Structural Formula

Cholic Acid



Cholic Acid


Cholic acid is manufactured from bovine bile (also known as "cattle bile" or "ox bile") at NZP in large volumes. It is a by-product of meat processing at veterinary certified companies. Ovine bile is also used. There is no synthetic and plant production source of cholic acid.
In nature, cholic acid is produced in the liver from cholesterol. The liver converts cholesterol into the conjugated salts of glycocholic and taurocholic acid which are excreted into the bile. Bile is released into the intestine where the bile salts emulsify fats and promote digestion. About 90% of the bile salts are reabsorbed by the intestine and pass back to the liver by a process referred to as enterohepatic circulation.

It is also available as the water soluble sodium salt.

Use of Chemical

The main use of cholic acid is as an intermediate for the production of ursodeoxycholic acid. Ursodeoxycholic acid is a pharmaceutical product which is used for several indications including the dissolution of gall stones and the treatment and prevention of liver disease.

Cholic acid has many different uses in traditional Chinese medicine. Its main use is as an ingredient in the manufacture of artificial calculus bovis (artificial gall stones).


  • CAS Number: 81-25-4
  • Molecular Weight: 408
  • Solubility: Sparingly soluble in water. Soluble in glacial acetic acid and some organic solvents.
  • Packaging: Cholic acid is sealed in a polyethylene liner and packed in 25kg fibre drums. Customer specific packaging can be provided.