How is bile stored

Bile, bile juice, bile fluid is the name given to a viscous body fluid that is produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder.
Along with the liver and pancreas, the bile and gall bladder are among the most important organs in the digestive system. On the one hand, the bile is used for fat digestion, on the other hand, the body can use the bile, among other things. excrete the poorly water-soluble toxins that cannot be excreted through the kidneys.

The bile

The human body produces around 600-700 ml of thinly fluid bile in the liver every day, also known as liver bile or primary bile, which is thickened in the gallbladder to around ten percent of its volume.
This concentrated bile, also called bladder bile, is yellowish to greenish, depending on the proportion of the bile pigments bilirubin and biliverdin, and can also be very thick and brown.
It is released directly into the duodenum when needed (e.g. after a fatty meal).
Once the bile has fulfilled its task in the intestine, a large part, more than 90%, returns to the liver via the bloodstream. There it is replenished and then returns to the gallbladder. This cycle is called the enterohepatic cycle between the intestine and liver.

The gallbladder

The gall bladder (vesica fellea) is a small, pear-shaped hollow organ, about 4 cm wide and 6-10 cm long. It is located on the underside of the liver, about level with the 9th rib. The gallbladder holds about 70 ml of liquid.
Its job is to concentrate the liver bile, store the bladder bile and release it into the duodenum when necessary.
The gallbladder is not a vital organ. After a gallbladder removal, you can usually go on living without restrictions.

The bile in history

In the medical theory of the Hippocratic doctrine of the four humors, which dates from around 400 BC. Was developed and the medical teaching dominated until the 19th century, the bile plays a central role.
In the doctrine of the four juices it was assumed that the whole world consists of the four elements water, earth, air and fire, and that these elements are assigned to the four cardinal juices: yellow bile, black bile, blood and mucus.
If the cardinal juices are in equilibrium (eukrasia), the person is healthy. An imbalance (dyscrasia) leads to illness. It was believed that the yellow bile associated with choleric people was produced in the liver, while the black bile associated with melancholic people (from mélaina cholé, black bile) was produced in the testes and spleen . Sanguine people were assigned blood and phlegmatic people were assigned phlegm.
For our ancestors, the gallbladder was an important organ and necessary for healthy digestion. The people in the Stone Age ate very irregularly and sometimes went hungry for days; Then when they killed an animal, they ate large quantities of meat at once. In order to be able to digest the large amounts of fatty meat, they needed copious amounts of bile. A functioning gallbladder was essential for this.
Today our meals are smaller and consumed more regularly so that a large amount of bile is not required.

Biliary tract diseases or peculiarities

Various abnormalities, problems and diseases of the bile can occur:
  • Cholangitis
    Inflammation of the bile ducts - usually as a result of gallstones
  • Cholestasis (Biliary obstruction)
    Bile congestion within the bile ducts, with retention of bile
  • Cholesterosis (Strawberry gall bladder,
    Fish scale gallbladder or lipoidosis of the gallbladder) Is a harmless and non-therapeutic strawberry-like change in the gallbladder.
  • Cholecystitis (Inflammation of the gallbladder)
    Inflammation of the irritated gallbladder, 90-95% of which is caused by gallstones.
  • Gallbladder and bile duct cancer
    (Gallbladder carcinoma, bile duct carcinoma) Rare, malignant tumors in the gallbladder or the bile ducts - often as a late sequela of gallstones.
  • Gallbladder polyps
    Benign tumors of the gallbladder, which usually do not cause any symptoms.
  • Biliary atresia
    If the biliary tract outside the liver is not properly laid out at birth, the newborn can develop jaundice (jaundice) after birth. With such a malformation, an operation is usually necessary so that the bile can drain away.
  • Gallengries (Microlithiasis)
    The finest stones (approx. 0.5-1 mm) made of crystallized bile juice.
  • Bile Acid Loss Syndrome
    Disease that occurs as a result of a functionally relevant deficiency in bile acid.
  • Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)
    Stone formation in the gallbladder.
  • Porcelain gall bladder (Calcium bile)
    Complication of inflammation of the gallbladder, which results in a calcareous hardening of the gallbladder wall.
  • Postcholecystectomy Syndrome
    Discomfort after a gallbladder operation.
  • Irritable gall bladder (Biliary dyskinesia or cholecystopathy)
    Functional, nervous-related biliary problems.


Do we need the gallbladder?
Those who do not have a gallbladder can continue to live normally, provided they eat “normally” for today's conditions. Usually the bile that the liver produces fresh is enough for a meal. People who like to eat lavishly and particularly fat can have problems without a gallbladder. They then report a feeling of fullness and diarrhea because fat digestion is no longer adequately supported.

If my bile has been removed, do I need nutritional supplements?
No. There is no evidence that dietary supplements improve digestion after biliary removal.