In my book, It is given that the action of Bile salts (a part of Bile juice) is similar to the emulsifying action of soaps on dirt. The role of bile salts is to break down the fat into smaller globules.

I don't understand this and cannot find it on the internet. Can someone help me with this?


The bile salts have an ionic (hydrophilic), region and a hydrophobic region. The hydrophobic part can interact with the hydrophobic fats, whereas the hydrophilic part can interact with water, making the fats soluble in water (they form micelles, with the hydrophobic groups in the middle and the polar groups out.

Soap does exactly the same thing with fats.

  • $\begingroup$ What happens in the case of fat and bile salts? $\endgroup$ – user57304 Mar 13 '18 at 5:41
  • $\begingroup$ What I just explained. Bile salts have a hydrophobic region (formed by the ring parts of cholic acid, for examole) that interacts with the fats you eat (cause fats have a large hydrophonic region), and a highly hydrophilic region (for example, the sulfonic acid part of taurine, which can be conjugated to cholic acid to form taurocholic acid, this exists as a sodium or potassium salt, i.e. it's ionic and very hydrophilic), that interacts with water. $\endgroup$ – ralk912 Mar 13 '18 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ Can you make it simpler. I still don't get it. $\endgroup$ – user57304 Mar 13 '18 at 5:47
  • $\begingroup$ What part don't you understand? $\endgroup$ – ralk912 Mar 13 '18 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ Correct me if I am wrong. In the case of bile salts, the fat is the dirt and salts are the soap molecules $\endgroup$ – user57304 Mar 13 '18 at 5:50

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