Summary Of Biliary System | Function Of Bile Salt And Formation Of Bile Pigments

Are you searching about Biliary System and it’s functions? If yes, you are on the right track!

Students frequently ask Google, what is Biliary system, what is bile, what is the difference between bile and bile salt, what is function of bile salt, what is the function of bile, what is bile pigments, what is the formation and circulation of bile pigments etc. See all the details of the information below;

Understanding, the meaning of Biliary system is a personal option and AfriEdu Team provides the person reading this article a well detailed of what he/she is looking for. Students normally find it difficult to differentiate between BILE And BILE SALT. Without bile no bile salt that’s why all the functions of Bile are due to bile salt. So, let’s take a look below.


What is Biliary system? well, a Biliary system is a system that consists of organs and ducts which helps to make and transport bile. Biliary system can equally be called EXTRAHEPATIC BILIARY. 

You can read further on Biliary system on: OVER VIEW OF BILIARY SYSTEM

Additional points:

  • The transport of substance from intestine to the liver is through PORTAL VEIN
  • The phenomenon through which the above transport occurs is called ENTEROHEPATIC CIRCULATIONS

If Biliary system helps in the transportation of bile then what is bile?. Well, we shall look into the meaning of bile and bile components i.e the composition of bile .

What is bile? bile is a greenish yellow fluids which is made up waste material, cholesterol and bile salt which is secreted by the liver cells to carry out the following functions; excretion of waste and breaking down of fats which are insoluble in water during digestion. 

Very importantly, BILE SALT is the major content of bile Because it helps to breakdown fats and it’s absorption as well. 

So, let’s look into the composition of bile below: 

  • Bile compose of water which is about 97.9% 
  • Bile is made of solid which is about 2.4%
  • Bile is made up organic substance like( bile salt, bile pigments, cholesterol, fatty acids, lecithin and mucin) 
  • Bile is made of inorganic substance like (sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium and bicarbonates) 

Let’s look into properties of bile: 

  • Bile has a Volume of 800 to 1200 ml/day
  • The reaction of bile is alkaline because of PH range of 8-8.6 on the pH scale
  • The color of bile is golden yellow or green in color and it’s one of the major properties of bile that is unique because it gives feces a dark brown color. 

Further points: 

  • Remember, that the cells of the liver is called HEPATOCYTES and therefore, bile are secreted by the cells which are found in the liver Called hepatocyes 
  • Following the secretion of bile by the HEPATOCYTES bile is poured into CANALICULI

Wow, let’s take a look on where the bile produced are stored: Bile produced by hepatocytes are stored in the GALLBLADDER

Again, bile are transported from the site of storage down to INTESTINE whenever needed for effective functions. 

Moreso, one of the composition of bile is the bile salt which is the major content of bile. 

Let’s look at bile salt and it’s function

What is bile salt

Remember, that bile salt is the major content of bile which are required for digestion and absorption of fats in the intestine. 


  • Bile salts helps in the breaking down of fats and the process of this action is called EMULSIFICATION

FURTHER STUDIES ON EMULSIFICATION: under here, fats in the intestine can not be broken. So, enzymes in the GT can not carry out the process of EMULSIFICATION because fats are insoluble in water. So, through the release of BILE SALT, fats will undergo LIPOLYSIS by LIPOLYTIC ENZYMES and the bile salt released emulsify the fats by reducing the surface tension. Again, EMULSIFICATION of fats by bile salt needs the presence of LECITHIN from the bile. 

Then what is LECITHIN? It can be defined as a fat that is essential in the cells of the the body, it is mostly found in many foods like soybean and egg yolk. It is also used to treat gallbladder disease, liver disease, high level of cholesterol, skin disease and anxiety. 

Other functions of Bile salt are

  • Bile salt + Fats = Micelles, Micelles are complex fats which can be absorbed easily and in that case, bile salt helps in absorption of fats. 
  • Bile salt can also help in choleretic activities and choleretic activities or action helps in the secretion of bile
  • Bile salt acts as cholegogues which stimulates the secretion of hormones called cholecystokinin which helps in the contractions of gallbladder for easy release of bile
  • Having cholesterol and lecithin in solution, the level of gallstone is prevented because of bile salt. So, in the absence of bile salts, cholesterol with lecithin can forms Gallstone. Bile salts prevent the Formation of gallstone by keeping cholesterol and lecithin in solution.

What is bile pigments? It is coloring matters of bile in other words, it is excretory product of bile.

The bile pigments is divided into two namely 

  1. Biliverdin
  2. Bilirubin 

BILIRUBIN is the major pigment in humans

Ogbutue Victor

Ogbutue victor .c. is one of the authors and supervisor of AfriEdu. He loves to share education news from different sources to keep readers educated. He is the founder of VicaBrainz academy and as well, prepare students for JAMB, WAEC, NECO, GCE and Nursing Exams nationwide

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