What Stimulates Bile Production?

Written by robert alley
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What Stimulates Bile Production?
Lack of sufficient bile can lead to indigestion. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Bile production begins in the liver. According to an article from the University of Washington, hepatocytes, the cells that compose most of the liver, are responsible for bile production. Bile plays an important part in the digestive system. Insufficient bile production can cause gallstones and gallbladder disease. Stimulating bile production, if necessary, requires knowledge of the substances that produce that result.

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In a normally functioning digestive system, bile is produced by the liver cells and stored in the gallbladder. When the digestive process commences the bile flows from the gallbladder into the small intestine. Bile is responsible for digestion of fats and removal of cholesterol. Insufficient bile levels prevent fats from being properly digested and absorbed. In addition, excess cholesterol can form gallstones that can shut down the digestive system, requiring surgery to remove the gallbladder.

Herbal Remedies

Several herbal remedies stimulate bile production. Two are herbs that contain bitter substances; dandelion with taraxacin and milk thistle containing silymarin. These herbs can be eaten raw or steamed. They can be combined in a tea with Oregon grape, a substance that increases blood flow to the liver. Another choice is turmeric, a dry powder containing curcumin, which is used in Indian cooking. Other examples include mint oil capsules and wild yams.

Low-Fat Diet

You could be at risk for gallstones and gallbladder disease if you are overweight and eat a Western diet, according to an article on the Cedars-Sinai Hospital's website. A low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables addresses both causes, as low-fat foods lead to weight loss and a proper body weight. One ideal vegetable is the artichoke. Low in calories with no fat or cholesterol, it provides vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium and iron. According to Today's Women & Health, artichokes contain cynarin and luteolin, compounds that stimulate bile production.


Today's Women promotes high-fibre diets as a means of stimulating bile production and reducing the risk of gallstones. Examples of high-fibre choices given by Nature's Answers include alfalfa grass, which is also a good source of minerals and chlorophyll. Another product is apple fibre which includes apple pectin and aids in the elimination of excess cholesterol. Other high-fibre foods like certain breads and cereals, oatmeal, or fibre additives, will all assist in bile production.

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