Bile is a fluid that is made and released by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.
Bile helps with digestion. It breaks down fats into fatty acids, which can be taken into the body by the digestive tract.
- Mostly cholesterol
- Bile acids (also called bile salts)
- Bilirubin (a breakdown product or red blood cells)
It also contains:
- Body salts (such as potassium and sodium)
- Copper and other metals
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Jackson PG, Evans SRT. Biliary system. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 54.
Johnston LR. Bile secretion and gallbladder function. In: Johnston LR, ed. Gastrointestinal Physiology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:chap 10.