Last modified on June 21st, 2023
Ox bile is as the name indicates, bile that comes from an ox. Since it comes directly from the animal, it has many nutrients and digestive enzymes we need for optimal food digestion. People use these supplements to help with fat digestion and also symptoms like diarrhea, upset stomach, and nausea. We rank the best ox bile supplements below.
- Ox bile is a type of digestive enzyme
- Bile is a bodily fluid that helps your body absorb fat and fat-soluble vitamins
- When you take digestive enzymes, it can help you process food to treat leaky gut and improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- Taking digestive enzymes like animal bile can also help improve the absorption of nutrients
- Supplements can specifically help with gallstones, fatty stool, and gut infections
The Best Ox Bile Supplements
The following are our picks for the best supplements and details of each.
Ancestral Supplements Grassfed Gallbladder
- Provides gallbladder specific proteins, peptides, enzymes, and cofactors
- Help with healthy bile flow for optimal digestion and gut health
- Helps with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins including A, D, E, and K
- May help with leaky gut
- Users say this product has created dramatic benefits for their digestive health
- Could help with acid reflux and GERD
Seeking Health Digestive Enzyme Supplement
- Bile acids like what’s in the Ox Bile by Seeking Health are a component of bile that helps your body digest fats in the small intestines
- Healthy bile production is also important for nutritional status, overall health, and normal energy metabolism
- Ox bile is sourced from free-range oxen
- No synthetic hormones or antibiotics
- Supports nutrient absorption
- Bile from oxen standardized to 40% cholic acid
Vital Nutrients Pancreatin and Ox Bile Extract
- Naturally-derived digestive enzymes
- Each capsule contains 500 mg of pancreatin, protease, lipase, amylase, and ox bile extract
- Supports optimal endocrine function to help with the absorption of nutrients
- Doesn’t contain wheat, soy, dairy, or sugar
- Product undergoes independent third-party testing
Horbaach Ox Bile 1000 mg
- Helps promote digestion and the absorption of fat
- Potent 1000 mg dose
- Helps your body properly eliminate waste
- Helps with healthy liver function
- Ox bile can promote detox health
Nutricology Ox Bile 500 mg
- A good supplement to consider if you’re on the keto diet so your body can break down fat
- May reduce bathroom issues and bloating
- Each capsule contains 500 mg of ox bile
What is An Ox Bile Supplement?
Ox bile is the extract of the bile of an ox. Since it’s derived from animal bile, it matches many of the digestive enzymes we, as humans, also need.
People take these supplements to help with fat digestion and to treat stomach upset and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Bile is a substance stored by the gallbladder but produced by the liver. If we eat things with fat, our gallbladder is stimulated to release the bile stored in our digestive tract. The bile then mixes with our food. Bile is important for the metabolism of foods with fat, such as meat and oils. Bile also contains minerals and salts.
When your bile is released, it takes bit bits of fat and makes them into tiny balls. Then lipase, which is the enzyme responsible for digesting fat, can break them down.
When your digestive process is off in any way, it can have wide-reaching effects on your health and wellness.
In general, digestive enzymes help to trigger necessary chemical reactions throughout our bodies. Enzymes break down the larger molecules of our food and turn them into particles that can be absorbed and used by our bodies to help us thrive.
Digestive enzymes, including bile help:
- Treat leaky gut and conditions like celiac disease
- Help the body break down things that are tough to digest
- Improve symptoms of irritable bowel and acid reflux
- Prevent or reverse nutritional deficiency and improve absorption
If you take a digestive enzyme supplement, it usually comes from one of three sources.
There are animal-sourced digestive enzymes like ox bile, which is known as pancreatin.
There are fruit-sourced enzymes, such as pineapple-based supplements. Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain, which is an anti-inflammatory and also breaks down proteins. There are plant-sourced digestive enzymes, such as yeast and fungi, that come from probiotics.
The pancreas produces bile salts or acids in the human body. Bile salts contain electrolytes, amino acids, water, cholesterol, fats, and bilirubin. The bile salts break down the fat in your food and then let lipase work.
Some people will take a bile salt supplement rather than ox bile, but that’s not always the best idea. Around 50 types of bile acids exist, so you may not get everything you need if you take bile salt alone as a supplement.
Who Should Use It?
The use of animal bile dates back to Traditional Chinese Medicine and ancient times. While many people can benefit from taking ox bile to improve digestion, in particular, the extract may be helpful if you have any of the following conditions:
- Fatty liver
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Gallbladder surgery
- Digestive disorders
- Long-term poor diet
- Nausea after eating
- Skin rash
- Tender gallbladder
Some of the symptoms of low bile that might indicate you should consider an extract include:
- Light-colored stools
- Fatty stools
- Foul-smelling gas
- Less obvious symptoms such as GERD, migraines, or fatigue
- Mood swings which can come from vitamin deficiency
- Dry skin
Many of the symptoms of low bile stem from the fact that you aren’t properly absorbing nutrients. If you have low bile, you may also have an imbalanced gut microbiome because of a lack of absorption. If you take a supplement, you may see an improvement in all these areas.
