We’ll go into details below if you’re wondering when I should take ox bile. Ox bile can be an important supplement for gut and digestive health, and it may be something you consider taking if you have gallbladder problems or after you’ve had your gallbladder removed. We’ll also talk about these things below, in addition to explaining when you should take ox bile.
How Bile Works
Bile is a fluid your liver produces. Bile helps digest fats in your small intestines. Bile has a lot of essential roles, including:
- The removal of fat-soluble substances that are harmful, like drugs, toxins, and heavy metals
- Bile is the main pathway for removing excess cholesterol from your body
- Bile dissolves fats so they can be broken down and absorbed, which helps with absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E, and K
- It helps with the digestion of starches and proteins.
- Your bile protects your gut from infections and stimulates the gut immune system.
Your liver is constantly making bile. The bile the liver makes is then transported to your gallbladder. The gallbladder is where bile is stored and concentrated; after you eat, your gallbladder will bring the bile to your small intestine.
Bile flow can become dysfunctional for a number of reasons, and it can cause a buildup of toxins, oxidative stress and inflammation, and an increased susceptibility to gut infections. Bile flow dysfunction can also cause deficiencies in essential fat-soluble vitamins.
Understanding Bile Supplements
Bile salts are not adequately absorbed when conditions affect hormones, the liver, or the pancreas. That’s when some people decide to take bile supplements. Ox bile is one of the most popular types of bile supplement, and its history of use goes back to Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Other bile supplements include UDCA and TUDCA.
Sometimes, ox bile supplements are combined with other ingredients like probiotics, taurine, and digestive enzymes.
What Are the Benefits of Ox Bile Supplements?
Some of the potential benefits of ox bile supplements include:
- Reducing or eliminating gallstones
- The removal of accumulated toxins in the body
- Ox bile supplements may help with SIBO and gut infections
- Reduce psoriasis symptoms
- May improve liver diseases like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Reduce diarrhea and fatty stool
- Help people with gallbladder removal who have a deficiency of bile acids
- May help with fat-burning and weight loss
Are There Side Effects of Bile Supplements?
The biggest thing to remember with bile supplements, including ox bile, is that the side effects depend on the specific ingredients and your health condition. If you take bile supplements and don’t need them or take too much, you might experience stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
If you have short bile, ox bile can make diarrhea worse.
Some people also worry about the risk of bile supplements and cancer. In a mice study, long-term, excessive exposure to bile salts was linked with an increased risk of colon cancer. In the 1930s, it was first reported that bile acids could have cancer-causing effects. Recent research shows that high amounts of bile acid in your gastrointestinal tract could cause DNA damage and oxidative stress, but there’s no clear link between bile salts and cancer.
The studies that have indicated an association have looked at people with a high production of bile acid caused by a high-fat diet, not bile supplements. That leaves the question of whether these associations might be due to obesity or an unhealthy diet rather than actual bile salts. More research is needed, but as far as we know right now, if you need bile supplements and take them as directed, there’s no link to cancer.
When Should I Take Ox Bile?
If you’re wondering when you should take ox bile, one of the most important things to remember is first to speak to your health care provider with any questions, and second, follow the instructions for use from the maker of the ox bile supplement we’re using.
One of my favorite ox bile supplements is from Seeking Health, which I’m linking here. The instructions for use with Seeking Health’s Ox Bile is to take one capsule with every meal containing fat. The supplement can be used with high-fat meals for healthy digestion and comfort. According to the instructions for this particular product, you could also take the ox bile outside meals to support the balance of intestinal bacteria.
With most ox bile supplements, the instruction is that you take a capsule one to three times a day with meals that have fat. These supplements are best taken with meals with high-fat content. You should lower your dose if you experience any GI symptoms or distress.
The standard dose of ox bile is anywhere from 100 to 500 mg.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are answers to frequently asked questions related to the question of when should I take ox bile.
When Should I Take Bile Supplements?
The best time to take bile supplements is with food, especially meals that have a high-fat content.
What Happens When You Take Ox Bile?
Taking ox bile with a meal containing fat can help your body break down what you eat and absorb nutrients better. Many people find that taking ox bile helps reduce digestive discomfort, indigestion, and symptoms like fatty stool and diarrhea.
Can You Take Ox Bile On An Empty Stomach?
You can theoretically take ox bile on an empty stomach, especially if your main goal is supporting good gut bacteria. If you take ox bile on an empty stomach, it’s not going to help you break down fats, absorb fat-soluble vitamins and experience healthier digestion. Some people experience discomfort if they take ox bile on an empty stomach.
How Do You Know If You Need Ox Bile?
There are specific symptoms you might experience, especially after eating a high-fat meal, that could indicate an ox bile supplement could be helpful for you. For example, if you have indigestion or discomfort, you might benefit from ox bile. If you experience fatty stools, it can also be a sign you need ox bile. Light-colored stools, meal fatigue, and nutrient deficiencies can also indicate a need for ox bile.
If you don’t have a gallbladder or have a disease related to your gut, pancreas, liver, or gallbladder, you might also speak to your health care provider about whether or not you need ox bile.
Final Thoughts—When Should I Take Ox Bile?
If you’re asking, “when should I take ox bile,” the general rule is to take it with a meal, especially one containing a lot of fat. Most supplements recommend you take a capsule one to three times a day, depending on when you’re having meals. If you have questions, always speak to your healthcare provider.