Liver Health: Support Your Gallbladder along with Your Liver

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Liver Health: Support Your Gallbladder along with Your Liver

Fat floats. This is a problem because fats in most of the foods you eat (if not all) cannot pass through your small intestinal lining to reach your blood stream and the rest of your body without first being dissolved in water. Your liver, gallbladder, pancreas and small intestine team up to accomplish this very complicated chemical feat. In its part, your liver passes along to your gallbladder bile acids and bile salts that help fats in your gut dissolve in water, as well as excess cholesterol, fat-soluble vitamins, steroid hormones, and other metabolic wastes that do not otherwise dissolve in water. Some of the materials sent to the gut by the gallbladder are later excreted in the stool. This represents a major pathway for the removal of estrogens, cholesterol and some “detoxified” toxins from the body and is a vital component of health maintenance. As is evident, the gallbladder is a major contributor to the overall detoxification process.

The smooth operation of this system requires the routine production of healthy bile by the liver. Several studies point to dietary and lifestyle measures that can help to promote the efficiency of the gallbladder, lending support to this vital portion of the detoxification system. Papers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Epidemiology, the Annals of Internal Medicine and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown that eating peanuts and mixed nuts, and drinking coffee or tea every day, while decreasing animal fat consumption and trimming your waistline, are all factors that can help your gallbladder continue humming along in good health.9,10,11,12

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Liver Health: Supply Your Liver with the Cofactors It Needs

References:
9. Leitzmann MF, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Spiegelman D, Colditz GA, Giovannucci E. A prospective study of coffee consumption and the risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in men. JAMA 1999;281:2106- 2112.
10. Ruhl CE, Everhart JE. Association of coffee consumption with gallbladder disease. Am J Epidemiol 2000;152:1034-1038.
11. Tsai CJ, Leitzmann MF, Willett WC, Giovannucci EL. The effect of longterm intake of cis unsaturated fats on the risk for gallstone disease in men: A prospective cohort study. Ann Intern Med 2004;141:514-522.
12. Tsai CJ, Leitzmann MF, Willett WC, Giovannucci EL. Prospective study of abdominal adiposity and gallstone disease in US men. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:38-44.


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