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Unformatted text preview: erythrocytes. 3. The remainder of the heme group is broken down into bilirubin (a yellow-orange pigment), which enters the bloodstream and is picked up by the liver. Liver cells incorporate bilirubin into bile, which enters the small intestine during the digestion of fats. Bilirubin is then converted into urobilinogen by intestinal bacteria. Finally, most urobilinogen is converted to the brown pigment stercobilin, which is eliminated with the feces (and which gives feces its brown color). A small amount of urobilinogen is absorbed into the blood, converted to the yellow pigment urobilin, picked up by the kidneys, and eliminated with the urine (contributing to the yellow color of urine)....
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- Spring '10