The workhorse that the digestive system, the liver performs 500 features that aid keep the human body healthy. Learn much more about this vital organ.

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The liver deserves part glory.

After all, yes a lot come love. At much more than 3 pounds, the liver is the size of a football and also the human being body’s second-largest body organ (behind the skin).

Tucked in the upper right abdomen under the ribs and below the diaphragm, the holds as much as 13 percent that a person’s blood supply and also is a star player in the cradle system.

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More outstanding than its size is the functionality.

What go the liver do? it performs 500 tasks to save the body healthy, says Hellan Kwon, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of hepatology in ~ the college of Michigan.

The vital ones space metabolic.

“Anything the is eaten or consumed, even if it is it’s food, alcohol, medication or toxins, it s okay filtered by the liver. Once we ingest food, the is spend by the stomach and intestine, gets soaked up into the blood and also goes come the liver,” Kwon says.

The liver is smart. The knows when to detoxify, when to water level the toxins out of the body through urine or stool, once to save the nutrients and also when to release them back into the blood.

It additionally keeps the lot of street in the bloodstream constant, Kwon adds.

Another liver role is when the it processes a meal, it clears sugar indigenous the blood and stores the in the form of glycogen. As soon as a who blood street decreases, that converts the stored glycogen to glucose, adding the ideal amount that instant energy into the bloodstream for the cell to use. Once the glycogen store is used, the liver will produce glucose from various other carbohydrates and a kind of protein.

The liver is also a fat factory of sorts. It breaks down fats that space eaten, converting excess carbohydrates and protein into creates that space stored for later on use, while synthesizing other fat, favor cholesterol. The liver produces bile to help malfunction and absorb fats. Garbage products and also toxins are eliminated through bile. Bile, incidentally, offers stool that is color, Kwon says.

The liver produces blood throughout fetal development and acts as a blood recycler during adulthood. The breaks down old or damaged blood cells. It knows to store the iron and various vitamins to use when those nutrient fall listed below what’s essential in the bloodstream. It’s additionally essential in publication the plasma proteins crucial to gerean blood.


How have the right to I keep my liver healthy?

Although a ventilator have the right to take the responsibilities of the lungs or an man-made heart pumps in lieu that a genuine one, a liver’s functions are so facility that its just replacement is a transplanted liver. If liver disease sets in, it affects numerous organs, including the kidneys, lungs and heart.

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Keeping the liver healthy, then, takes gift mindful around everything it is consumed.

Kwon suggests eating new foods and a well-balanced diet while avoiding alcohol and herbal supplements. Another critical recommendation is skipping illicit drugs and other risky habits that can lead come viruses like hepatitis C.

But that’s not all: Genetics and also pure chance also play functions in the development of liver diseases.

Overall, the liver’s uniqueness is what drew Kwon into hepatology. “The liver effects so plenty of other organs the I gain the intricacy of liver disease and the management of it,” she says.

This star player the the body deserves VIP status.

To do an appointment v Michigan Medicine’s liver clinic, call 844-233-0433.