Source: RDCRN (NCATS/NIH)1
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The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located beneath the liver. It's main purpose is to store and concentrate bile.
The liver produces bile, a liquid that helps digest fats and carries toxins excreted by the liver. Bile is passed from the liver through a series of channels called bile ducts into the gallbladder, where it's stored.
Over time bile becomes more concentrated, which makes it more effective at digesting fats. The gallbladder releases bile into the digestive system when it's needed.
The gallbladder is an organ that's useful, but not essential. It can safely be removed without interfering with your ability to digest food.
Source: NHS Choices UK2
Most of us give little thought to the gallbladder, a pear-sized organ that sits just under the liver and next to the pancreas. The gallbladder may not seem to do all that much. But if this small organ malfunctions, it can cause serious problems. Gallbladder disorders rank among the most common and costly of all digestive system diseases.
The gallbladder stores bile, a thick liquid that’s produced by the liver to help us digest fat. When we eat, the gallbladder’s thin, muscular lining squeezes bile into the small intestine through the main bile duct. The more fat we eat, the more bile the gallbladder injects into the digestive tract.
Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)3
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Gallbladder: A storage reservoir for Bile secretion. Gallbladder allows the delivery of bile acids at a high concentration and in a controlled manner, via the Cystic Duct to the Duodenum, for degradation of dietary lipid.4
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- Source: RDCRN (NCATS/NIH): rarediseasesnetwork.org/ cms/ cegir/ Learn-More/ Glossary
- Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ acute-cholecystitis/
- Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): newsinhealth.nih.gov/ issue/ feb2015/ feature2
- Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.