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J Ocul Biol Dis Infor. 2009 Sep;2(3):149-159. Epub 2009 Aug 27.

Bile acids in treatment of ocular disease.


Bear bile has been included in Asian pharmacopeias for thousands of years in treatment of several diseases, ranging from sore throat to hemorrhoids. The hydrophilic bile acids tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) and ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) are the major bile acids of bear bile. Both of these are available as synthetic formulations and are approved by the health administrations of several countries for treatment of cirrhosis and gallstones. This review briefly covers the use of bear bile in Traditional Chinese Medicine, bile acid physiology, approved use of UDCA and TUDCA in Western medicine, and recent research exploring their neuroprotective properties, including in models of ocular disease.

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