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Can You Do Keto Without a Gallbladder?

Published: March 21, 2019
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Can You Do Keto Without a Gallbladder

Is the ketogenic diet possible if you don’t have a gallbladder? It’s a question that comes up quite frequently, and today in this video, I’m going to break it down. I’m going to give you the steps that you need to know to truly be successful with the ketogenic diet if you don’t have a gallbladder. Hey, I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo and let’s get into the science.

First off, we have to understand what the gallbladder does. It’s actually pretty simple. See, the gallbladder isn’t what is actually producing bile. The gallbladder is just an extra sac that’s sort of a storage area for the bile that’s produced by the liver. For example, if you were to eat some fats, your liver’s going to produce bile. It’s going to help break down the fats so that they can become emulsified and you can absorb them. But you don’t usually use all the bile that you produce. The liver doesn’t really modulate how much bile it produces, it’s kind of an on-off switch. When the liver senses that some fats are coming into the equation, it produces a bunch of bile. You use a little bit of that bile to break down the fats and the rest of the bile recirculates and goes back into the gallbladder so that it can be stored and used later.

If you start doing the math, if you don’t have a gallbladder, you just don’t have the ability to store bile for later use, which means that you’re relying on your liver to ramp up every single time that you consume fats. You see, ordinarily, what’s going to happen is you’re going to consume those fats, and if you have some bile that’s sitting in your gallbladder, it can be released immediately and help you break down those fats. But if you don’t have that gallbladder, you do have to wait for the liver to produce that bile, which means that you may consume too much fat at one point in time before the liver ever gets a chance to truly create enough bile. This can cause an issue and potentially cause some diarrhea and some other kinds of indigestion, but there are some things that you can do to make it a better situation. You see, if you’re on a ketogenic diet, you really need to find your sweet spot when it comes down to fats, and that’s exactly where the Keto-Mojo meter comes in because you can actually measure your ketone levels.

You might be a person that doesn’t require quite as much fat as the person next to you so you might be able to get away with a little bit less fat and be able to put less of a strain on your liver and the bile production. If you actually know where your ketone levels are at, you can get away with a lot less fat potentially. Now the other thing that you can do is start adding a little bit more soluble fiber along with the fats. You see, what’s going to happen is the soluble fiber will draw some water into the colon. It’s called passive diffusion. But this process is also going to make it so that the digestion is a little bit slower. It’s going to slow down gut motility with the fats; therefore, making it so that your liver has a chance to produce enough bile so you don’t end up with a potential issue.

Now the other thing that you’re going to want to do is make sure that you start modulating what kind of fats you consume. You hear us talking about medium chain triglycerides and shorter chain fatty acids all the time in the ketogenic world, but the reality is those can be a big piece for you if you don’t have a gallbladder. Long chain fatty acids require the breakdown utilizing bile salts, but short chain fatty acids and medium chain triglycerides do not. Things like MCT oil can go right through to absorption phase without having to utilize the gallbladder or utilize the liver’s production of bile, so therefore, you can absorb more in the way of fats without causing digestive discomfort. But again, the main point that you want to be focusing on is just making sure your ketones are in the sweet spot. If you can get by with, hypothetically, 5 grams of fat instead of 10, then obviously, that’s better. It’s less calories anyway. So as always, make sure that you’re not guessing where you’re at when it comes down to your ketones. You want to leave the measuring to the meter to make sure that you are your best self on the ketogenic diet. I’ll see you in the next video.

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