When a careful investigator feels justified in announcing, as Whipple1 recently did with certain minor reservations, that secretion of bile into the intestine is necessary for normal health, and even for actual continuation of life beyond a few months' period, this function of the liver assumes a major importance. So long as it seemed adequate to refer to the bile either as a more or less dispensable aid to digestion and particularly the absorption of fats, or perhaps only as an excremental product, the origin and fate of the fluid were rather of incidental interest. On the other hand, every component of the organism that is sufficiently essential to make the continuance of physiologic well being depend on it in any degree becomes a subject of concern. There has been a sort of rejuvenation in the study of the bile, a timely revival of the sort of fundamental investigations
ORIGIN OF THE BILE SALTS. JAMA. 1924;83(6):444–445. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02660060048015
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