Bile acid disease: The emerging epidemic

Ibironke Oduyebo, Michael Camilleri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Our objective was to review advances in bile acids in health and disease published in the last 2 years. Bile acid diarrhea (BAD) is recognized as a common cause of chronic diarrhea, and its recognition has been facilitated by development of new screening tests. Recent findings Primary BAD can account for 30% of cases of chronic diarrhea. The mechanisms leading to BAD include inadequate feedback regulation by fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF-19) from ileal enterocytes, abnormalities in synthesis or degradation of proteins involved in FGF-19 regulation in hepatocytes and variations as a function of the bile acid receptor, TGR5 (GPBAR1). 75 SeHCAT is the most widely used test for diagnosis of BAD. There has been significant validation of fasting serum FGF-19 and 7 μ-hydroxy-cholesten-3-one (C4), a surrogate measure of bile acid synthesis. Bile acid sequestrants are the primary treatments for BAD; the farnesoid X-receptor-FGF-19 pathway provides alternative therapeutic targets for BAD. Bile acid-stimulated intestinal mechanisms contribute to the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery on obesity, glycemic control and the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Summary Renewed interest in the role of bile acids is leading to novel management of diverse diseases besides BAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-195
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • bile salts
  • chronic
  • diarrhea
  • glycemia
  • malabsorption
  • obesity
  • pouchitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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