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deoxycholic acid

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Definition: Deoxycholic acid, also known as deoxycholate, cholanoic acid, and 3α,12α-dihydroxy-5β-cholanate, is a bile acid.

Deoxycholic acid is one of the secondary bile acids, which are metabolic byproducts of intestinal bacteria.

The two primary bile acids secreted by the liver are cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid.

Bacteria metabolize chenodeoxycholic acid into the secondary bile acid lithocholic acid, and they metabolize cholic acid into deoxycholic acid.

There are additional secondary bile acids, such as ursodeoxycholic acid.

Deoxycholic acid is soluble in alcohol and acetic acid. When pure, it comes in a white to off-white crystalline powder form.


In the human body, deoxycholic acid is involved in the emulsification of fats for the absorption in the intestine.

See also

- bile acids