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August 31, 1946


JAMA. 1946;131(18):1482-1484. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870350014004

Before the time of Aristotle and probably previous to the time of Hippocrates it was said that there were four "humors" of the body, i. e. blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Since two of these four humors were thought to be bile, our predecessors apparently attached much importance to this natural body product. These early commentators certainly were correct in this belief. However, it has required the more modern methods of science to give us a fairly clear concept of bile.

There are many gaps in our knowledge, but the combined work of physiologists, pharmacologists and chemists during the past several years has served to clarify our understanding of the physiology of bile and the use of bile in therapy.

FORMATION OF BILE  Bile is a product of the liver. One is safe in saying that the production of bile is a monopoly of the liver. Whether bile

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