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What Is The Function Of Bile In The Digestive Process


The human body is fascinating machinery with different organs playing a different part in order to keep you fit and healthy. Amid the multiple systems in the body, the digestive system plays a significant part in keeping you in shape. There are numerous organs, acids, and juices that lead to the eventual breakdown of the food and one such pivotal juice is the Bile juice. In fact, the purpose and role of bile juice aren’t limited to just aiding digestion, it has some other significance too. Thence, you should be made aware of ‘What Is The Function Of Bile‘. But, before you can skim through the role of bile juice in digestion, you must learn what bile juice is.

What Is Bile Juice?

Bile is a viscous greenish-yellow fluid that’s an amalgamation of electrolytes, bile pigments, bile salts, and cholesterol. Every single ingredient in the bile juice has a significant role to play.

Having said that, it’s time that you learn about the role of bile and bile salts in details.

What Is Bile Juice?

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What Is The Function Of Bile Juice In Digestion?

The first elemental question that every mind ponders upon is which organ produces bile. Unlike the myth that gallbladder produces bile, it is just the storage pouch. The liver is the organ that actually produces bile.

The guide below is a flash of a reservoir for people interested in learning ‘What is the function of bile’ and why is it so important.

  1. Absorption of Fats

Bile juice contains two noteworthy acids – Cholic acid and Chenodeoxycholic acid. These acids and a few other inorganic salts in bile are known to be the primary sources that can absorb fat molecules.

As common knowledge, fat molecules aren’t easily digestible. But, bile acids are highly concentrated and they can easily absorb fat molecules – including trans-fat and free cholesterol. This reduces the amount of bad cholesterol in the body that, in turn, reduces the chances of fat deposition in the adipose tissues and also the walls of blood vessels. Thus, alongside aiding digestion, bile also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure and even heart attacks.

  1. Waste Elimination

Bile juice is known to absorb different materials in the body. However, it is necessary that Bile functions the right way – letting the body retain only useful materials whilst still being able to remove the toxic and harmful ones as waste either in feces or in the urine. One such dangerous waste product in the body is free Bilirubin. Bilirubin is a byproduct of hemoglobin that can get potentially lethal if retained by the body.

When the red blood cells die, useful molecules like iron and globin (kinds of proteins) are retained. But Bilirubin in Heme is toxic and harmful. Bile juice helps in segregating heme from globin and ultimately removing it from the body. In other words, bile juice is able to keep the body free of toxins.

  1. Lipid Digestion

Bile salts are steroidal molecules that are characterized by their unique molecular structure. They are the major resources in the body that help in the digestion and absorption of lipid-soluble proteins, free cholesterol, and other nutrients. In other words, bile salts in small intestines are able to filter harmful fat molecules so that the intestines cannot absorb and retain them in the body. Thus, bile salts help in;

  • Improving Proteolysis – The process of removing unhealthy molecules from the protein surface before they can be absorbed by the intestines as a part of good nutrition.
  • Augmenting Lipolysis – The process of letting the muscles and cells absorb glucose in order to reduce blood sugar during fasting.

Nevertheless, in the absence of bile salts, the small intestines can absorb saturated fat molecules as well as trans-fat. Therefore, bile salts are necessary self-assembling molecules that promote overall health.

  1. Bowel Movement

In other words, bile salts can mimic the laxative effect. Thus, they are clinically believed to be quite effective in easing the symptoms of constipation and stomach pain.

  1. pH Level Maintenance

The pH level in the gut determines whether or not the digestive system will function efficiently. It also affects the acidic level in the body. Thus, a lower pH level leads to gastric troubles like acidity and indigestion. Electrolytes in bile juice are able to alkalize any extreme acidic reaction in the digestive gut. Therefore, electrolytes in bile juice are directly related to the body’s metabolic rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Other than the answers about ‘What Is The Function Of Bile‘, people also have other primary questions about bile juice. Some of those questions have been addressed in the guide below.

  1. Is Bile An Enzyme?

No. Bile is not an enzyme. Bile is just a juice that is produced in the liver for aiding digestion. Alone, it isn’t capable of fat emulsification – a function that enzymes should be able to perform. It is the salts – also known as bile salts – that are later secreted in bile juice that are able to absorb fat molecules.

  1. What Happens In The Case Of Bile Duct Obstruction?

The worst ramification of bile duct obstruction is jaundice. Bile duct can be obstructed because of the following reasons that should be medically treated.

  • Cysts in the bile duct
  • Scarring and gallbladder injury
  • Liver worms
  • Bile duct worms
  • Pancreatic tumors
  1. What Is Bile Made Up Of?

Bile is a normal juice that is amalgamated with different molecules during its passage from the liver to the small intestines. The molecules that make bile juice include;

  • Cholic acid
  • Chenodeoxycholic acid
  • Glycocholic acid
  • Taurocholic acid
  • Deoxycholic acid
  • Lithocholic acid
  • Water
  • Fatty acids
  • Electrolytes
  • Free cholesterol
  • Inorganic Salts
  1. How Much Bile Does The Human Body Produces Every Day?

An average adult is able to create about 400 to 800 ml bile every day. The exact amount depends on gender, BMI, metabolic rate, and many other biological factors.


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