A compound produced by oxidation of cholesterol. It is a steroidal fatty acid and its salts are present in bile.
- The two main bile acids, cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid, are both made from cholesterol in the liver and pass into the bile in combination with amino acids, as bile salts.
- The most significant bile acid in humans is cholic acid.
- However, laboratory mice fed a chow diet do not develop spontaneous atherosclerotic lesions; atherosclerosis must be induced by feeding a diet containing 15% fat, 1.25% cholesterol, and 0.5% cholic acid.
Mid 19th century: from Greek kholikos, from kholē 'bile'.
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