Eastern cultures have used ox bile to treat constipation and prevent gallstones and liver cirrhosis for centuries.
Ox bile has a number of medicinal uses, but it is perhaps most popular as a way for patients to improve the metabolic processing of fats and certain vitamins, and as a treatment for chronic constipation. Many also believe that it helps prevent gallstones and reduce liver inflammation. Most health professionals consider beef bile to be a form of “alternative medicine”. This doesn’t mean it’s less effective than other more streamlined pharmaceutical treatments, but it tends to be less popular and not always widely accepted. Bile preparations generally do not undergo the same rigorous testing and regulatory processes as most pharmaceuticals, which can lead to a greater degree of variation with regard to purity and efficacy.
Fat breakdown and vitamin absorption
Ox bile can be used to treat chronic constipation.
Bile is a substance excreted by the mammalian liver to aid in the chemical breakdown of fats and the absorption of certain vitamins in the digestive process. When it comes to basic chemistry, ox bile is remarkably similar to human bile, which is one of the reasons it often works as a medicinal aid in people. One of the main ways it is used is to help the body break down fats and assimilate vitamins A, D, E, and K. Healthy people can usually do this on their own, but those who use it don’t produce bile. enough or those who have other blood chemistry imbalances usually need a little more help.
Ox bile can help prevent gallstones.
Ox bile mainly consists of water, salts, cholesterol and lecithin, a fatty substance. One of its main functions in a live ox is to help the animal absorb vitamins from the ingested food, and these properties are also valid when the substance is processed and prepared for human consumption. When people take some of the extract with food, they are usually able to better digest some of the more complex nutrients and minerals, which in turn contributes to better health and an overall feeling of fullness and satiety. In the absence of bile, food can still be digested, but much of the nutritional value is lost or eliminated before it can be useful.
Side effects of ox bile extract can include upset stomach.
Disruption of bile also affects intestinal motility and nutrient absorption in the colon. People who are unable to properly extract the fats and vitamins from their food during digestion often end up with constipation and intestinal blockages, as the intestines and colon often rely on fatty oils to process stool. When these are absent or inadequate, the result is usually a dense mass that is difficult, if not impossible, to pass through. People who consume ox extract in these cases often do so to promote digestive health, which can cure the root cause of their constipation; relief is often slow to come, however. Laxatives or bulk fiber are usually more effective immediate solutions and are often taken with bile for a more comprehensive treatment.
Prevention of gallstones
Most medical professionals consider ox bile a form of “alternative medicine”.
The liver stores bile in a small sac called the gallbladder, from where it is distributed to the body. A lack of bile or an imbalance in its production can lead to wide swings in the levels of cholesterol and fat in the bloodstream. This is a contributing factor to the formation of gallstones or calcified obstructions of the gallbladder. People who are prone to this condition sometimes supplement with ox bile as a way to restore proper liver functionality and prevent painful stones. The extract can also sometimes speed recovery in people who have had a cholecystectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. It is relatively easy to live normally without this gland, but people in this position often need to pay special attention to diet and nutrient absorption to stay healthy. Taking supplemental bile is one way to do this.
Treatment of liver diseases
The supplement may also help treat certain liver conditions, particularly cirrhosis. Cirrhosis occurs when liver tissues stop regenerating and start turning into thick scar tissue. This impedes the liver’s ability to do anything, including regulating bile. Supplementing with ox product can help patients overcome some of the side effects of the disease, although it is rarely able to offer anything close to a cure.
Processing and Manufacturing
Bile from oxen is typically prepared for medicinal use in a two-step process. It is first extracted from the animal and sterilized, usually with heat. Manufacturers must strike a balance between killing harmful bacteria and damaging the chemical integrity of the compound. To hot and things tend to become ineffective, but not hot enough and toxins and other harmful substances can thrive.
Next the bile is dried, usually in industrial dehydrators, and crushed. It is typically prepared for the market either as a loose powder or in pill or capsule form. There is usually no uniform way to purchase the supplement, and dosages can vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer. Anyone interested in starting a regimen is usually advised to get specific recommendations from a healthcare provider when it comes to which brand or preparation to choose, and how much to take.
Common Side Effects
Some of the most common side effects of ox bile extract are nausea, upset stomach and diarrhea, often as a result of exceeding the recommended dosage. Possible allergic reactions may also occur in some people. As with any medication, it’s usually a good idea for people to get an official opinion before self-diagnosing or self-dosing. Bile produced from oxen may be “all natural,” but this doesn’t mean that it should be taken lightly or without regard for its potentially serious health implications.