The liver is the largest glandular organ in the body and performs multiple critical functions to keep the body pure of toxins and harmful substances. Located in the upper-right portion of the abdominal cavity under the diaphragm and to the right of the stomach. It receives about 1.5 quarts of blood every minute via the hepatic artery and portal vein. The liver has two large sections, called the right and the left lobes. The gallbladder sits under the liver, along with parts of the pancreas and intestines. The liver and these organs work together to digest, absorb, and process food.
The liver's main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions. However, one of the most important organs in the body is also one of the least understood. It is an organ that is vital for digestion. It is an organ that protects us from harmful substances. It's one of the organs that we cannot live without. That organ is the liver, and in this lesson, we will take a look at this valuable part of our bodies.
Characteristics of the Liver:
The liver is located superolateral, or above and to the side, of the stomach. It is found in the abdominal cavity of the body, which is where many of the internal organs reside, and is inferior to, or below, the lungs. The adult liver weighs between 3 and 4 pounds. It is the largest internal organ in the body, and is second to the skin as the largest organ overall. It has a rubbery texture and is reddish-brown in color. One of the most unique characteristics of the liver is that it has the ability to, in some cases, regenerate, or regrows, different sections of itself in the event of damage.
Functions of the Liver:
The liver has several major functions in the body. First, the liver is responsible for producing enzymes and solutions necessary for digestion. This includes the production of bile, which helps with the breakdown of fat from our food. The liver is also responsible for the storage of sugars for energy use. Glucose, a simple sugar used by the body for energy, is stored as glycogen in the liver until needed. During emergency situation, our bodies will tap into the stored glucose to provide additional energy for survival.