Bile Acids and Mucosal Immunity

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The-Importance-of-Bile-Acids-to-our-HealthBile acids are critical for the digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins in the small intestine. Recent studies suggest bile acids have further functions as pleotropic signalling metabolites able to interact with germline-encoded host receptors and microbiota to regulate an array of #metabolic and #inflammatory pathways. Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute Florida and Osaka University Japan have recently published a piece discussing the interplay between bile acids, the microbiota and the mucosal immune system. They focus on how this interplay can regulate intestinal homeostasis and inflammation. The dynamic three-dimensional interplay between #bile acids, the microbiome and the mucosal immune system represents an important new frontier in the field of Mucosal Immunology. 


Historically bile was believed to be partially responsible for the development of certain illnesses and the term ‘biliousness’ used to define someone of a peevish and ill-natured disposition. Hippocrates and other Greek philosophers divided bodily fluids into four moods: black bile, with an excess causing melancholy, yellow bile, too much making people choleric, bitter and short tempered, phlegm and sanguine (blood). Bile acids went on to fall into obscurity with their role confined to the digestion and absorption of fats. Thanks to recent, better understandings they are now being understood to be important mediators for many metabolic disorders including #obesity and type 2 #diabetes as well as chronic disease such as #non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and functional disorders including skin complaints, #headaches and changes in #bowel habits.


The use of foods and food supplements to increase the availability and alter the composition of the bile acid pool has significant possibilities in the prevention and resolution of many health complaints. From stress to high sugar diets and excess toxicity and inflammation, bile production and flow can be found to be inadequate, caused by various aspects of modern lifestyles. The use of specific probiotics can be extremely effective in combating this with Beta TCP and Ox Bile proving to be functionally beneficial to supplement the livers production of bile.


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