What to eat if you have no gallbladder
Q: I had my gallbladder taken out a number of years ago. Can you please explain whether there’s a particular diet I should be following?
A: The role of the gallbladder is to concentrate and store bile that the liver produces, until it is needed. Bile is critical for the digestion and absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K). Additionally, many substances that are problematic to the body if they were to accumulate are fat-soluble, and bile is essential for them to be metabolised, altered and eliminated. Substances the body makes itself like estrogen and testosterone are fat-soluble and also require bile for their metabolism.
For those who have had their gallbladder removed, the liver continues to make the bile however the gallbladder is no longer available to store it. Producing bile is not the liver’s only job, plus it cannot make as much bile without the gallbladder as there is nowhere to store it.
Bitter foods and herbs can help to stimulate bile production, so these can be highly beneficial. However, bitterness is not a flavour many people seek out. Some examples include green leafy vegetables and roasted dandelion root tea. Globe artichoke and St Mary’s thistle are two medicinal herbs that can be highly beneficial to efficient bile production, and a medical herbalist can advise you whether these would be suitable for you personally if this appeals. ❚ Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional. ❚ Today’s article will be my last column. It has been a joy to share information about the role of food and stress in your body and on your health over the last two years, and I hope you have found the information useful. I wish you much health and happiness for the future. -