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A compound produced by oxidation of cholesterol. It is a steroidal fatty acid and its salts are present in bile.
- ‘Bile acids, primarily cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid, result from cholesterol metabolism in the liver and are involved in emulsification and absorption of lipids and fat-soluble vitamins.’
- ‘The most significant bile acid in humans is cholic acid.’
- ‘As much as 80% of the cholesterol may be converted into cholic acid which is conjugated with other substances to form bile salts which facilitate digestion and absorption of fats.’
- ‘However, laboratory mice fed a chow diet do not develop spontaneous atherosclerotic lesions; atherosclerosis must be induced by feeding a diet containing 15% fat, 1.25% cholesterol, and 0.5% cholic acid.’
- ‘The two main bile acids, cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid, are both made from cholesterol in the liver and pass into the bile in combination with amino acids, as bile salts.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek kholikos, from kholē ‘bile’.
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