What happens when you have poor fat digestion?
Undigested fats (aka, particles of fat that have not been digested properly) have a huge impact on the body's immune system. In a healthy body, poor fat digestion resulting in undigested fats would not exist, but when the digestive system isn't working optimally, undigested fats can be all too common. There are several reasons for which fats would fail to digest properly. One reason can be due to the gallbladder not getting the signal to squeeze and release its bile to aid in the digestion of fats into fatty acids. Bile is needed to help emulsify fats into fatty acids so they can continue down the digestive process. Another reason could be due to the pancreas not releasing lipase and other enzymes to help further break down the fats so fat molecules that are too large for the small intestine and bloodstream won't be able to cause problems.
How poor digestion causes a sluggish immune system.
If large fat molecules arrive in the small intestine or the duodenum, if bile is not released to emulsify those fats into fatty acids, and if lipase from the pancreas cannot come in and further break down the fats, then fats enter the lymphatic system and bloodstream undigested. When this happens, the fat rancidifies in the colon and becomes a toxic element that stresses out the liver leaving the body fatty acid deficient.
Undigested, rancid fats weaken the colon and overwhelm the immune system causing dysbiosis which in turn disrupts the healthy flora of the body. Without proper healthy flora, butyric acid is not produced and the cells of the colon are weakened leaving the colon subject to inflammation, diverticulitis, and loss of tone which, overtime, leads to IBS, Crohn's, Colitis, Celiac disease, and the worsening of many other immune diseases. Also, when fat doesn't break down properly during digestion, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K never get assimilated and in turn causes nutrient deficiencies in the body. So now the person will be fatty acid deficient as well as nutrient deficient.
Fats are necessary for optimal health.
Often in Western civilization, this cycle continues for many months and years. I hope you can now see how easy it is to weaken the functions of the body and leave the immune system defenseless against pathogens and diseases. Keeping healthy fats in the diet and aiding the body in proper fat digestion can help steer the body towards optimal health and not depressed immunity and deficiencies.
Do you have poor fat digestion? Any comments you'd like to add? Share below!
If you know you have poor digestion, check out this post where I talk deeper about how poor digestion can lead to an autoimmune disease.