The relative amounts of taurocholate vs glycocholate

To the degree that taurine is deficient where bile acids are being made, glycine-cholate and glycine-chenodeoxycholate are formed in place of taurine-cholate and taurine-chenodeoxycholate. It is good to have a backup like glycine, but it is still a backup; cats do not have this backup, and when they are taurine deficient, they get into more trouble with cardiac and retinal degeneration due to their excessive demands on taurine for bile synthesis.

In neonates, given sufficiency in taurine, it is all taurine bile salts. If taurine-deficient (infants fed soy milk and those fed cow’s milk, which has about 7 times less taurine than human milk), more glycine-bile salts are produced, and they are produced earlier in the neonate’s life the more taurine deficient the neonate is. Suggests that taurine is the preferred bile acid salt and that glycine is the backup, and thus that glycine-bile salts are a measure of local taurine deficiency. Likely also true in an adult. If taurine is sufficient at the site of bile synthesis, taurine bile salts are mostly produced and the absorption of fat soluble substances will be better, everything else being equal. To the degree that taurine is deficient, the body makes glycine bile salts and makes due with whatever fat and fat soluble nutrients it can absorb. If we ingest cholesterol and it is absorbed, at least the liver can make more bile (and likely more cholesterol sulfate) to improve the absorption of fats and fat soluble substances, given that it has to make inferior bile.


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