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Ox Bile Benefits: Eight Reasons to Use Bile Salts

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/19/2024

There are numerous ox bile benefits. Bile acids help to digest fats and promote the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. However, bile salt deficiency is common and may cause malabsorption, persistent digestive issues, and gallstones.  

Taking ox bile supplements is an effective way to help speed up digestion, boost fat-soluble nutrients, support normal detoxification and thyroid health, and reduce constipation and dysbiosis.

Learn if you may be at risk of bile acid deficiency and how to benefit from taking ox bile supplements!

gallbladder formula with ox bile

Eight incredible benefits of ox bile

Taking ox bile is known to promote digestive health and support normal liver function. Interestingly, purified ox bile contains bile salts nearly identical to those produced in your liver, and they have been found to exert the same physiological functions and health benefits.

A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology confirms that ox bile has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to manage a wide range of health issues, including gastrointestinal symptoms and inflammatory conditions.

Here are eight incredible benefits of ox bile!

1. Supports fat digestion 

Bile salts are needed to emulsify lipids, which allows the digestion and absorption of dietary fats.

Bile salt deficiency can lead to malabsorption and cause undigested fat to pass into the large intestines, resulting in pale and fatty stools, bloating, and abdominal pain.

2. Enhances fat-soluble nutrient absorption 

The breakdown and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and omega-3 fatty acids requires bile salts

This explains why a lack of adequate bile production can quickly lead to deficiencies in vitamins and health-promoting omega-3 fats. 

Deficiencies in fat-soluble nutrients are linked to impaired immunity, night blindness, skin conditions, weak muscles, excessive bruising, and many other health issues.

3. Prevents gallstones

Bile salts promote healthy bile flow and prevent bile from becoming too thick and forming bile sludge.

Over time, bile sludge can cause sluggish digestion, gallstones, and gallbladder inflammation.


4. Lowers the risk of constipation

A study published in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility suggests that bile salts can be a useful therapeutic tool in managing constipation.

Bile salts promote healthy bowel movements and draw water into the digestive tract, which supports normal stool consistency.

5. Promotes intestinal health

Bile maintains the pH balance of the digestive system by neutralizing stomach acid as it enters the small intestine and has potent antimicrobial properties. 

Bile salts protect against small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and the proliferation of harmful intestinal microbes, also known as dysbiosis, which is linked to intestinal inflammation and autoimmune conditions.  

6. Supports detoxification and liver health 

Excessive fat accumulation in liver cells can cause fatty liver disease and impairs the liver's ability to metabolize and eliminate hormones, alcohol, drugs, and other toxic substances. 

Bile salts prevent excessive liver fat and support detoxification by binding to waste products and enabling their transport and excretion. 

7. Lowers inflammation

Prof. John Chiang, an expert in bile acid metabolism, stated that “bile acids maintain liver metabolic homeostasis and have anti-inflammatory properties.” 

In his study published in Liver Research, Prof. Chiang explains that bile acids play an important role in maintaining normal liver function by lowering inflammation in liver cells and may protect from inflammatory damage to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.  

8. Promotes normal thyroid function 

Research published in Nature found that bile acids stimulate the conversion of thyroxine (T4, the inactive form of thyroid hormone) to triiodothyronine (T3, the active form of thyroid hormone).

Balanced thyroid hormone levels promote metabolic health, regulate energy-making processes and body temperature and maintain digestive and muscle function. 

Liver and gallbladder illustration

What is bile?

Bile is a yellow-greenish fluid produced by liver cells and contains a mixture of bile salts, cholesterol, phospholipids, electrolytes, and water. While bile production occurs in the liver, the gallbladder stores and concentrates bile until it’s needed for digestive functions. 

When you consume fatty foods, your digestive tract releases digestive enzymes and hormones that trigger gallbladder contraction and cause the release of bile into the small intestines.

Bile is a vitally important fluid that plays a crucial role in digestion, liver function, and detoxification. It supports the health of your digestive tract, protects against harmful pathogenic bacteria, and maintains a healthy pH balance in the small intestines. 


How do you know if you’re deficient in bile?

