Digestive Health

What is the role of the gallbladder in digestion?

A Answers (3)

  • ATodd Mangione, DO, General Surgery, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    Your gallbladder, part of the biliary system of your body, plays an important role in the digestion of the foods you eat, especially in the digestion of the fat in your food.
    Your liver, which is located just above your gallbladder, produces a fluid known as bile that helps break down fat in foods. Your liver releases the bile it produces into your gallbladder, which concentrates the bile and stores it.
    Then, when you consume a meal, your gallbladder releases the bile as needed into your intestine to help you digest your food.
  • The gallbladder is a small sac located under the liver which stores and concentrates bile, which is produced in the liver. The gallbladder releases bile, which helps digest fat, into the upper small intestine after eating – especially fats.

  • ARupa Seetharamaiah, MD, General Surgery, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped sack that serves as a storage facility for bile, which helps the process of digestion. This pouch stores bile produced by the liver. The bile is made in the liver by liver cells and is sent through tiny ducts or canals to the duodenum (small intestine) and to the gallbladder.

    Before a meal, the gallbladder may be full of bile and about the size of a small pear. After meals, the gallbladder is empty, like a deflated balloon.
    The gallbladder squeezes stored bile into the small intestine through the bile duct. While bile helps digest fats, the gallbladder itself is not essential.
    Removing the gallbladder typically causes no problems with health or digestion; however, there may be a small risk of diarrhea and fat malabsorption.
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