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Bile, yellow or greenish fluid secreted by the liver which aids in digestion and absorption, particularly of fatty foods. It contains water, lecithin, cholesterol, bile salts, and the pigments bilirubin and biliverdin. When needed, it is discharged through the common bile duct into the small intestine, where it breaks down fats and enables them to be absorbed through the intestinal wall. Bile is also a route of excretion for cholesterol and various drugs.

See also: Digestive system.

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