Bile acids have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine.

It was not until the 1970’s that ursodexoycholic acid (UDCA) was prescribed in western medicine to treat gallballder and liver disease. As recently as 1999 it was recognised that bile acids are metabolic regulators and this opened a whole new area of research into bile acid based medicines.

Bile acid synthesis occurs in the liver and is the predominant metabolic pathway for the catabolism of cholesterol in humans. They are stored and concentrated in the gallbladder before being released into the small intestine. Bile acids are physiological amphipathic surfactants that self associate in solution and form mixed micelles with polar lipids. They facilitate the absorption and transport of fat soluble nutrients and vitamins in the gut.


Uncover key areas of Bile Acids research