The biliary tract, (biliary tree or biliary system) refers to the liver, gall bladder and bile ducts, and how they work together to make, store and secrete bile. Bile consists of water, electrolytes, bile acids, cholesterol, phospholipids and conjugated bilirubin. Some components are synthesised by hepatocytes (liver cells), the rest are extracted from the blood by the liver. Bile is secreted by the liver into small ducts that join to form the common hepatic duct. Between meals, secreted bile is stored in the gall bladder. During a meal, the bile is secreted into the duodenum to rid the body of waste stored in the bile as well as aid in the absorption of dietary fats and oils. The biliary tract refers to the path by which bile is secreted by the liver then transported to the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. A structure common to most members of the mammal family, the biliary tract is often referred to as a tree because it begins with many small branches which end in the common bile duct, sometimes referred to as the trunk of the biliary tree. The duct, the branches of the hepatic artery, and the portal vein form the central axis of the portal triad. Bile flows in the direction opposite to that of the blood present in the other two channels. The system is usually referred to as the biliary tract or system, and can include the use of the term 'hepatobiliary' when used to refer just to the liver and bile ducts. The name biliary tract is used to refer to all of the ducts, structures and organs involved in the production, storage and secretion of bile.