Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

November 26, 2014

Give Thanks to Bile – Your #1 Holiday Fat Burner

The surprising missing ingredient for effortless detox and weight loss.

Besides reclaiming your skinny gut over the holidays, there’s probably nothing more important than keeping your liver in tip top shape.

Most of us are familiar with herbal liver detoxifiers like milk thistle, Oregon grape root, and dandelion root. But these pale in comparison to the power of your own bile.

Your liver, in its innate wisdom, synthesizes and secretes about 1 ½ quarts of this miraculous substance on a daily basis and then stores it in the gallbladder.

Bile is the daily key to absorbing and assimilating fat as well as serving as the toxic waste dump for excess chemicals, hormones, drugs, heavy metals and other toxins that eventually need to be eliminated by the body.

If you have a persistent roll of fat at your waistline, your liver may have stopped processing fat—due to a bile shortage—and begun storing it!

Only when you rebuild those bile levels, will you lose that fat—for good—and achieve the super health you deserve.

Remember that fat—not carbohydrates—is the preferred fuel source for your body’s trillions of cells. Why, even your cell membranes and vital organs are full of fat.

That’s why your brain is over 50% fat, your liver is nearly 5 pounds of fat and your kidneys, retinas, and endocrine system are composed of fat.

Without enough bile, your body simply can’t absorb the fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A (the infection fighter), Vitamin E (the fertility vitamin), Vitamin K (the bone health healer) and Vitamin D (the healing hormone-like vitamin that increases immunity and wards off breast and colon cancers).

The problem is that bile can be hampered from doing its job because of a lack of bile nutrients (like lecithin), congestion or even clogged bile ducts which hamper bile flow and result in less bile production.

The way I see it, there are two solutions to this problem…

You can consider a gallbladder flush (to be administered under your health care professional’s guidance) which usually consists of Epsom salts, grapefruit juice, apple juice and olive oil, or simply restore the missing bile salts—which is imperative especially if you no longer have your gallbladder.

The latter is the relatively easier fix, although some individuals definitely may need a good cleanse.

There are many gallbladder cleanses on the market which are designed for those with a gallbladder that may be sluggish or clogged. (Signs include constipation and light colored stools).

The easiest Gallbladder Cleanse includes the following:

AM — Drink 8 oz. of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Avoid food, drink, or supplements for 30 minutes.

PM — Before bed, take another 8 oz. of grapefruit juice with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Repeat for 7 days. You can take several teaspoons of epsom salts to “get things moving” first thing in the morning or the evening before the cleanse.

Follow the cleanse with a supplement like Liver-Lovin Formula that helps the gallbladder continue to cleanse itself by detoxifying secondary bile toxins and acids and HCL Plus.

With protein meals that contain fat, HCL Plus would be my recommendation (call UNI KEY to order 800-888-4353). The “Plus” refers to 50 mg of an ox bile extract.  The hydrochloric acid component triggers the gallbladder to dump bile, so less bile would be needed in the presence of hydrochloric acid than the straight bile salts.

For those without a gallbladder, Cholacol would be my choice. It is a Standard Process product which UNI KEY can also order for you if you cannot find it elsewhere. Cholacol contains a proprietary blend of 700 mg of bile salts with Collinsonia Root.

With the advent of the holidays, it’s a wonderful time to appreciate the commitment you have made to super health.  Together let’s celebrate the long-awaited return to fats and their proper assimilation so all systems are a “go” for a stellar end to 2014.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Lynn

    Doesn’t Cholacol (and most Std. Process products contain gluten???) – my alternative doctor said they do. And I have not done well on it – am gluten intolerant.
    Also Jon Barronn says not to take HCL until 40-60 minutes AFTER a meal – as you don’t want to make your food acidic until it is fully digested…so why would you combine HCL and bile in one pill?

    • Caitlin

      Hi Lynn,

      I was just at a Standard Process seminar, and we talked about the gluten in some of the products. Those with celiac disease may need to avoid the gluten in them, but most others are absolutely fine. I am also gluten intolerant and have never had a reaction to the Standard Process products that contain gluten. Does your alternative doctor do any muscle response testing to see how your body reacts with the supplements?

      As for the HCl, you want that taken with your meals. This will help your stomach to produce the acid needed to digest your food. The HCl is not making your food acidic but rather helps you produce the stomach acid. Does that help?

      Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Lynn

    Doesn’t Cholacol (and most Std. Process products contain gluten???) – my alternative doctor said they do. And I have not done well on it – am gluten intolerant.
    Also Jon Barron says not to take HCL until 40-60 minutes AFTER a meal – as you don’t want to make your food acidic until it is fully digested…so why would you combine HCL and bile in one pill?


    1) Cholacol, a Standard Process product, does not contain gluten unlike other Standard Process products.

    2) To approximate the ideal pH environment of a healthy stomach, Ann Louise recommends that HCL with pepsin and ox bile be taken and spread out during the first half of the meal especially with meals higher in protein and fat. Her recommendations are based upon extensive research regarding the Hedielberg Test – the gold standard for gastric analysis.

