The primary purpose of bile in the digestive process is to facilitate the digestion and dispersion of consumed fats. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, this takes place in the lumen of the small intestine.Continue Reading
Bile is a digestive fluid made up of electrolytes, water and organic molecules such as cholesterol and bile acids, as noted by About.com. Bile acids have an emulsifying ability that breaks down lipids, and they also work as lipid carriers to transport fats through an aqueous environment. In addition to aiding the digestion of fats and fat-soluble vitamins, bile helps to eliminate waste products from the body. For instance, approximately 500mg of cholesterol is converted into bile acid each day, which is then eliminated in the feces.
The Encyclopedia Britannica states that bile begins forming in the liver cells, and its rate of formation is largely dependent on the secretion of bile acids into the body's bile channels. Roughly 3 grams of bile acid is present in the body at any one time, and most of this pool is in the gallbladder where bile is highly concentrated. When a person consumes a meal that includes fat, a hormone is released that causes the gallbladder walls to contract, releasing bile into the digestive system.Learn more about Human Anatomy
The primary function of the small intestine is digestion and nutrient absorption. Approximately 90 percent of food digestion and absorption occurs in the small intestine, while the rest takes place in the large intestine.Full Answer >
The main function of the gullet, otherwise known as the esophagus, is to transfer food and drinks from the mouth to begin digestion in the stomach, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. The muscles of the esophagus squeeze food and drinks down involuntarily.Full Answer >
The primary function of the gallbladder is to store and transport bile to aid in digestion of fatty foods. Part of the biliary system, the gallbladder is located on the right side of the abdomen right under the liver. It is not needed for survival however, and can be removed surgically via a procedure called a cholecystectomy if medically necessary.Full Answer >
Bile salts are responsible for the critical function of digestion and the balance of the gall bladder, liver and bile ducts, according to the Italian Society of Gastroenterology. Bile salts also play a vital role in the absorption of cholesterol in the body.Full Answer >