Bile or __________ is a bitter-tasting, dark green to yellowish brown _________, produced by the liver of most vertebrates that aids the process of digestion of ___________ in the small intestine. In many species, bile is stored in the gallbladder and upon eating is discharged into the __________. Bile is a composition of the following materials: water (85%), bile _______ (10%), mucus and pigments (3%), fats (1%), ______salts (0.7%) and cholesterol (0.3%).
In the medical theories ___________ in the West from Classical Antiquity up to the Middle Ages, the body’s health depended on the equilibrium between four “humours” or vital fluids: blood, phlegm, “yellow bile” (or choler) and “black bile”. Excesses of the last two humours were thought to produce aggression and ___________, respectively; and the Greek names for them gave rise to the English words “cholera” and “melancholia”. Those same theories explain the __________ of the English word “bilious” from “bile”, and the meaning of “gall” in English as “exasperation” or “impudence”.
Bile acts to some extent as a surfactant, helping to emulsify the fats in the ________. Without bile salts, most of the lipids in the food would be passed out in ___________, undigested.
Since bile increases the absorption of fats, it is an important part of the absorption of the _________ substances, such as the vitaminsD, E, K and A.
Besides its digestive function, bile serves also as the route of excretion for bilirubin, a __________ of red blood cells recycled by the liver. Bilirubin derives from _________ by glucuronidation.
The alkaline bile also has the function of neutralizing any excess stomach __________ before it enters the ileum, the final section of the small intestine. Bile salts also act as ___________, destroying many of the microbes that may be present in the food.