Bile acids (BA), for decades considered only to have fat-emulsifying functions in the gut lumen, have recently emerged as novel cardio-metabolic modulators. They have real endocrine effects, acting via multiple intracellular receptors in various organs and tissues. BA affect energy homeostasis through the modulation of glucose and lipid metabolism, predominantly by activating the nuclear farnesoid X receptor (FXR), as well as the cytoplasmic membrane G protein-coupled BA receptor TGR5 in a variety of tissues; although numerous other intracellular targets of BA are also in play.The roles of BA in the pathogenesis of diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular diseases are seriously being considered, and BA and their derivatives seem to represent novel potential therapeutics to treat these diseases of civilization.
Key words. Bile acids. Diabetes., Obesity., Metabolic syndrome., Cardiovascular diseases.