Definition of Bile
Bile: Bile is a yellow-green fluid that is made by the liver, stored in the gallbladder and passes through the common bile duct into the duodenum where it helps digest fat. The principal components of bile are cholesterol, bile salts, and the pigment bilirubin.
An imbalance between these components of bile -- cholesterol, bile salts, and bilirubin -- leads to the formation of gallstones. Cholesterol is normally kept in liquid form by the dissolving action of the bile salts; an increased amount of cholesterol in the bile overwhelms the dissolving capacity of the bile salts and leads to the formation of cholesterol gallstones. Similarly, a deficiency of bile salts promotes cholesterol gallstone formation.
Last Editorial Review: 4/27/2011 5:27:15 PM
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