The modulation of energy expenditure by dietary administration of cholic acid in mice promoted interest in studying bile acid(s) (BA) as adjuvants in the treatment of metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Bile acids can modulate intermediary metabolism by acting directly on nuclear as well as G-protein-coupled receptors or indirectly through changes in gut microbiota. Despite the potential of BA to affect intermediary metabolism, plasma kinetics and changes in individual BA in blood in the post-prandial state have been neglected for a long time. Minutes after ingestion of a meal (or a glucose challenge), the plasma BA concentration increases as a result of the secretion of bile into the duodenum, followed by intestinal absorption and a systemic circulation spillover. A large inter-individual variability of post-prandial kinetics of plasma BA is documented. Factors such as gender, diet composition, circadian oscillations, and individual capacities for the synthesis and transport of BA play important roles in determining this variability and are discussed in the present short review in light of new findings.

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