Bile production and why you should care (hint: it's important for thyroid hormones and detoxification)
Bile may not sound like the sexiest thing but it is! Without bile your thyroid won’t work, your skin won’t shine and your estrogen will cause you nothing but problems.
Tune into today’s episode to learn why you should care about bile and how to boost it (bile style!)
Kendra Perry: Hello, hello, how's everyone doing? Welcome to another awesome episode of High on Energy TV. I'm just fiddling with my microphone here, just give me a sec. I always hop on, just a little bit too early. I get super excited to come on and then I hop on before actually making sure that I'm totally set up to talk to you guys. I am always, always excited to be here. I am Kendra Perry, I am your host. As always, I want to teach you how to get more energy.
Today, we're going to be talking about bile. Actually, this might sound a little bit funny, but bile is actually one of my very, very favorite topics to talk about these days. I feel like I've become a bit of a bile broken record. It's crazy, and I actually can't believe it, but up until recently I was pretty ignorant and unaware of why bile was so important. And I didn't really know much about it or talk about it very much. Hey Margret, welcome. I'm so glad you're here and guys if you're here with my right now, always chime into the comments and say hi, 'cause I love connecting with you.
Yeah, I was a bile ignorant person for a very long time, and I actually didn't know much about it. I kind of got turned onto it recently, when I've been learning a lot about detoxification and heavy metals. What I learned is that bile is incredibly important, not only for detoxification and heavy metals. But also for thyroid, for skin, for hormone levels, all these things. And suddenly I realized that my bile might not be functioning at its optimum, and maybe I should be considering bile more in that of my clients, okay. Now I'm a bile broken record like I said. Yeah, It's something that I think is really important, something that I think especially as women we really need to be considering and we really need to be talking about.
Today I'm going to talk about you know, what is bile? Why should you care? What does bile do? Who is at risk of having bile issues? And then as always, I'm going to give you some actionable tips, things that you can start doing today. Things that you can start implementing to start boosting your bile. Very exciting, hope you guys enjoy today's episode.
Okay, let's jump into it. First of all, for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, and you're wondering well, what the heck is bile? Bile is basically a greenish brown, it's very dark. It's a alkalide, and it's a fluid. It's very important for our digestion but also for our detoxification process. It is secreted in the liver and it's stored in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is actually responsible for releasing it. The liver makes it, sends it to the gallbladder. The gallbladder concentrates it, stores it, and when it gets the trigger or sort of like the message to send it, that is when it gets sent out. When it gets triggered into our digestive system and helps us with digestion, okay.
When it comes to bile, what it is actually made of? It's actually mostly cholesterol, which I think it's interesting because I feel like we've been pretty highly fear mongered about cholesterol and why it's bad, but it's actually incredibly important for bile. And if you have ever taken or know somebody who's taken cholesterol lowering drugs, this is a really big issue because it's actually going to cause a bile deficiency. Which is going to cause all these issues as you soon will learn, okay.
Bile also contains bile acids and also called bile salts and then bilirubin. These are the things that bile is made up of, and it's actually a big part of that is what makes your stool very dark. A very easy way to tell if you are you know, either you have a bile deficiency you're not making it properly. Or maybe your bile isn't flowing properly. A really great way to do this, to check on this is actually to look at your poop. If your poop is very light in color, if it's very pale looking. There's a good chance that you don't have good bile production. Your bile is not flowing as it should, so that's a really easy way to tell. Although it's not always straight forward.
Bile is that very dark greenish substance. That's what makes our stool that nice beautiful brown color that we want to see in the toilet every time we poop okay. Some of the primary jobs of bile, number one, it helps absorb fat soluble vitamins. It's what helps emulsify and break down fats okay. Pretty much every time you eat, there's certain triggers. Your stomach acid will get triggered as your food goes to your stomach. That is actually a primary trigger to your gallbladder to be like, "Yo, release some bile." And then by the time that food gets to the small intestine, and that will actually help emulsify and break down fats.