There are several signs and symptoms that can indicate bile deficiency, including:

  • Sluggish digestion

  • Feeling heavy after a large meal

  • Stomach pain and abdominal bloating

  • Fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies 

  • Constipation 

  • Pale or fatty stools

  • Jaundice

  • Gallstones 

  • Poor detoxification  

  • Dry skin or psoriasis 

While a lack of bile salts may cause these symptoms, it’s important to remember that digestive issues, jaundice, and nutrient deficiencies can also result from other health problems. 

If you suspect that you may have a bile salt deficiency or are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a healthcare provider to rule out other medical issues and develop an appropriate treatment plan based on your health needs.  

gallbladder formula with ox bile

Who should take bile salts?

A bile salt deficiency is a common underlying cause for a wide range of digestive issues, and taking ox bile supplements can be a simple solution to persistent gastrointestinal problems. 

If you underwent gallbladder removal surgery, you probably experienced some changes in your digestive functions due to the lack of concentrated bile flow. 

Taking bile salt supplements can compensate for bile deficiency and support normal digestion.

In addition, a low-fat diet may not trigger adequate gallbladder contraction and lead to the buildup of concentrated bile in bile ducts, which can result in bile sludge and the formation of gallstones.

Liver and gallbladder functions are intrinsically linked, and individuals with chronic liver diseases typically don’t produce enough bile salts. 

Taking ox bile has been found beneficial for people with the following conditions:

Fat-soluble vitamins

Who shouldn’t take bile salts?

Ox bile supplements are typically used to support digestion and address issues related to bile deficiency. 

While bile salts are generally well-tolerated, taking ox bile supplements could make these three health conditions worse:


Bile acids stimulate the conversion of thyroid hormones, and you shouldn’t take bile salts if you have hyperthyroidism.  

Overactive thyroid function is characterized by elevated T3 levels, and taking bile salts may cause further increases in thyroid hormones and lead to abnormal thyroid function.  


It’s best to avoid taking supplemental bile if you suffer from diarrhea. 

“Bile salts draw water into the large intestines,” says Dr. Berg, “which can trigger or worsen bouts of diarrhea. While I typically don't recommend taking calcium carbonate due to its potential side effects, it can be effective in combating loose stools due to bile salt supplements.” 

Inflammatory bowel conditions 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory conditions that affect the digestive tract, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. 

Taking bile salts can increase the permeability of the intestinal lining in people with IBD, allowing potentially harmful substances to enter the circulation and trigger immune responses, which can worsen inflammation. 

Side effect sign

Side effects of ox bile

Taking ox bile supplements is generally considered safe, but some people may experience side effects. 

Here are some side effects of bile salts:

  • Diarrhea 

  • Abdominal pain

  • Low stomach acid 

  • Headaches

  • Allergies 

Most of these side effects are typically mild and will disappear once you stop taking bile salts. However, if you experience severe or persistent symptoms, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional.

gallbladder formula with ox bile

When to take bile salts

Purified bile salts are often taken with a meal to speed up digestion—but for some, it may be more beneficial to take them on an empty stomach.

“I typically recommend taking bile salts before or after a meal to speed up digestion and support digestive health,” says Dr. Berg. “However, eating stimulates stomach acid, which can lower the effectiveness of bile salts, and some people benefit from taking ox bile on an empty stomach.”

It’s vital that you carefully read the product labels and follow the ox bile dosage and intended use as directed.


Could bile salts benefit you? 

It’s important to support your gallbladder and digestive health—and you can make simple dietary changes to start stimulating healthy bile flow.

Consuming plenty of healthy fats and regularly eating beetroot, artichoke, and dark green leafy vegetables helps to increase bile production and can significantly improve your digestion.

However, if you had your gallbladder removed, experience persistent gastrointestinal issues, or have poor liver function, you may suffer from bile deficiency. 

Dietary changes alone may not be enough to compensate for the lack of bile salts. Ox bile supplements are a convenient source of functional bile salts.

Dr. Berg states, “Taking an ox bile supplement is a safe and highly effective way to support digestive health and liver function and promote a healthy body.”

