What is the function of the gall bladder and how does it help in digestion?

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pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The gall bladder is a small pouch that lies just beneath the front margin of the liver, usually on the right hand side, where its job is to store and distribute bile. The creation of bile begins with erythrocytes, or red blood cells. Erythrocytes generally only live 90-120 days in the bloodstream. When they become worn out, erythrocytes often rupture; the broken parts of these cells are ingested by macrophages, a type of white blood cell. The macrophages convert the hemoglobin from the erythrocytes into bilirubin, which is transported to the liver via the blood stream.

The liver converts the bilirubin into bile, which is then stored in the gall bladder. The gall bladder has a duct connecting it to the duodenum, which is the beginning of the small intestine. As food moves from the stomach into the intestine, the body monitors for a variety of things, including fat content. If fat is detected in the food, the gall bladder releases bile through the duct. The job of bile is to emulsify fats, breaking them into tiny globules that can be easily absorbed into the body.


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