Meaning of Bile


Even Latin you have to leave if you want to find the etymological origin of the term bile, which we are dealing with now. When performing this operation, we came across the fact that it emanates from the Latin word “bile”, which can be translated as “liver-type secretion”.

The bile is a juice yellowish color which is secreted by the liver of vertebrates. It is a liquid substance that acts in digestion, acting as an emulsifier for fatty acids.

Bile is 97% made up of water, with the remaining 3% made up of bile salts (such as sodium taurocholate and sodium glycolate), proteins, cholesterol, and hormones. The liver is responsible for secreting bile continuously: this bile is used in the digestive process or is stored in the gallbladder. The production of bile in the case of humans is approximately one liter per day.

When you eat, the bile leaves this gallbladder and reaches the intestine, where it mixes with the fats from food. Fats are dissolved by bile acids and become part of the contents of the intestine. Once dissolved, enzymes in the pancreas and intestinal mucosa are responsible for digesting fats.

This means that bile helps fats to be absorbed by the small intestine and, therefore, is necessary for the absorption of fat- soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K).

According to DigoPaul, bile also helps excrete bilirubin, neutralizes excess stomach acids, kills microbes that enter the body with food, and is a detoxifier for excess alcohol and certain drugs.

There are various terms that are used in different countries also using the word at hand. Thus, for example, in Mexico it is common to use the expression “spilled bile”. With it, what he tries to express himself is the difficult situation in which a person finds himself as a result of an excess of said secretion.

On the other hand, there is the so-called vitelline bile. This is the one that is identified because it has a very dark yellow color.

All this without forgetting that there is atrabilis, also called black bile. This is a term used and created in the field of Medicine by Galen and Hippocrates who defined it as one of the four basic humors that existed in every organism.

Among the disorders related to bile, are the possible formation of gallstones (when cholesterol accumulates in masses of the gallbladder) and problems in the intestine generated by the lack of bile (since fats, not being digested, are excreted).

In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore the fact that on a daily basis, in a colloquial way, we resort to the use of expressions that use the term we are analyzing. A good example of this is the expression “altering the bile”, which is used to say that a person in question is angry. An example of this meaning would be the following sentence: “Eva’s bile was altered when she saw her ex-boyfriend holding the hand of another woman.”