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Definition of Bile acid

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Bile acid: An acid made by the liver that works with bile to break down fats.

On a more technical level, bile acids are steroid carboxylic acids derived from cholesterol. The primary bile acids are cholic and chenodeoxycholic acids. They are conjugated with glycine or taurine before they are secreted into the bile.

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