Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2018-09-09
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
PCM forum Index
of WB Blog articles.
don’t have a gallbladder–can I still follow
the Wheat Belly high-fat lifestyle?”
This question comes up
with some regularity, so I thought I’d
finally post a response here on the Wheat Belly
Blog. It doesn’t help that general surgeons
who perform cholecystectomies are among the most
desperately ignorant on diet and health and commonly
tell their patients that, after removing the
gallbladder, they must adhere to a low-fat
diet—yes, the diet that pushes you closer
to type 2 diabetes, contributes to high
triglyceride levels and fatty liver, heart
disease, dementia and other health problems.
So can you include plenty
of fats and oils in your diet after you’ve
lost your gallbladder? Yes, you can absolutely.
But there are several things to know.
First of all, with the
gallbladder removed, your liver still manufactures
plenty of bile that trickles out into the duodenum.
The only difference is that you can no longer store
up a repository of bile in the gallbladder to
release all at once (an effect, by the way,
blocked by wheat germ agglutinin in wheat, rye,
barley, and rice because this indigestible protein
blocks cholecystokinin, the hormone that causes
the gallbladder to squeeze out its bile—this
is why grain-eaters have more gallstones). So it
is conceivable that, should you consume a bunch of
fats and oils all at once, you could overwhelm the
trickle of bile from the liver, but this rarely
happens. The great majority of people are
able to consume butter, olive oil, coconut oil,
etc. without problems.
Some people think
that they have problems with fats and oils but what
they typically often really have is dysbiosis and small
intestinal bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, that is highly
prevalent in people with diseased gallbladders.
After all, if you created gallstones in your
gallbladder, you have suffered decades of
gastrointestinal disruption and inflammation.
Disrupted bowel flora is virtually guaranteed.
Dysbiosis and SIBO can be responsible for all
manner of peculiar gastrointestinal and other
symptoms that are often misinterpreted as fat
intolerance. So key is to adopt ALL the Wheat Belly
strategies to cultivate healthy bowel flora (fully
articulated in the Wheat Belly Total Health, Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox, and Undoctored books).
I can count on three fingers
the number of people I’ve encountered over the
years who needed to supplement bile acids and
pancreatic enzymes to compensate for the loss of a
gallbladder—it does happen, but it is
distinctly uncommon. If you take such supplements
because you assumed that you would need to, you
can begin to titrate them down to gauge need,
provided you have already taken steps to cultivate
If you are just starting
out on your Wheat Belly or Undoctored lifestyles
and are a bit nervous about your tolerance to fats
and oils, you can always build up over time,
increasing your intake to gauge your response.
But I predict that the vast majority of you
without gallbladders will do just fine.