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Bile is a substance that is produced by the liver. It contains water (85%) with bile salts, mucus, pigments, fats, inorganic salts and cholesterol for the remaining composition. Bile is an emulsifier of fats. This means it breaks large globules of fat into smaller ones so that the action of lipases (fat enzymes) can be more effective. Bile has a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic side, and it tends to gather around fat droplets. Micelles are the result which have the hydrophobic side towards the fat and the hydrophilic side towards the outside. When fat is spread out into micelles, the lipases have greater surface area to digest fats into fatty acids and glycerol. Without the action of bile, most fats would be undigested and pass out of the large intestine with the solid wastes. Bile increases the absorpton of fats as well as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, all necessary for maintaining homeostasis. Bile neutralizes stomach acid when it enters the small intestine, it can destroy microbes in food and is a way for bilirubin to be excreted( a substance that forms when red blood cells are recycled in the liver).
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