Your fat soluble vitamins are things like vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E and vitamin D. Very, very important vitamins, and they do need that bile to be able to emulsify them. If you don't have good bile, you're going to have a really hard time absorbing your fat soluble vitamins. That can really affect your skin health. I find with people with a bile deficiency, their skin tends to look very dull, it tends to be very dry. Sometimes kind of peely, sometimes itchy. Linda says, "Oh poop." You know, I love talking about poop Linda. It's nice to see you Linda, welcome, I'm glad you're here.
Bile also helps boost thyroid activity, this is what a lot of people don't know. Is that bile is incredible important when it comes to the function of your thyroid. And you know, on this podcast, we talk about getting you more energy. Typically you are tuning in because you're like, "I'm pretty tired Kendra, I need more energy." And if your thyroid is not functioning properly, well this can be a primary cause of fatigue, right?
We really want our thyroid to function properly. And getting our thyroid to function better is not about taking thyroid drugs, it's not about taking thyroid glandulars. That can help, but really we got to get to a deeper root cause. If your bile isn't flowing, then you're likely going to have thyroid issues. Because bile actually triggers the release of enzymes that convert T4 which is your inactive thyroid hormone. This is what your thyroid is producing, it's always producing T4. T4 isn't active. And so T4 needs to be converted, it needs to be activated into T3. T3 is the active hormone, it's the one that exerts the effect on our metabolism, on our energy levels.
Bile actually triggers the enzyme that causes that conversion. If your bile isn't working properly either because you have a deficiency or your bile is all sluggish and gross, and blocked up and kind of like sludgy. Think of like sludgy, think of like oil, sludgy oil. Then that conversion doesn't happen, so we don't have T3. Honestly there is a crazy statistic for thyroid issues. I mean, I see thyroid issues in most of the women that I am testing. I think the statistic say like 70% of women have a thyroid issue. It's crazy, it's like every woman I talk with has a thyroid issues, and obviously maybe I'm seeing a certain subset of people.
You know, obviously people are coming to me for fatigue. Typically there may be a thyroid issue, but it is crazy. I mean, I talk to multiple people each day who have thyroid issues. And I've always now, I wasn't six months ago, this wasn't even on my radar. But right now I'm always thinking about, well what is going on with their bile? Okay.
The other thing that bile does, is it actually helps regulate your hormones. Bile is really important for moving hormones out. Hormones are the chemical messengers of the cell. They basically just get instructions from other things in the body and then they go do a job, okay? Once that hormone has completed its message, once it has completed its job. It needs to be exited or moved, or eliminated out of the body. You can't have a hormone that now has an outdated message running amok in the body and causing all these issues. It's very important that hormones, once they are finished their job they get moved out of the body. The body will do that with bile, okay. It'll bind to hormones and it'll move them out of the body.
If you don't have good functioning bile, a lot of those hormones can actually be left to recirculate. If you have any dominance of a certain hormone like estrogen or testosterone, that can actually be due to a bile deficiency, and I see this a lot. Estrogen dominance, very nasty. Testosterone dominance, very nasty, right. You don't want to have these dominances, these are very potent hormones and they can cause a lot of issues in the bile, or in the body sorry. You know, if they are out of balance, especially if they are high, okay.
Who is at risk for bile issues? Anyone with a thyroid issue, I would definitely be paying attention, I would definitely be thinking about your bile. We've talked about how bile can drive things like estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance, can actually create a bit of a vicious circle and actually cause a bile issue. Estrogen actually stimulates the liver to remove more cholesterol from the blood and divert it into bile. When you have too much cholesterol in your bile which can happen if you're estrogen dominance, that will actually cause the bile to thicken.
If you are estrogen dominant, you know, maybe because you have a bile deficiency. But then on top of that, you're taking hormonal birth control, you're bing exposed to synthetic estrogens in the form of plastics in our environment. Then you will have this situation going on where your body keeps pushing that cholesterol into bile from the blood, and that will cause that thick bile. That's really what we don't want. Because really, what we want bile to be like this like thin kind of viscous fluid. Kind of like water, we want it to kind of swirl around. You know, if were to get into bile and swim in it, you know, we'd want to be able to like easily kind of move through it.
