Liver makes bile, gallbladder stores bile, bile is squirted out as necessary for fat-containing meals. The gallbladder DOES have a function, as is evidenced in these situations!
If the liver is overloaded, the bile is full of "toxins" (I don't like the word either, it is a necessary evil). A normal route of the liver's detoxification is through the bile (and hence through the stool). Over time, these "toxins" marinate the gallbladder, resulting in gallbladder issues (attacks/cholecystitis and stones/cholelithiasis).
With nearly any GI issue these days, conventional doctors do not hesitate in any way to remove people's (especially women's) gallbladders. The gallbladder "group" is the 4 F's--Female, Fat, Forty, and Fertile. Removal of the GB does not fix the problem that the liver has (in terms of being overloaded and creating toxic bile) while removing the body's ability to store bile for use with fatty meals (one is left with a trickle of bile versus a big bolus). Thus we have a giant segment of the population unable to digest fats (that's on top of the fact that most people are eating rancid/hydrogenated/plasticized fats).
So, these people need bile. Ox bile is what is commonly used. I provide it to my patients in the form of Hypo-Gest from Priority One. Typically 1-6 tablets (this is determined black box style by the patient) taken in the MIDDLE of a meal. This will often remedy problems immediately. For example, I helped a patient relieve her gallbladder pain (and vomiting with fatty meals) that radiated to her back (classic!) with 1 tablet per meal.
Such a simple solution. Too bad it doesn't make Big Pharma any money or more doctors would actually know about it.
BTW, the liver is overloaded b/c nearly everyone's guts are compromised--the portal vein takes all of the "stuff" from the intestines directly to the liver to be "processed". Got bad guts, you got a bad liver. Gotta fix the gut if you ever want to fix the liver. Want to fix the gut? Get the Body Ecology Diet book by Donna Gates (www.BodyEcologyDiet.com)
. For those of you on this board who think I know what I'm talking about, this book has finally put together many of the missing pieces (yes, even the Paleo/Zone has holes one can drive a truck through) for me.
I don't have time for skeptics, believe it if you wish. Or even better, try it out!