Send to

Choose Destination
World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Oct 7;14(37):5630-40.

Intestinal bile acid physiology and pathophysiology.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, University of Granada, Granada 18071, Spain.


Bile acids (BAs) have a long established role in fat digestion in the intestine by acting as tensioactives, due to their amphipatic characteristics. BAs are reabsorbed very efficiently by the intestinal epithelium and recycled back to the liver via transport mechanisms that have been largely elucidated. The transport and synthesis of BAs are tightly regulated in part by specific plasma membrane receptors and nuclear receptors. In addition to their primary effect, BAs have been claimed to play a role in gastrointestinal cancer, intestinal inflammation and intestinal ionic transport. BAs are not equivalent in any of these biological activities, and structural requirements have been generally identified. In particular, some BAs may be useful for cancer chemoprevention and perhaps in inflammatory bowel disease, although further research is necessary in this field. This review covers the most recent developments in these aspects of BA intestinal biology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center