    Enzymes, on the other hand, should be taken AFTER meals.

  4. Sharyn

    Suppose your gallbladder has been removed, what should you take? How do you eliminate the fat accumulated around the waistline?

    • TEAM ALG

      As the blog states, bile salts would be an appropriate supplement for those without a gallbladder. We also recommend the Fat Flush Diet to remove accumulated fat around the waistline with our Fat Flush Kit that provides a Weight Loss Formula with fat metabolizing nutrients including lecithin, choline, and inositol.

  5. Sharyn

    Oops my bad, I skipped that paragraph thinking it was pertaining to people that still have a gall bladder. I just re read the blog and now have a better understanding.

  6. Deb

    have gallbladder, no constipation, no light coloured stool- but do have a persistent “liver roll” at my waist. Which protocol would fit this scenario best please?


    • TEAM ALG

      The Weight Loss Formula from UNI KEY would be very helpful to help reduce “muffin tops” and “love handles” as well as other sundry accumulations of fat in other areas of the body. Using this product with the classic Fat Flush Plan (phases 1 and 2) will be most helpful.

  7. Kathleen

    Thank you for this very informative article re the gallbladder/bile role in proper digestion. I was not aware of these facts!

  8. Gladys

    I can’t take grapefruit as it may interfere with my medication. Is there another fruit that I can take instead with the olive oil? Also, does lemon water help?

    • Team ALG

      Lemon juice can be used in place of grapefruit. One of the main reasons to add some type of citrus is to flavor the combination you are drinking and to thin bile.

  9. Charlotte

    I have Ulcerative Colitis, no gallbladder. Fat waist. Is it safe for me to do the bile salts? I often feel like I have too much bile flowing in my guts!

  10. Ann Louise

    You might wish to start with a couple of tablespoons of non-GMO lecithin – which is not as potentially caustic as bile salts – in light of your ulcerative colitis. The non-GMO lecithin can help break down fat.

  11. Monica

    Hi ALG 🙂 I’ve never done a liver cleanse before, but I’m inspired with this article. Do I eat normally thoughout the day during these seven days? Is it okay to start in the evening rather than the morning? I was planning to start tonight. 🙂

  12. Ann Louise

    Maintain a healthy, wholesome diet and half of your body weight in liquid, Monica and you will be just fine. As long as you start the cleanse three hours after eating, beginning this evening should be fine:)

  13. Barbara

    Will this cleanse remove any stones from the gallbladder?

    • TEAM ALG

      Many people do see gallstones as they detoxify and cleanse during this program.

  14. Liz

    Thank you for this information Ann Louise. The Liver-Lovin Formula has really helped keep my liver and gallbladder functioning well. I did have a gallbladder attack due to gallstones in the past, but never again.

  15. Molly

    I had my gall bladder removed about 13 years ago due to bad stones. and after being on the Birth Control pill for over 10 yrs I was not educated then on the risk of losing my gall bladder and have had major issues since then. I started detoxing and cleansing heavily three years ago and have GAINED 30 lbs. I have tried everything and keep gaining. I finally know the problem is my liver and lack of bile. I am taking Cholacol with every meal with lipase and a digestive enzyme. I take a daily liver detox product with milk thistle etc. I tried doing bullet coffee and keto diet to jump start my liver, gained more weight. I read your book and it ALL FINALLY MADE SENSE! I started phase 1, 8 days ago. I am also doing castor oil packs nightly over my liver. With doing all this, when do you think I should see an increase in Bile and Liver function?

  16. Molly

    My husband is a Chiropractor, I am trained to guide his patients through nutrition and detox. It is just really frustrating when you can help everyone else but yourself!!!

  17. Liz

    Molly, It sounds like you are doing a lot to help your situation. I’m sure it has already started working and it just takes time to see the improvement that you are looking for.

  18. Molly

    Do you think I can add the CLA while still in Phase 1…How long can or should I stay in Phase 1?

    • Liz

      I think it is better to wait until you have finished phase 1 to add the CLA. Phase 1 is the detox phase and so you should stay in it for 2 weeks. Phase 2 is actually the weight loss phase. Moving on to phase 2 and adding the friendly carbs is the next step. It keeps your metabolism moving and the pounds as well.

  19. Molly

    Ok so here is another question. Other than maybe the Ezekiel bread and a sweet potato once in every great while, I would never eat the other carbs listed for phase 2. What do you recommend then?

    • Liz

      The Ezekiel 4:9 Tortillas are recommended instead of the bread because the ingredients in the bread have changed. There are many ways to use squash and eat sweet potatoes. Peas can be used many ways as well. These are still the best phase 2 carbs.

  20. Deb

    Hello, I was recommended to take digestive enzymes 10 min prior to every meal. I saw a comment above that they should be taken after meals. could I get clarification please?

    • Team ALG

      Either directly before, during or after will be fine, Deb. Enzymes taken between meals have a healing anti inflammatory effect, but any time there is food present in the stomach they will work on digesting rather than healing.

  21. Candy

    I dont hae a i think my liver does not detox right thats why i think im chemically i dont know the best thing to do


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This