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Many aren´t aware that there is a link between liver health and some auto immune diseases. Hypothyroidism and Hashimotos Thyroiditis is on the rise and females tend to be more susceptible.  The liver is important in the transport, metabolism, storage and excretion of thyroid hormones.  Many females have undiagnosed thyroid imbalances or do not fit into the “grey area” of thyroid markers which are standard in many blood tests.  The prevalence of hypothyroidism is significantly higher in women during late perimenopause and postmenopause compared with premenopause.

Thyroid hormones have prominent effects on liver fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis and metabolism. Hypothyroidism has been associated with increased blood triglycerides and cholesterol as well as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  There are many connections between bile flow and thyroid issues.

FIVE Connections between Bile Flow and Thyroid Function

  • If not absorbing fats, you can’t make thyroid hormones
  • Finland study: hypothyroidism 7x more likely in people with decreased bile flow
  • Bile triggers release of the enzyme that converts T4 to T3
  • Gut bacteria plays a role in T4 to T3 conversion
  • Thyroid hormones relaxes sphincter of Oddi, which controls flow of bile into the small intestine


  1. REMOVE – factors that may harm the liver is anything that produces lactate; coffee, sugar, alcohol and processed foods (Now understand why the bi-annual Spring and Autumn programmes are BENEFICIAL?)
  2. REPLACE – with foods that support the liver and bile flow: To optimise the effectiveness of liver-supporting foods, it’s best to choose organic, which lowers the toxin burden on the liver.
  • Lemons and lemon juice
  • Lime
  • Sauerkraut
  • Fresh apples
  • Leafy greens
  • Celery
  • Green tea
  • Dill
  • Artichokes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Microgreens

Adding in one or more of the following herbs or spices daily will also stimulate bile flow:

  • Artichoke leaf
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Black pepper
  • Dandelion root tea
  • Burdock root
  • Cilantro/Coriander
  • Peppermint
  • Green tea
  • Chamomile
  • Fenugreek
  • Milk thistle

Healthy fats stimulate the gallbladder, which sends signals back to the liver to increase bile production. Healthy fats for bile include:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Virgin coconut oil and coconut shreds
  • Ghee
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Krill oil
  • Fish oil

You should include one or more of these healthy fats with each meal for best bile health.  Alternatively, you should avoid fried foods and processed fats because they cause inflammation in the liver where bile is made.



  1. Intermittent fasting: Bile is continuously produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder when not eating.  Intermittent fasting can be a good way to increase the bile that is concentrated in the gallbladder (if you have not had it removed).
  2. DEEP BREATHING: The liver is positioned just below the diaphragm, and many people have shallow breathing. During deep diaphragmatic breathing, the diaphragm pushes down and massages the liver, stimulating bile production. Diaphragmatic breathing is said to help activate the liver and its detoxification pathways. When stressed the breath is shallow, which keeps stress producing toxins inside the liver.  Try to breathe deeply twice a day.  This could be whilst in the car at a traffic light, preparing dinner or lying in bed.  Breathe in slowly for 4 seconds, hold your breathe for 4 seconds and breathe out slowly for approx 7 seconds.
  3. Reduce Stress: Emotional stress is detrimental for health and it creates a cascade of fight or flight hormones, such as cortisol, nitric oxide and adrenaline. This puts a huge burden on the organs of the body, but especially the liver as it’s responsible for the removal of excess toxins and hormones.

When it comes to the liver, it’s the bile the keeps the energy moving and releasing waste products into the feces. Nitric oxide and cortisol get trapped inside the liver if there is no way for it to flow out with adequate bile.

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