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Use Bile Salts for a Fatty Liver

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/06/2024

Fatty liver disease is an increasingly widespread illness which, if left untreated, can result in various medical issues.

Learn about the link between bile salts and liver health, as well as how to improve a fatty liver. Discover how bile salts can be an effective treatment option for those with liver disease and what lifestyle changes promote healthy liver function.

What is Fatty Liver Disease?

A fatty liver is characterized by excess fat accumulation in the liver and not having the capacity to generate enough bile salts for its breakdown, resulting in high cholesterol levels and gallstones.

Bile salts are essential for digestion and break down fat globules into smaller droplets.

How insufficient bile production affects your health

  • Poor nutrient absorption: Without enough bile, you might not absorb enough nutrients from your food.

  • Gallstone formation: Insufficient bile production can lead to an increased risk of gallstones.

  • Worsening fatty liver disease: Reduced bile flow can worsen fatty liver disease.

Human liver illustration

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) - Causes and Symptoms

NAFLD is a common type of fatty liver disease, affecting around 20% of people, and is linked to various health issues.

Factors contributing to NAFLD

  • Poor diet: Overeating sugar, refined carbs, and unhealthy fats can increase insulin production and resistance, which may result in NAFLD.

  • Sedentary lifestyle: Not moving enough can contribute to weight gain and obesity, increasing the risk of developing this condition.

  • Gut microbiome imbalance: An imbalance between good and bad bacteria in your gut may affect how your body processes fats, potentially leading to fatty liver disease.

  • Mental stress: Chronic stress has been linked with elevated cortisol levels that can cause an increase in blood sugar levels, promoting insulin resistance and eventually resulting in NAFLD.

Common symptoms associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

The symptoms of NAFLD are often subtle or even nonexistent during its early stages, but some common indicators include:

  1. Fatigue or general weakness

  2. Bloating or abdominal discomfort due to enlarged liver size (hepatomegaly)

  3. Unexplained weight loss or difficulty losing weight despite efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle

  4. Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) in advanced stages of NAFLD

  5. Elevated liver enzymes detected through blood tests indicate inflammation or damage to liver cells.

Suppose you suspect that you may have NAFLD. In that case, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment, as early intervention can help prevent further complications such as cirrhosis, liver failure, or even cancer.

Health Consequences Associated with Fatty Liver

A fatty liver can cause numerous health issues, such as impaired insulin sensitivity, diminished thyroid performance, and an overabundance of harmful bacteria that may result in small intestinal bacterial proliferation (SIBO).

Insulin Resistance

Fatty liver disease can cause insulin resistance, increase blood sugar levels, and is linked with the development of type 2 diabetes.


Fatty liver can contribute to hypothyroidism, which occurs when your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormones for optimal body functioning.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Poor gut health has been linked with various health issues, including fatty liver disease and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Lifestyle Changes for Better Liver Health

Adopting a nutritious low-carb diet like Healthy Keto®, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress levels, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption can help combat the adverse effects of fatty liver on your health.

Bile Salts as Treatment for Fatty Liver

Supplementing with bile salts can help combat both alcoholic and nonalcoholic forms of fatty liver disease by promoting efficient fat digestion and disposal of excess cholesterol.

If you're looking for a way to support your liver health, TUDCA and bile salts may be worth considering. Here's what you need to know:

What is TUDCA?

Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) is a naturally occurring bile acid that can help protect liver cells from damage caused by oxidative stress. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well.

In addition, research suggests that TUDCA may also play a role in regulating glucose metabolism and improving insulin sensitivity, which are essential factors in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. The following are some benefits that can result from consuming TUCDA:

  • Protects liver cells from damage caused by oxidative stress

  • Possesses anti-inflammatory properties

  • May also regulate glucose metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity

Non-alcoholic fatty liver illustration

The Role of Bile Salts In Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease occurs when there is an excessive buildup of fat within the liver cells. This condition can lead to inflammation, scarring, and even permanent damage if left untreated.

Bile salts may help alleviate some symptoms of fatty liver diseases, such as abdominal pain or discomfort after eating high-fat meals. They aid digestion through emulsification, which breaks down large globules of fat into smaller ones.

TUDCA and bile salts are two natural substances that can help support liver health and improve digestion. If you want to incorporate these supplements into your routine, speak with a healthcare professional first.

Eat a Proper Diet

Load up on nutrient-dense foods like organic veggies, healthy fats, and nutritious protein options to maintain optimal liver function. Add liver-friendly foods like spinach, broccoli, walnuts, and salmon to your meals.

Get Moving

Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and reduces fat accumulation around the liver. Try brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling.


Stress can negatively impact liver function. Incorporate relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises into your daily routine. Incorporating hobbies you enjoy into your daily life has proven to lower stress levels. Getting sufficient restorative sleep each night also plays a vital role in combatting stress.


Understanding the relationship between fatty liver and bile salts is crucial for optimal liver health.

Bile salts play a vital role in fat digestion, and insufficient bile production can lead to various health consequences, such as insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Incorporating lifestyle changes such as a nutritious ketogenic diet and physical activities that promote healthy liver function, managing stress levels, and using bile salts treatment for fatty liver disease can help prevent or manage non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) symptoms.


1. Are Bile Salts Good for Your Liver?

Bile salts aid in fat digestion, cholesterol balance, and detoxification, making them beneficial for liver health and liver cell function.

2. Do Bile Salts Help Break Down Fats?

Bile salts emulsify dietary fats into smaller particles, allowing for proper digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

3. Who Should Not Take Bile Salts?

Individuals with obstructed bile ducts or active peptic ulcers should avoid bile salt supplements, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their healthcare provider.

4. Does Fatty Liver Cause Bile Problems?

Fatty liver can impair bile production, leading to poor fat digestion and complications related to bile acid homeostasis. It's essential to address the underlying causes of fatty liver disease to maintain optimal digestive health.

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