Reasons You Might Have Problems Digesting Fats
Some of the reasons you might need a supplement include:
- You’ve had your gallbladder removed. If you don’t have a gallbladder, your liver then makes bile and releases it before your food can reach your intestines. If you don’t have the appropriate amount of bile at the right time, it’s too hard for your body to break down fat molecules. Taking a bile supplement can help you, as can a digestive enzyme with lipase.
- You ate a low-fat diet for a long time, making your bile too thick. Your gallbladder didn’t learn how to squeeze healthy bile out. Along with taking a supplement, you can remedy this issue by eating a nutrient-dense diet with healthy fats.
- Short gut syndrome is rare, but it can happen if you have part of your small intestine removed. Taking bile salts or a bile supplement can reduce the health complications of short gut syndrome.
It’s important to understand that you should also look at your diet in addition to considering a supplement.
Many people eat the Standard American Diet, and that can disrupt your bile flow. For example, sugar and processed foods can lead to fatty liver. Diet is one of the main causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Along with taking an ox bile extract, you might also want to consider whether you should cut out sugar and unhealthy foods.
What Are the Benefits of a Supplement?
Some of the potential benefits you might experience when taking a bile extract include:
An ox bile extract may help reduce or eliminate gallstones, which is known as cholelithiasis. Eliminating gallstones may mean you’re less likely to require gallbladder removal.
Also, if you don’t have a gallbladder, then you are deficient in bile acids. Taking an ox bile supplement can help you make up for this, so you can properly digest fats and absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
Healing Gut Infections
If you have a lot of gut damage, you may have a leaky gut. When you have leaky gut, bacteria enter your bloodstream, causing systemic infections and autoimmune symptoms.
Bile salts in ox bile can protect you from bad bacteria and reduce gut bacterial overgrowth.
Many toxins we consume and enter our bodies daily through our food, medicines, and the environment. The liver is responsible for breaking down most of these toxins, and they’re then pushed to the gut as bile and finally removed via stool. Ox bile extract can help this process remain effective and efficient.
If you have psoriasis, too many toxins in your blood may contribute to inflammation. That may then lead to bile deficiency.
With an ox bile extract, you can regain balance in your gut microbiome, which will reduce inflammation and help protect you from toxins in your gut.
There are several conditions related to the liver that ox bile may help with. This includes chronic diseases like primary biliary cirrhosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Taking a supplement may improve liver function, reverse liver damage, and reduce liver enzymes.
There’s some evidence bile acids, such as what you would get from an ox bile supplement, can improve fat-burning and help reverse or prevent obesity.
In animal studies, bile acids improved insulin sensitivity, helped protect the cardiovascular system, and aided in weight loss.
Are there any ox bile side effects to be aware of?
First, always speak to your doctor before starting any supplement.
For the most part, you are not likely to experience any major side effects from taking a supplement with animal bile.
Some people may experience digestive symptoms like constipation or diarrhea. Rarely, taking a supplement can worsen gut inflammation, but this is usually in people who have elevated deoxycholic acid.
The following are brief answers to some of the most common questions you might have about ox bile.
What is ox bile?
An animal bile extract is a supplement that can help provide digestive support. Bile is a bodily fluid used by your body to digest fat and absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Different forms of bile supplements exist, but ox bile is the most popular. It is a naturally-derived digestive enzyme.
Where does ox bile come from?
It comes from the actual bile of an ox. Since it’s derived from animals, it is very similar to the makeup of human bile, which is why it can be so beneficial. If your body has a hard time producing bile on its own, ox bile is very chemically similar, which is why it can be such a valuable supplement.
What does ox bile do?
Ox bile can have a lot of benefits, including:
- Promoting liver health and helping your body remove toxins
- Promoting absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K
- Reduces chronic inflammation in the gut
- Helps with symptoms of SIBO and gut infections
- Reduces gallstones
- Promotes better mental health because of the gut-brain connection
- Diarrhea relief
- Helps with healthier stools
- Helps remove excess cholesterol
- If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, you should speak to your health care provider about the benefits of taking an ox bile supplement
How much should I take?
Always read the instructions of any ox bile supplement you take, and follow the dosage guidelines. You can take it as a way to remedy issues you’re already experiencing with your digestion and health, but you can also take it preventatively.
It’s good to take ox bile when you’re eating, and preferably when you’re eating a meal with fat so that it can aid in optimal absorption.
You shouldn’t take more than what’s recommended because an extract isn’t replacing your own bile. Instead, the goal is for it to help improve your digestion.
If you are experiencing digestive issues or have concerns about your body’s bile production, an ox bile supplement may be worth considering. Even if you aren’t having issues but want to ensure you’re getting the maximum nutrition from your foods, an extract can be beneficial.
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- Peer-reviewed scientific studies and research
- Real customer reviews
- Our own experience using products
- Price and availability
Whenever possible, we review and rank products that we actually use to provide a better understanding of what you can expect.