The biliary system consists of the organs and ducts (bile ducts, gallbladder, and
associated structures) that are involved in the production and transportation of bile.
When the liver cells secrete bile, it is collected by a system of ducts that flow
from the liver through the right and left hepatic ducts.
These ducts ultimately drain into the common hepatic duct.
The common hepatic duct then joins with the cystic duct from the gallbladder to form
the common bile duct. This runs from the liver to the duodenum (the first section
of the small intestine).
However, not all bile runs directly into the duodenum. About 50% of the bile produced
by the liver is first stored in the gallbladder. This is a pear-shaped organ located
directly below the liver.
Then, when food is eaten, the gallbladder contracts and releases stored bile into
the duodenum to help break down the fats.
Bile is the greenish-yellow fluid (consisting of waste products, cholesterol, and
bile salts) that is secreted by the liver cells to perform 2 primary functions:
Bile salt is the actual component that helps break down and absorb fats. Bile, which
is excreted from the body in the form of feces, is what gives feces its dark brown