Bile acids

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Bile acids, the end product of cholesterol metabolism are found in bile and include:

The secondary bile salts then get reabsorbed as part of the enterohepatic circulation These secondary bile acids are then conjugated in the liver to form compounds like glycocholic acid and taurocholic acid.

They are synthesised by this pathway.

Importance

  1. Bile acids are the only realistic means for elimination of excess cholesterol.
  2. Bile acids help with phospholipids to solubilize cholesterol in the bile, preventing precipitation of cholesterol in the gallbladder.
  3. Bile acids, because of their detergent like properties, help in the digestion of dietary triacylglycerols by emulsifying them to render them accessible to pancreatic lipases.
  4. Bile acids help the intestinal absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.