Bile Composition and Functions of bile


In this article I will give you information regarding Bile composition and Functions of bile.

Bile is bitter greenish-brown alkaline fluid which helps us in digestion and is secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.

bile composition and functions of bile

Bile composition

97.6% of water
2.4% of solids.
Solids includes organic & inorganic substances mention as below.

Organic substances

  • Bile salts
  • Bile pigments
  • Cholesterol
  • Fatty acids
  • Lecithin
  • Mucin

Inorganic substances

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Bicarbonate
  • Calcium


Most of the functions are due to bile salts.

  1. Digestive function

    We can not digest the fats directly because the fats are insoluble in water due to the surface tension. Bile salts do emulsification of fats. It is the process by which fat globules are broken down into small particles which can be easily digested by lipolytic enzymes.

  2. Absorption of Fats

    Bile salts help in the absorption of digested fats from intestine into blood. Bile salts combine with fats & make complexes of fats called micelles.The fats in the form of micelles can be absorbed easily.

  3. Excretory function

    Bile pigments are the major excretory products of the bile. Other substances excreted in bile are

    • Heavy metals like copper & iron
    • Some bacteria like typhoid bacteria
    • toxins
    • Cholesterol
    • Lecithin
    • Alkaline phosphate
  4. Laxative action

    Laxative is an agent which induces toilet. Bile salts act as laxatives by stimulating peristaltic movements of the intestine.

  5. Antiseptic action

    Bile don’t allow to grow bacteria inside intestine. It inhibit growth of certain bacteria by its natural detergent action.

  6. Prevention of gallstone formation

    Bile salts keep cholesterol & lecithin in solution. If bile salts are absent at that time these substance form stone.
    This way bile prevent formation of gallstone

  7. Lubrication function

    The mucin contain of bile acts as a lubricant. Lubricant means like oil or greece. Which protect us & also lubricant for the chyme in intestine.

  8. Maintain PH in Gastrointestinal tract

    As bile is highly alkaline, it neutralizes the acid chyme which enters the intestine from stomach.
    This way proper pH is maintain by bile in Gastro intestinal tract.

  9. Choleretic and Cholagogue action

    Bile salts stimulate the secretion of bile from liver is called choleretic action. Bile salts act as a cholagogue agent. Which stimulate secretion of hormone & causes contraction of gallbladder.

Hope you like my article on Bile composition & Functions of bile. Feel free to contact me for any query.

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