Can You Do Keto?
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

November 14, 2017

The Dynamic Duo: The Keto-Bile Connection

Healthy fats are the new nutrition superstar.

The Ketogenic Diet has grown in popularity, thanks to its powerful weight loss effects. “Keto” is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet that transitions your body into burning fats as its primary fuel instead of carbs. This diet has been used medically for decades to control seizures, but now is becoming widely recognized for its many health benefits, and for good reason.

Every cell in your body is surrounded by a protective membrane made of fat and cholesterol. Your brain is more than 50% fat, your liver is nearly 5 pounds of fat, and your kidneys, retinas in the eyes, and endocrine system are composed of fat.

Essential, healthy fats fuel your brain, burn your belly fat and jumpstart healthy hormone levels, appetite and blood sugar, while protecting you from stress. So Keto can be a great diet choice for most people, but your fat digestion has to be optimal to make the best use of this healthy lifestyle. Your fat digestion can steadily decline as you age, but becomes impaired once you’ve had this vital organ removed.

This Little Organ Is a Big Deal for Keto

If you’ve had:

  • Excessive belching and acid reflux
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea after high-fat meals
  • Pain in your right upper abdomen

Then chances are you’ve had gallbladder issues. The surgery to remove it is so common almost 700,000 people yearly in the US alone have it done.

If you ask a surgeon, the gallbladder is considered a “throw-away” organ that we do just fine without. But the truth is once your gallbladder is removed, you’ve lost the main storage tank for bile production, and the ability to digest and absorb all those healthy fats you’ve invested in becomes impaired for life.

You can pack your Keto diet full of the right fats, but if your body can’t break down and absorb them, you won’t get their fat blasting, immune boosting, membrane protecting and fuel providing benefits.

The Truth About Bile

Bile is a digestive powerhouse. When you eat fats, the gallbladder squeezes its storehouse of bile into the small intestine, where those fats are broken down into energy and nutrients like the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K to feed every organ, tissue and cell in your body. Once this command center is missing, bile flow slows to a trickle because there’s nowhere to store it and no mechanism to initiate a good flow.

If you’re one of the millions missing your gallbladder, there is help. You can supplement to boost your bile production, which will increase the flow and improve your fat digestion to make the keto diet a success for you.

Build Up Your Bile Production

If you have:

  • Bloating after meals
  • Nausea
  • Constipation or Diarrhea
  • Pale Stools

Then you need a bile boost, whether you have your gallbladder or not!

There are 6 must-have supplements to bring back your bile production and get it free-flowing:

  1. Choline helps with fat digestion and is the go-to nutrient for people with fatty liver, which affects almost 50% of us.
  2. Taurine helps bile bind and excrete chemicals detoxed by the liver, promotes increased bile production and reduces cholesterol levels in the blood and liver.
  3. Beet Root contains betaine, which thins the bile and helps prevent the formation of gallstones. Betaine is also a methyl donor, which is good for certain types of MTHFR gene mutations. Finally, betaine is a rich source of HCl, the main acid our stomach relies on to break down food and trigger the release of bile from the gallbladder.
  4. Pancreatic Lipase is the main digestive enzyme used to break fats down for absorption.
  5. Ox Bile is an excellent source of bile salts for those with impaired bile production, whether you have a gallbladder or not. This is more common the older we get, especially over age 60.
  6. Collinsonia Root is an herb that has been used for centuries to prevent constipation and eliminate gallstones.

UNI KEY formulated Bile Builder with these 6 specific bile-building nutrients and is my first choice for anyone with sluggish fat digestion or missing their gallbladder.

When I recommend this product in a private nutrition consultation, I start with a small dose and increase as needed. If you have a gallbladder, 1 capsule with each meal is a good starting place. If you are missing your gallbladder, 2 capsules with each meal is the dose I start with.

With or without a gallbladder, do your body a favor and get your bile flowing freely. For more information, check out my New Fat Flush Plan, which unlike any other Keto-friendly diet book takes your gallbladder function – or lack thereof – into consideration.

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. Jenny

    I went to your website and put in my amazon order number after buying the book and went to buy your supplement pack with the 20%off and it said the code was expired. Can you help me get the supplement pack with the discount?

    • Team ALG

      Jenny, please call me for help with this issue. My direct line is 208 209-8253

  2. Marinko

    I liked older supplement composition without magnesium stearate.
    It is good only for faster production lines.

    • Meredith

      Product does contain this !

  3. Kathleen

    My bloating has disappeared after using Bile Builder daily for the last year. I still have my gallbladder and Bile Builder has helped me with my digestion woes. I will take it daily for life.

  4. Bonnie

    I love this product called Bile Builder. I do have my gallbladder but I am 67 and need the help of this supplement. My stomach is now flat and it helped big time with bloating.

  5. Candy

    I would love to purchase this formula; however, magnesium stearate interferes with immune issues. It is used in many supplements. Ann Gittleman has been my hero since 1989 and I wish she would direct UniKey to make formulas as ‘clean’ as possible to set them apart from all of the other brands.

  6. Rosalie Pfeifer

    Does Bile Builder help with Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?


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