Definition

Cholic acid, along with chenodeoxycholic acid, is one of two major bile acids produced by the liver where it is synthesized from cholesterol. Of the two major bile acids, cholate derivatives represent approximately eighty percent of all bile acids. Cholic acid is a major primary bile acid produced in the liver and usually conjugated with glycine or taurine. It facilitates fat absorption and cholesterol excretion. Emulsifying agent in foods. Bile acids are physiological detergents that facilitate excretion, absorption, and transport of fats and sterols in the intestine and liver. Bile acids are essential for the absorption of dietary fats and vitamins, and have been implicated in the regulation of all the key enzymes involved in cholesterol homeostasis. Bile acids have potent toxic properties (e.g., membrane disruption) and there are a plethora of mechanisms to limit their accumulation in blood and tissues.

Description

Cholic acid is a major primary bile acid produced in the liver and usually conjugated with glycine or taurine. It facilitates fat absorption and cholesterol excretion. Bile acids are steroid acids found predominantly in bile of mammals. The distinction between different bile acids is minute, depends only on presence or absence of hydroxyl groups on positions 3, 7, and 12. Bile acids are physiological detergents that facilitate excretion, absorption, and transport of fats and sterols in the intestine and liver. Bile acids are also steroidal amphipathic molecules derived from the catabolism of cholesterol. They modulate bile flow and lipid secretion, are essential for the absorption of dietary fats and vitamins, and have been implicated in the regulation of all the key enzymes involved in cholesterol homeostasis. Bile acids recirculate through the liver, bile ducts, small intestine and portal vein to form an enterohepatic circuit. They exist as anions at physiological pH and, consequently, require a carrier for transport across the membranes of the enterohepatic tissues. The unique detergent properties of bile acids are essential for the digestion and intestinal absorption of hydrophobic nutrients. Bile acids have potent toxic properties (e.g., membrane disruption) and there are a plethora of mechanisms to limit their accumulation in blood and tissues. (A3407, A3408, A3409, A3410).

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