Q:

What does bile break down?

A:

Quick Answer

Bile breaks down fats into fatty acids. Bile does not break down all types of ingested material. Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.

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Full Answer

Because it is more difficult for the body to break down fats, the liver produces bile, which has the sole purpose of breaking down these fats. Bile is not used immediately and is instead stored in the gallbladder until it is needed. Without bile, the body would be unable to turn fats into the fatty acid form that bodies can use and process. Bile also absorbs and aids in the transport of vitamins that are fat soluble.

Bile is used as a cleansing agent. Many of the waste products produced by the body are stored in bile to be excreted in feces. This helps keep the body clean from the build up of waste products. As part of this process, bile helps the body absorb and eliminate cholesterol.

Humans produce between 400 and 800 milliliters of bile per day, which is necessary for the high-fat diets many humans regularly ingest. Bile is made up mostly of water, bile acid, cholesterol and body salts, but there are other minerals common in the body that also appear in this substance.

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