But what happens with a lot of women, I'm seeing this a lot lately is that their bile thickens. It gets very sluggish and toxic, and sludgy, so that it's like goop. It's sticky and sludgy, so if you were to dive into that sludgy gross bile, it would just stick to you and you would lose energy so quickly 'cause you'd be wading against this crazy thick sludge.
Hopefully this is painting a really nice picture in your head for you. Yeah, so anyone who has estrogen dominance, or estrogen issues. Or is taking external sources of estrogen. Again, this can come from synthetic plastics, it can come from hormonal birth control. The pill, the patch, the IUD, the ring. I don't know, the needle, the implant, there's all these different types of birth control. They have synthetic estrogen, and no matter which form you are on, the progesterone, the synthetic progesterone is not true progesterone. It's progestin, so it doesn't have a true progesterone effect. Any form of hormonal birth control does stimulate estrogen, it does make you estrogen dominance. A copper IUD will do it do, because copper will stimulate the release of estrogen.
And then hormone replacement therapy, if you're on any bioidentical estrogen that you maybe don't need. That maybe is getting monitored with blood testing. Or you're on some sort of synthetic estrogen therapy. I mean, this can all cause the bile to thicken, okay? When the bile gets too thick, this is what actually leads to the gallstones. It's basically this really sludgy bile that eventually forms into stone, that can be incredibly painful. It can lead to you eventually needing your gallbladder removed. Which is really the worse case scenario, because the gallbladder is not a throw away organ. It is an organ that you need, and if you get your gallbladder removed, unfortunately you're going to have digestive issues for the rest of your life and you're probably going to struggle with your thyroid.
A lot of people gain a lot of weight after having their gallbladder removed, and that is because of how it affects thyroid hormone. It will ultimately slow down your metabolism and it can cause a lot of hormonal issues as well. Obviously there are extreme cases. If you let the situation get too bad, and you've been getting bad information for too long. You might get to a point where it's medically necessary to actually get your gallbladder removed unfortunately. Luckily there's things you can do to support it, but you will need to be taking bitters and bile salts, and bile builders with pretty much every single meal for the rest of your life. Or you're going to end up with these issues, okay. It's unfortunate.
Usually when someone tells me that it's been recommended by their doctor to have their gallbladder out. Usually what I'll say is, "Just give me six months." Give me six months, let's see if we can turn this around. As long as obviously the situation doesn't go to emergency medical status. And in every single case so far, we've been able to avoid that gallbladder surgery. If you can avoid it, if it is in anyway possible to avoid it, please do. We don't want to be removing organs, especially something as important as the gallbladder. It's a very important organ.
Let's talk about how you can identify if your bile is not flowing properly. Like, I said, you know, if you have some of those symptoms. If you have estrogen dominance, PCOS. If you feel really noxious after eating really fatty foods, if you don't feel like you digest fat well. These are signs that your gallbladder isn't working. You know, like I said, any thyroid issues these all make it likely that your bile isn't flowing. But you can actually do a bit of blood work, and so you want to get your liver enzymes tested. I actually talked about these in the last weeks episode, or two weeks ago I think? I talked about some of the blood markers you want to look at if you have fatigue. I did talk a little bit about these. If you want the functional ranges, I forgot to write down the functional ranges, 'cause I don't know them off the top of my head. But you can grab them in I believe it was two episodes ago. The one on blood chemistry markers for fatigue.
But you want to be looking at your AST and your ALT. These are liver enzymes and you don't want to be elevated. You want to look at them in comparison to the functional ranges. I really recommend you go back and check out that episode, because I actually give you the functional ranges for these two liver enzymes. If those are elevated that is a sign that your liver, gallbladder is functioning. But the one marker that you want to get and you're probably going to have to request this, because this isn't going to be typically a part of comprehensive metabolic panel. It is GGT. That is actually a really good gallbladder marker, if it is elevated again you can get that function range in that episode I did on blood chemistry.
