Bile Acid Metabolism

Bile Acid Metabolism 101 – Why it is important to recycle less and how bile acid transformation by gut microbes can make or break our health.

Bile is an essential component of digestion.  It is basically the body’s detergent that emulsifies dietary fat, making it less hydrophobic so that we can absorb it.  In addition, it likely helps with some aspects of protein digestion as well.  The liver dumps numerous toxins into our bile, hoping that it can serve as an exit route from the body.  If bile is not bound to certain types of fiber and eliminated from the digestive tract, it can be damaging to the gut lining.  Bacteria may help us however, as they have the ability to convert bile acids to less inflammatory and even possibly protective metabolites.  With just these few aspects in mind, it is easy to see why bile and its ultimate fate-either recycled, biotransformation, or elimination-are critical. Continue reading