Where Is Bile Produced?

Bile is produced in the liver, but it is stored in the gallbladder. Special cells in the liver called hepatocytes make bile. Among the many components of bile are bile salts, water, bicarbonate ions, bilirubin, phospholipids and cholesterol.

Bile is a yellowish-green substance that helps the body absorb and digest fats and gets rid of certain types of wastes. About 500 to 600 milliliters of bile are produced by the liver every day. Bile travels from the liver to the gallbladder via the cystic duct during periods of fasting. After consumption of a meal and during digestion, bile travels from the gallbladder to the small intestine through the common bile duct. The sphincter of Oddi, which normally contracts to keep bile from flowing back into the gallbladder, relaxes to let bile into the small intestine.