Bile is a thick alkaline fluid that is secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder.
Bile is ejected into the duodenum via the common bile duct, that is - it does not flow continuously but is released at intervals.
Bile may vary in colour (e.g. yellow, green, brown) according to the proportions of bile pigments. Leithin, cholesterol and bile salts are also present in bile.
What it does:
- Bile salts help to emulsify fats in the duodenum so that they can be more readily broken-down by pancreatic lipase into fatty acids and glycerol.
- Bile salts also form compounds with fatty acids.
- Bile also helps to stimulate peristalsis in the duodenum.
More about the Digestive System:
This section includes pages about:
- Introduction to the Digestive System
- Terminology about Digestion
- Passage through the alimentary tract
- Component Parts of the Digestive System, incl. Teeth, Stomach, Liver, Small Intestine, Large Intestine
- Chemical Processes in the Digestive System (introductory level)
- Diseases and Disorders of the Digestive System
For further information see also our pages of books about gastroenterology.
- The digestive system (introduction)
- Digestive System Terminology
- Main Stages of the Digestive Process
- Transit through the Alimentary Canal
- Absorption Sites
- Structures of the mouth
- Teeth - as part of the digestive system
- Small Intestine
- Large Intestine
- Digestive System Diseases & Disorders