Are Supplements Beneficial for Gallbladder Disease?
Over 1/2 million people in America have their gallbladders removed every year.
The surgical removal of the gallbladder is called cholecystectomy. You might be wondering, if you are diagnosed with gallbladder disease or gallstones, whether surgical removal is absolutely necessary? What happens afterwards? Will all those uncomfortable symptoms and pain just go away now and leave you symptom free? After going the through the surgery, everybody is hoping to be pain free, gas free, bloat free, not constipated and be able to eat whatever they like. But here is the rub…you have only a 60 percent chance of that happening, because out of every 10 cholecystectomies, there will be four people who will still have symptoms.
If my situation is not life threatening and I have my doctors permission what can I do or take that will help me?
When it comes to the health of our gallbladders, I feel at this time it is important to share some information about various supplements available today to augment the dietary suggestions I offer in “Was That a Gallbladder Attack?” and “Best & Worst Foods for Gallbladder Disease.” Clinical nutrition and supplementation is extremely beneficial after utilizing the initial nutritional phase offered in the other two posts. I am going to step out of the box, head straight for the elephant in the room and be politically incorrect and actually recommend some brand names for the reader to explore. Do your own due diligence, of course but do take a look at the recommendations made here as all supplements are not created equal and that is a fact inherent in the supplement business today. Certainly the old adage of one bad apple can spoil the whole batch and make you untrusting and unwilling to explore the benefits of supplementation, which often gets its share of bad press. In some cases it is deserving but to throw the baby out with the bathwater would be a big mistake as many products have much to offer us especially when clinical nutritionists use them in their own practices. We can, through specific nutraceutical supplementation, give our bodies the building blocks to help our bodies heal themselves. The people who know these products the best, and the ones I trust the most, are the actual practitioners who use them in their own practice. These practitioners research them and offer them to their own clients and patients, and then see firsthand how they perform.
There are, as you all know, multiple sources for supplements available today and most people go to check out their local health food stores supplement departments, which in many cases do offer some great product lines, such as New Chapter, for example. But did you know that some product lines are only available through practitioners and or specific distributors and are not available in retail stores? To obtain some of these products and work with these companies directly, practitioners need to have specific credentials, or be licensed and/or have certain qualifications to obtain their products to resell to clients.
Each company sets their own criteria to obtain access to their lines in order for practitioners to be able to offer them to patients in varying clinical situations, such practitioners include: chiropractors, acupuncturists and nutritionists, etc. Two such companies that immediately come to mind, are Standard Process and Premier Research Labs. I have personally been trained on both of these lines. Some of these companies insist that you be trained through one of their recommended affiliate programs or have us work with one of their consultants before being able to have access to them and provide our clients with them. I have done this with many product lines over my 20 year tenure as a holistic nutritionist and found these courses very valuable. The presenters are often MDís who have made the switch to alternative health care modalities. They too have seen first hand the benefits of quality supplements and how they perform vs. pharmaceuticals.
Personally I like to work with practitioners who pick and choose from the various product lines that are out there and have no prejudice as to how a product is marketed, as I do. It doesnít matter to me, nor should it matter to anyone who claims to put their clients and patients first how a particular product is sold or marketed, as long as it is exceptional and is part of a Ďconscious commerce’ effort. When a profit is made by an individual or a company, thatís fine too as we all need to profit from our work, in order to stay in business. I do question how much profit some need to make and that is why straight retail sales from stores are my least favorite because in this type of sales, fillers, preservatives and other additives called excipients are used in these products in order to extend its shelflife but worse than that they must make room for their 100 percent or more mark up by using fillers. I was told when I formulated my first supplement product line that unless I filled my jars by a minimum of 50 percent (half full of fillers) that I would never make a profit. They were right, I never did make a profit with that line and still donít, but that was ok as I wanted to make the best product I could as I used it myself. Fillers are just plain unacceptable in my book. Weíre not paying for fillers and or smoke and mirrors. We want what is advertised on the label to actually be in the jar.
When we buy direct from manufacturers, we bypass the retail store and go through their distributors and or practitioners thereby providing us with quality products at much better prices. We also then have the benefit of the practitioners advice which is often given free of charge. But, there should be no reason for practitioners to ever have to apologize for making a modest profit when offering quality products, as they either work for us or they donít. Working with practitioners has an advantage over stores because they offer personal service and follow up when you purchase from them. Never begrudge your practitioner that little profit even if you can buy it somewhere cheaper as that free consultation could be worth as much as their hourly fee is. Try to get that kind of service at a retail store.
