eliminate)
  • Eat smaller meals – don’t overeat

Lastly, give yourself some liver and bile-flow supporting supplements such as:

You will be surprised at how much weight you will lose effortlessly if you can follow some or all of these principles.



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Originally published on in 2020.