Total Bile Acids
Bile acids are produced in the liver and then stored and concentrated in the gallbladder, from which they enter the small intestines via the bile duct. The major bile components in bile acid are glycocholate and taurocholate, which are crucial for fat digestion and absorption. In the small intestine, bile acids emulsify fats to aid their absorption. Bile acid deficiency causes fat malabsorption and fatty stools (steatorrhea), indicated by diarrhea and floating stools. In addition, bile acid deficiency jeopardizes a person's nutritional status by reducing the absorption of fat and fat-soluble nutrients. Conjugated bile acids have been shown in clinical trials to be effective in improving fat absorption and nutritional status.
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