I also like to work with practitioners and companies that offer at least a 90 day unconditional money back guarantee, so therefore whether my clients buy from me in person or on line from one of my websites or affiliate links, they can truly test how well something is working for them and get an optimal loading dose with the security of that money back guarantee. Try to get a 90 day money back guarantee from a store. Another plus is many companies offer auto ship options, where you save money each month. This way, when you are on a long term supplemental regime you get fresh product delivered right to your door each month.
In my practice, the most important product that I recommend, which is great for our general health needs daily, is a natural Omega-3 anti-inflammatory, antioxidant product. This just happens to also be especially important for gallbladder disease which it has its roots in inflammation and improper nutritional choices, just like most chronic diseases have. I’ve done a great deal of research on Omega-3 essential fatty acids and have experimented with many sources over the years. I would be remiss to just recommend going to a store and buying any over the counter, fish or flax oil for your Omega-3 needs. Because I see how vastly these products differ. I am aligned with both Dr. Oz and Dr. Mercola, who have clearly stated the importance of daily supplementation with Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
However, I donít recommend the use of fish or krill oil, especially when they are privately labeled for these doctors own websites. I personally donít care for privately labeled products as I prefer to be able to follow the chain of all the ingredients, from harvest, to encapsulation. I like to know what I can about the entire manufacturing process, rather than trust someone to stick their label on something they get for a great price. I also like to be able to get the practitioner or a decision maker on the phone at the actual source and talk to them about their products ingredients. This is not possible with privately labeled supplements.
Instead, I recommend a unique source of Omega-3 which I use in my practice that you probably have not even heard of. I have found it to be the superior choice for natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. This particular product I refer to is an organic, cold extracted (no heat is used in the extraction process) marine lipid that comes from green lipped mussels. Green lipped mussels or GLM are a particular kind of shellfish (a.k.a. green shelled mussel) which come exclusively from New Zealand. GLM are bi-valve mollusks that contain a unique array of 18 Omega-3 essential fatty acids plus the two you find in fish oil, EPA and DHA, which were the first to be discovered and have also had the most studies done on them. 255 different conditions have been studied on the benefits of Omega-3 in either the treatment of or prevention of a given inflammatory condition.
The marine lipid extracted from GLM would not be appropriate for vegans, (however I have many vegan clients who give it to their dogs and cats daily). I find that it is acceptable to many vegetarians as it is as low on the food chain as we can get as it has no fins, feet or eyes. Furthermore the particular brand I use and recommend has had the protein molecules removed from the GLM to prevent seafood or shellfish allergies or aversions. This product is called Moxxor and one of the many reasons I am so impressed with it is the fact that it is 100 percent sustainable. The green lipped mussels are raised in their wild natural environment in the New Zealand Marlborough Sounds region. There, they are seeded onto long ropes which are suspended from buoys, where they eat their natural diet of phytoplankton that flows in from the south pole. The water is tested every 24 hours for purity and each batch is assayed for purity. The GLM are harvested at 18 months of age and chilled immediately for freshness. Moxxor is not available in stores because it doesnít have the big mark up necessary for retail sales that I mentioned above. Since I cannot in all good consciousness use or recommend krill, calamari, salmon, cod liver, or any fish oil, since they do not come from sustainable sources and I personally feel that our oceans are being ravaged by greed.
For example even though krill represent a huge bio mass and there are certainly a lot of krill in the sea, it is where they fish for them that bothers me and this then pollutes the most sensitive marine areas on the planet. Wherever whales can be found there you will find krill and it is of the utmost important to keep their habitat safe from the ravages of krill fishing. This is why thus far in my research I have chosen to recommend Moxxor besides the fact that it is the most effective product I know of in its category.
Furthermore, I have found fish oil supplements to be, for the most part, rancid when we buy them since they have been either estherified or molecularly distilled, which means treated with high heat, alcohol, solvents, deodorizers, and other chemicals which are used. They often contain supplemental vitamin D since so much of what they had in the first place has been destroyed in the heating process. This high heat process is done to rid the fish oils of their heavy metal load and other toxins.
If you swallow a fish oil capsule and you burp immediately afterward you can rest assured the product is rancid. The biggest problem for manufacturers of any oil product is rancidity. We also all know from our research on the benefits of raw food that heat destroys valuable enzymes. Even flax which was thought to be an acceptable source of Omega-3 for vegans is mostly rancid when encapsulated. That is why we find most quality flax oil products in the refrigerator at your local health food stores.
