Deoxycholic Acid; Cholanoic Acid; 3a,12a-dihydroxy-5b-cholanate
is a bile acid. Deoxycholic acid is one of the secondary bile acids, which are metabolic byproducts of intestinal bacteria. The two primary bile acids secreted by the liver are cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid. Bacteria metabolize chenodeoxycholic acid into the secondary bile acid lithocholic acid, and they metabolize cholic acid into deoxycholic acid. There are additional secondary bile acids, such as ursodeoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid is soluble in alcohol and acetic acid. When pure, it comes in a white to off-white crystalline powder form. Deoxycholic acid has been used since its discovery in various fields of human medicine. In the human body deoxycholic acid is used in the emulsification of fats for the absorption in the intestine. It has, in some countries been licensed as an emulsifier in food industry, but it is no longer common.