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    The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped muscular sack that acts as a storage tank for bile. The bile is made in the liver by liver cells and is sent through tiny ducts or canals to the duodenum (small intestine) and to the gallbladder. The gallbladder stores the bile to have it available in larger quantities for secretion when a meal is eaten. The ingestion of food and especially fats cause the release of a hormone, cholecystokinin, (CCK) which in turn signals the relaxation of the valve at the end of the common bile duct (the sphincter of oddi) which lets the bile enter the small intestine. It also signals the contraction of the gallbladder which squirts the concentrated liquid bile into the

    that lack of fat
    in your by Text-Enhance" href="">diet can
    also bring on a
    gallbladder attack?

    Fats are important but
    it's the right fats that count. If you are in pain now, try the beet recipe which calls for some
    flax oil.

    Research shows that a by Text-Enhance" href="">balanced diet high in CIS unsaturated fats
    (essential fatty acids) may
    reduce risk of gallstones,
    especially in men.(1)

    small intestine where it helps with the emulsification or breakdown of fats in the meal.



    The gallbladder is located behind the liver on the right side of the rib cage. It hits up against the under surface of the liver. There is a duct from the liver to the small intestine which is joined by a duct from and to the gallbladder. Bile moves in both directions into and out of the gallbladder through the cystic duct. This latter duct joins with a duct from the pancreas on its way to the small intestine carrying pancreatic enzymes also used for digestion. The main duct is called the common bile duct. It is common to the liver, gallbladder and farther down line, to the pancreas as well.

    Bile is a bitter, yellow fluid. It can consist of by Text-Enhance" href="">cholesterol, lecithin, calcium, bile salts, acids and waste materials among other things. When the bile salts and cholesterol get out of balance with each other (to state it simply) gall stones can form.



    Bile is continually being made and secreted by the liver into bile ducts in varying amounts.(1) Some of it goes directly into the small intestine and some into the gallbladder. The gallbladder stores the bile to be squirted down the ducts into the small intestine to help to breakdown the fats when you eat a meal that contains fats. It also acts as a reservoir that uptakes excess bile when there is pressure in the bile ducts.


    The bile has two major functions in the body. Firstly, it breaks down the fats that you eat so that your body can utilize them. Without adequate bile you do not metabolize your fats well which can result in a deficiency of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). You may also have problems digesting the essential fatty acids. Amongst other symptoms you could have trouble utilizing calcium, have dry skin, peeling on the soles of your feet, etc. One way you can tell you have trouble digesting fats is if you have excessive burping that starts shortly after eating a meal that has fat in it. You might feel nauseous or experience gas and bloating. Often the bile is thick and you can thin it out with The Beet Recipe which you can find on the Gallbladder Diet page, or with a whole food beet product found in the GALLBLADDER STARTER KIT on this site.

    Secondly, bile is a very powerful antioxidant which helps to remove toxins from the liver. The liver filters toxins (bacteria, viruses, drugs or other foreign substances the body doesn't want) and sends them out via the bile, which is made in the liver. The pathway of departure is from the liver through the bile ducts and into the gallbladder or directly into the small intestine where it joins waste matter and leaves through the colon with the feces. A healthy liver produces about a quart to a quart and a half of bile daily. If you have gallbladder problems, you would do well to cleanse your liver and bowel also. Many people with sluggish gallbladders have a tendency towards constipation.

    To understand gallbladder pathology or what goes wrong with your gallbladder click on Gallbladder Disease>

    (1)Torsoli A, Corazziari E, Habib FI, Cicala M. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl. 1990;175:52-7.

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