Research has shown that although flax has many valuable properties and has therapeutic benefits for gallbladder disease, especially when the fresh seeds are made into a tea, it does not supply us with the all important long chain fatty acids that we need to get the anti-inflammatory result we are looking for from an Omega-3 supplement. Omega-3s must be in the form of a marine lipid to be a true natural anti-inflammatory option for us. The product I refer to also includes in its proprietary formulation two extra ingredients: organic cold extracted grape seek husk extract and kiwifruit seed oil which are both powerful antioxidants and act as an all natural preservative. There are no fillers or excipients in Moxxor. See my video presentation on the subject at MoxxArt.com.
For additional gallbladder supplementation and dietary recommendations I refer my clients directly to the gallbladderattack.com. I do not have a business arrangement with them but they are a group that I feel has vast knowledge of gallbladder disease. The products they offer come from reliable professional sources from many different manufacturers and are instrumental in thinning bile and aiding digestion.
GallbladderAttack.com provides specific brands of products from sources that I like very much and have used in my practice as well. I have been trained on several of their product lines. It is clear that they have performed well for them in their practice as you will see from the comments from actual users. You will find at their extensive website that they have put together various gallbladder kits. These kits along with Omega-3 supplementation I have described above are all extremely valuable in the clinical nutrition approach to the treatment of gallbladder disease. I would suggest ordering their Gallbladder starter kit to begin with, which includes digestive enzymes, organic beet root capsules, and bile salts, from Earths Pharmacy, Nutritionals, O.P.O., OrthoPhosphoric Acid drops from Progressive Laboratories, Inc., and Hydrochloric Acid capsules, from Premier Research Labs. Check the ingredients if you are vegan as several use animal products in them. You will need to weigh your options here against your ethics and belief system as gallbladder disease is a serious condition and the alternative to clinical nutrition may indeed be surgery if you will not use anything with animal ingredients. The gallbladder starter kit along with the 30 day meal plan (which is primarily vegan) and recipes will get your healing protocol off to a great start.
When you and your doctor or practitioner determine the next steps regarding your personal condition you can then proceed and incorporate other options, again this will depend on your diagnosis. Gallbladderattack.com does have a gallstone kit which includes a specific gallstone and sludge removal protocol which you will want to do only with your doctors approval. A consultation with one of their practitioners would be very important at this point as there are various factors and complications that even your traditional MD might not see or know about. This is sad but all too true which leads us to know in our hearts that the marriage of Easter and Western medicine can only inure to everyone’s benefit.
One of the major difficulties in the beginning of a gallbladder diet is getting enough protein. Proteins present problems for clinicians and patients because they always come with fats which are often not tolerated during an acute phase of gallbladder disease or following a gallbladder attack. At GallbladderAttack.com you will find they offer a specially formulated, rice protein shake, which comes in both chocolate and vanilla, that has been designed with gallbladders and livers in mind. This product is not available in stores and needs to be ordered from their website or another site that offers the Apex product line. This shake contains special herbs that support bile flow and gallbladder and liver function and at the same time, the rice protein is hypo-allergenic and easy on most to digest. It also contains MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) which are absorbed directly by the cells of the gut lining, and converted immediately into energy. This rice protein shake product is from Apex Energetics and is called Clearvite. It is recommended that 1 scoop be mixed with up to 8 ounces of water, juice or rice milk. You can use it 1 to 3 times a day if you like or as directed by your healthcare practitioner. Be sure to mix it very well or use a blender. The use of cows milk or soy milk is not recommended with this product.
Depending on how severe or acute your gallbladder problem is at the moment, some supplements and or recipes may not be possible for you to handle at all. You may just need to proceed for a few days on only organic grapes as a cleanse perhaps with the flax tea. Then you can add green soup and beet recipe which can be found in Part 1 of this series. Grapes are a wonderful food and you can have them as a meal as long as you do not combine them with other foods. The three recipes I have discussed and shared in Part 1 actually help to move the stagnation in the gallbladder and help your body to begin the healing process naturally, however if you are still in pain, you may be able to eat only the green soup recipe for a few days. When you begin supplementation with the Omega-3 I recommend or any of the supplements in the Gallbladder starter kit, causes distress, put it aside for a while and reintroduce it as you heal. I find taking the digestive enzyme in the kit very beneficial with the recipes and the supplements as well. Most people are able to eat small amounts of the recipes recommended. It shouldn’t take more than a week on the recipes before you can add the supplements and special Clearvite shake I have mentioned here before you feel relief.