Cholic acid

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A bitter-tasting bile acid. Cholic acid is obtained naturally from ox bile extracts and commercially from Cholesterol. It is used as a natural sequestrant and detergent. Bile acid can neutralize PH and solubilize many inorganic salts. The sodium salt of cholic acid is the primary component in Oxgall.

Chemical structure

Cholic acid.jpg

Synonyms and Related Terms

bile acid; ox gall; ox bile extract


  • Hygroscopic.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in acetic acid, acetone and ethanol. Slightly soluble in chloroform. Insoluble in water and benzene.

Composition C23H49O3COOH
CAS 81-25-4
Melting Point 198-199 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 408.57

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Richard C. Wolbers, Nanette T. Sterman, Chris Stavroudis, Notes for Workshop on New Methods in the Cleaning of Paintings, J.Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 1990
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 2258
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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