Look after your liver!

Posted by Mark Hamilton on

The liver is a vital organ in the human body with numerous functions. Some of its key functions include:

  1. Metabolism: The liver plays a central role in metabolism, including the processing of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It helps regulate blood glucose levels by storing excess glucose as glycogen and releasing it when needed. The liver also metabolizes dietary fats and produces cholesterol and triglycerides.

  2. Detoxification: The liver is responsible for detoxifying the blood by breaking down and eliminating harmful substances, such as drugs, alcohol, and metabolic waste products. It converts these toxins into less harmful substances that can be excreted from the body.

  3. Synthesis of Proteins: The liver produces various proteins that are essential for blood clotting, immune function, and maintaining fluid balance in the body. For example, it synthesizes albumin, which helps maintain blood volume, and clotting factors like fibrinogen.

  4. Storage: The liver serves as a storage organ for various nutrients and vitamins, including glycogen (glucose storage), vitamins A, D, and B12, and minerals like iron.

  5. Bile Production: The liver produces bile, a digestive fluid that is stored in the gallbladder and released into the small intestine to help emulsify and digest dietary fats.

  6. Regulation of Cholesterol Levels: The liver helps regulate cholesterol levels in the body by producing cholesterol and removing excess cholesterol from the blood.

  7. Immune Function: The liver contains immune cells called Kupffer cells, which help defend the body against infections and remove damaged blood cells.

  8. Metabolism of Drugs and Hormones: The liver metabolizes medications, hormones, and other substances in the bloodstream, affecting their activity and clearance from the body.

  9. Storage of Blood: The liver can store a small amount of blood, which can be released into circulation when needed, such as during times of low blood volume.

The liver's functions are critical for maintaining overall health, and it is one of the body's most resilient and regenerative organs. Liver diseases or damage can significantly impact these functions and may require medical attention or interventions such as lifestyle changes, medication, or, in severe cases, liver transplantation.


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