That shows that your gallbladder is sluggish. Your bile production is not optimal. Either you're not producing enough, you're missing that trigger. If you have low stomach acid you're probably missing that trigger. Or that bile is really like thick and sludgy. You know, that really gross oily, nasty tar. Think of it like tar, right, we don't want our bile to be like tar.
Guys, if you're on with me right now, make sure to say hi, so I can tell who's with me. I love connecting with you and I love to give you a shout out and say hey. Definitely let me know you're here, give me heart, give me a thumbs up. Or just throw a comment and say hey in the comments box, I would love to know that you're here. I'm just going to have a quick drink of water.
Okay, so as always, I want to give you guys some actionable tips. Things you can do to help improve bile function. The easiest ways to increase biles, or sorry, bitter foods in your died. Any bitter food is really good at stimulating bile function, okay. Angela says hey, I know Angela is here, that's awesome.
That's going to be a lot of your dark leafy greens. Swiss Chard, collards, dandelion greens, beet greens. Amy's here. Amy said she just learned about me through YouTube. That's awesome, welcome, I'm really glad you're here Amy. Some of the other things would be, yeah like beet greens. Arugula, radicchio, all those dark leafy greens are bitters. Beet root is a fantastic bitter, so is artichoke, also dandelion roots. I actually drink a dandelion root tea everyday at the end of the day. It's my afternoon drink to support my bile. I also try to eat lots of dark leafy bitter greens. I think those are really, really helpful, it's a really easy thing. You know, you can eat them in a smoothie, throw them in a soup. I like to saute them up with just butter and salt, that is my favorite way to eat them.
That's a really easy way to do it. Artichoke, I like making artichoke dip, or even doing an artichoke tincture, that can be incredibly helpful. The other thing that I really love ... You might not be able to see this, 'cause I've got a study light on me, this is a St. Francis Canadian Bitters. If you want to access this, you can get it in my online dispensary. Just shoot my Facebook page a message and I can give you access to that.
Just the bitters are basically just bitter herbs. For example, this has artichoke in it, it has dandelions, some of the things we've talked about. It has chamomile, gentian, tumeric, cardamon, burdock, black walnut and ginger. Those are all bitter herbs and I love taking them as a tincture. If you're in Canada this is really good, a lot of natural food stores actually carry this one. If you're in the states, I really like Urban Moonshine or Quicksilver Dr. Shade's Bitters No.9. Those are all really good options.
I take these with every single meal. I help take them to help stimulate bile with every single meal, I also take them first thing in the morning. Now if you don't have a gallbladder you wouldn't want to take these on an empty stomach. Because you don't have the organ you need to store bile. So you're just going to stimulate bile, and it's going to get dumped into your intestine, and that can be aggravating. You want to be taking this with meals.
Also if you don't have a gallbladder, you should add in bile salts and some sort of bile builder, like choline or taurine. Those are really great bile builders. I love taking taurine. Choline is amazing, if you are someone with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. You should be taking Phosphatidylcholine three times a day with every single meal. That can actually really alleviate that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, so really, really, helpful.
The other thing I like to use is Tudca, so T-U-D-C-A. Tudca is a really great bile salt. Really helpful for people who don't have gallbladders, and people who have that sludgy bile. I also use a lot of celery juice. Celery juice is really great for sodium, potassium, it's also a great bile stimulate, okay.
The other thing that is really helpful for bile and you guys will probably be happy to hear this, is coffee. Coffee is a bitter food, it's actually a fantastic bile stimulant. It's a big reason why coffee makes you poop. It's like you drink your coffee, you poop, because it's stimulating your bile okay.
I'm not someone who actually thinks coffee is unhealthy. I think one small cup of coffee before 10:00 AM. It should be high quality organic coffee is a fantastic way to stimulate your bile. I have a coffee not every morning, 'cause coffee is a bit hit and miss with me. Sometimes it just doesn't make me feel good, so I have to be in the mood for it. But I would recommend just one small organic cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Now a light roast is going to have more bile stimulating properties, but a light roast has more caffeine. When I have a light roast, I feel like my heart's going to beat off the rocker. I don't tolerate the extra caffeine very much. But if you can tolerate it, go for the light roast. But the light roast it definitely tastes a little bit more acidic.
