Monday, October 28, 2019

Bile salt function in digestion

The liver produces about 500 to 600 mL of bile each day. Bile salts are synthesized in the hepatocytes from cholesterol. Bile salts are excreted into the bile and transported, to the intestine, via the intra- and extrahepatic bile ducts.

Bile is isosmotic with plasma and consists primarily of water and electrolytes but also organic compounds: bile salts, phospholipids (mostly lecithin), cholesterol, bilirubin, and other endogenously produced or ingested compounds, such as proteins that regulate GI function and drugs or their metabolites.

In the intestine, bile salts function as essential surfactants used to solubilize dietary fats in the hydrophilic milieu of gut.

Bile salts at low concentrations stimulate pancreatic triacylglycerol lipase (PTL) activity, but higher concentrations inhibit PTL activity. Pancreatic triacylglycerol lipase activity is regulated by colipase that interacts with bile salts and PTL and can release bile salt mediated PTL inhibition. Without colipase, PTL is unable to hydrolyze fatty acids from dietary triacylglycerols, resulting in fat malabsorption with severe consequences on bioavailability of dietary lipids and fat-soluble vitamins.

Bile salts are efficiently recycled via the portal system back to the liver in the so-called enterohepatic circulation.
Bile salt function in digestion 
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