: 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. Pigment gallstones are frequently associated with chronic infection in the bile, especially in certain Asian countries where parasitic infection of the bile ducts is common. Patients with blood diseases that cause excessive breakdown of red blood cells can have increased amounts of bilirubin (breakdown product of red cells) in the bile, thus causing bilirubin gallstone formation.
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The yellowish brown or green fluid secreted by the liver and discharged into the duodenum where it aids in the emulsification of fats, increases peristalsis, and retards putrefaction; contains sodium glycocholate and sodium taurocholate, cholesterol, biliverdin and bilirubin, mucus, fat, lecithin, and cells and cellular debris. SYN: gall (1). [L. bilis]
- A b. b. from the common duct.
- B b. b. from the gallbladder.
- C b. b. from the hepatic duct.
- white b. designating the relatively clear, almost colorless, clear viscid fluid that occurs in the gallbladder, intestines, or both as a result of obstruction of the b. ducts in various sites; actually the secretion of the mucous membrane, without the usual color resulting from b. pigments. SYN: leukobilin.

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bile 'bī(ə)l n
1) a yellow or greenish viscid alkaline fluid secreted by the liver and passed into the duodenum where it aids esp. in the emulsification and absorption of fats called also fel
2) either of two humors associated in old physiology with irascibility and melancholy

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a thick alkaline fluid that is secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder, from which it is ejected intermittently into the duodenum via the common bile duct. Bile may be yellow, green, or brown, according to the proportions of the bile pigments (excretory products) present; other constituents are lecithin, cholesterol, and bile salts. The bile salts help to emulsify fats in the duodenum so that they can be more easily digested by pancreatic lipase into fatty acids and glycerol. Bile salts also form compounds with fatty acids, which can then be transported into the lacteal. Bile also helps to stimulate peristalsis in the duodenum.

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(bīl) [L. bilis] a fluid secreted by the liver and drained into the small intestine via the bile ducts. Important constituents are conjugated bile salts, cholesterol, phospholipids, bilirubin diglucuronide, and electrolytes. Bile is alkaline due to its bicarbonate content, is golden brown to greenish yellow in color, and has a bitter taste. After it is secreted by the liver (see C bile), it is concentrated in the gallbladder (see B bile). Its formation depends on active secretion by hepatic cells into the bile canaliculi. Excretion of bile salts by hepatic cells and secretion of bicarbonate-rich fluid by ductular cells in response to secretin are the major factors that normally determine the volume of secretion. Conjugated bile salts and phospholipids normally dissolve cholesterol in a mixed micellar solution. In the upper small intestine, bile is in part responsible for alkalinizing the intestinal contents, and conjugated bile salts play an essential role in fat absorption by dissolving the products of fat digestion (fatty acids and monoglycerides) in water-soluble micelles. Called also gall.

Medical dictionary. 2011.