Bile acids as regulators of energy expenditure
Bile acids are best known for their role in the absorption of fat in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to this role, recent years' research has shown that the bile acids circulating in the blood have metabolic effects that relate to energy expenditure and the release of and sensitivity to insulin. It is thus possible that modification of the bile acid pool size and composition may be a way to prevent and treat obesity and type 2 diabetes. This could accomplished either through the diet or pharmacologically. Understanding in detail how bile acids affect our metabolism is therefore important. In this project, we aim to contribute to new knowledge in this field. We will use a mouse model that completely lacks one of the main bile acids. We have observed that this model has increased energy expenditure and increased insulin sensitivity. Experiments will be performed in order to elucidate the mechanisms behind these findings.