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Article
November 1940

RELATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND BILE SALTS TO THE FORMATION OF GALLSTONES

Author Affiliations

BOSTON; CHICAGO

From the Departments of Medicine and Physiology, Northwestern University Medical School, and St. Luke's Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1940;66(5):1087-1094. doi:10.1001/archinte.1940.00190170078005
Abstract

In a previous report1 some of the chemical differences between the bile of certain domestic animals and that of human beings were discussed. By fractionating the bile of the dog and sheep, animals in which gallstones are not formed ordinarily, it was observed that the cholesterol solvent capacity of the bile could be isolated in the saponifiable or fatty acid fraction. Quantitative analysis of bile from the gallbladders of these animals showed that the saponifiable fraction was relatively high in the dog and sheep but low in the ox and hog. Similar analysis of human bile showed that the concentration of the saponifiable fraction was extremely low in proportion to the nonsaponifiable or cholesterol fraction. These findings, along with the previous work of Walsh and Ivy,2 suggested that the fatty acids in the bile play an extremely significant role in maintaining cholesterol in solution and in preventing the

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