I don't think it tastes as good as dark roast, but I will try to have one once a week. Just to try to have that bile stimulating activity. Okay, so I'm going to hop into the comments now. Lisa says, "Thank you for the videos, you're so interesting to listen to. Explaining the body in laymen terms." I'm glad that helps. And then Linda says, "Not Tea?" Yeah, you can dandelion root tea, I'm not sure which tea you're referring too. But dandelion root tea is a tea that I will do, and then coffee. Those are the two things that can be really helpful. Also chicory root. Chicory root is also a bitter and you can make a tea out of chicory root. You can kind of do a dandelion, chicory root combo. Definitely go light on the chicory root, it is very bitter, very quickly. You actually don't need to steep it for very long if you're doing a chicory root tea.
When I do chicory root tea, I'll put the chicory powder in a glass, pour the water in and then strain it. I don't let it steep because it just gets too bitter and too strong. Those are my best tips. Just to summarize guys, remember we should care about bile because not only does it help us break down those fat soluble vitamins that we need of healthy skin, that we need for so many functions in our body. But we also need it for thyroid activity and moving old outdated hormones out of the body. Very, very important things.
When your bile stops functioning properly, so either you stop producing in high enough amounts or it gets thick and sludgy. This is a huge issue, this will leave to gallstones, eventually gallbladder surgery. This will cause your thyroid to slow down. If you have estrogen dominance, if you've taken hormonal birth control, copper IUD, you are at great risk for bile issues and you should be taking steps to boost your bile.
Remember that you can test for this by looking at liver enzymes AST and ALT. And then GGT is your primary gallbladder marker, and you will need to request it, it's not going to be a standard on most blood chemistry. And then to improve bile function, focus on those bitter foods. Things like dark leafy greens, beet root, coffee. Dark chocolate, didn't mention that one, but a little bit of dark chocolate is actually a great bile stimulant. You don't have a gallbladder, make sure you're taking digestive bitters with every meal. I recommend doing that too even if you have a gallbladder. But without a gallbladder you want to add in the bile salts and probably want to add in a bile builder like choline or taurine as well. You could also experiment with Tudca, which is a really fantastic thing as well.
Dandelion root tea, artichoke, all these things are very helpful. And I think everyday we should be doing things to boost our bile. We should be considering our bile every single day. And in my group membership program, High on Energy, this is the main way that I work with clients right now. I'm not taking on any one on one clients anymore. But I work with women in my High on Energy membership program, and we actually did a bile boosting challenge in December. We had people ... Hey Theresa.
We had people you know, doing something everyday, posting every time they were stimulating bile, with hash tag bile. Obviously there was a prize in the mix, I love giving away prizes. A lot of my members notices a lot of benefit from focusing on bile boosting. A lot of them said, "My skin is glowing. I have more energy. I feel like my digestion's better." We saw a lot of great results with that contest. I do encourage you to think about your bile every single day. I am definitely doing that these days.
I'm taking my bitters, I take choline. I drink my dandelion root tea, I have my coffee. I occasionally have some dark chocolate. I think that's it. Well, sometimes I do celery juice too. Theresa's in the group, she's in the comments right now and she really enjoyed the challenge. Right now we're having another challenge, we're having the I Love Me challenge, which is all about self care and loving ourself, because that is very important. If you guys want to be a part of the membership, that is the number one way to work with me right now. I'll put a link at the top of this episodes and in the show notes for the podcast guys. The podcast goes out every Thursday, a copy of this episode.
And then if you want to hop on with my life for the Facebook live show, that's going to happen every Tuesday at 4:00 PM Pacific. A question from Angela, she says, "How do we test for the health or size of our bile?" Just go back and listen to the first half of this episode Angela. It's GGT along with your liver enzymes, and I talked about that earlier in the episode, so you can just scroll back and just listen to that.
Cool guys, so that is all I've got for today. I hope that was helpful. Yeah, I love connecting with you and I will see you guys in the next episode, which happens next Tuesday at 4:00 PM. Take care everyone.