Ox bile supplements may help you:

  • Improve fat digestion

  • Enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids

  • Feel lighter after meals

  • Avoid stomach pains, bloating, and belching after eating  

  • Get rid of constipation 

  • Support normal thyroid hormone levels

  • Promote healthy detoxification and liver function 

  • Lower the risk of gallstones 

Ox bile supplements offer instant digestive support, and most people notice an immediate improvement in their digestion and intestinal health.

If you feel that you could benefit from bile salt supplementation, choosing a high-quality product is crucial. Many bile salt products contain cheap or diluted ingredients that lack the necessary potency to provide maximum digestive comfort.

That’s why we specifically designed Gallbladder Formula Extra Strength with digestive health in mind.

Gallbladder Formula Extra Strength is our supercharged version of a standard ox bile supplement.

It not only includes highly-concentrated purified bile salts, but it also contains concentrated betaine hydrochloride, powerful enzymes, and a unique blend of digestive herbs.


Combining bile salts with enzymes and digestive herbs helps accelerate the breakdown of dietary fats and protein, enhances nutrient absorption, and acts as a comprehensive digestive support.

A premium gallbladder supplement made for maximum digestive comfort

If you could benefit from better bile flow, check out Dr. Berg Gallbladder Formula Extra Strength.

We have decades of experience working with patients and developing high-quality products that deliver incredible results.

Each capsule provides a potent dose of digestive support. We use delay-release capsules that protect fragile bile salts and enzymes from stomach acid. This maximizes effectiveness and digestive aid.

Our ingredients are sourced from only the top domestic and international suppliers—and all Dr. Berg products are made with USA GMP-certified manufacturing facilities.

Compared to many digestive support supplements, our formulation doesn’t contain lactose, a cheap filler that may cause digestive issues.

Gallbladder Formula Extra Strength is an excellent choice for those with lactose intolerance, and it’s safe to have on a Healthy Keto® and intermittent fasting plan.

Most importantly, we stand behind our products. If you don’t love the results, you can take advantage of our 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked!

Our decades of experience, unique formulas, and high manufacturing standards ensure you get only the best quality products—every time.

Click on the product below to learn more about Dr. Berg Gallbladder Formula Extra Strength.

gallbladder formula with ox bile


1. What does ox bile help with?

Ox bile supports the absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins, promotes digestive health and detoxification, and helps lower the risk of bile sludge and gallstone formation.

2. Who should take ox bile?

Individuals without a gallbladder can benefit greatly from ox bile to support digestive function and nutrient absorption. 

In addition, people with impaired liver function, gallbladder disease, and those who suffer from persistent digestive issues generally don’t produce enough bile salts. Taking ox bile supplementation can speed up digestion and promotes liver health.   

3. Who shouldn’t take ox bile?

People with hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, and diarrhea shouldn't take ox bile supplements.

4. What are the side effects of ox bile?

While ox bile is generally well tolerated, it can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, and immune reactions in some individuals. These side effects typically disappear once you stop taking ox bile supplements. 

5. How often should I take ox bile?

Taking ox bile daily with meals or on an empty stomach promotes digestive health, supports bile flow and liver health, and may lower your risk of gallstones. 

6. Is ox bile good for you?

Ox bile is an effective way to support normal digestive function, promotes a balanced intestinal microflora and detoxification, and may lower inflammation in the liver and gastrointestinal lining. 

7. How long does it take for ox bile to start working?

Taking ox bile speeds up digestion and helps you to quickly digest fats. Ox bile also supports your liver, and most people experience improved liver function and elimination of toxins within two to three weeks.  

8. What are the symptoms of lack of bile?

Symptoms, including sluggish digestion, feeling heavy after meals, abdominal pain, bloating, and belching, can indicate bile salts deficiency. 

Unexplained weight loss, fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies, and low thyroid function are also common issues related to inadequate levels of bile salts.

9. When is the best time to take Dr. Berg Gallbladder Formula?

You can take 2 capsules of Dr. Berg Gallbladder Formula Extra Strength before or after a meal.

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