The liver is the biggest internal organ the human race has after the skin. It weighs about 1.5 kg and is divided unevenly into four lobes. It is reddish brown in color and is soft. It is located at the upper right quadrant of the body below the right diaphragm. It overlies the gallbladder and is connected to two blood vessels called hepatic artery and portal vein. The hepatic artery carries oxygenated blood to the liver, whereas the portal vein carries blood with nutrients coming from the small intestine and descending colon.
The liver is made up of millions of hepatic cells which can generate but could take a long time. What does the liver do in the human body? The liver has a lot of function that is why it should be taken care of. The main function of the liver in the human body is to detoxify the body. It breaks down harmful elements found on the body and are then delivered to either the kidneys as urine or through the intestine as feces. Some of the many functions of the liver are enumerated below:
• Production of bile which helps in breaking down fats; after the liver produce bile, the bile travels down going to the gallbladder where it is stored; when needed by the body, the bile travels down going to the duodenum or intestine.
• Helps the absorption and storage of vitamins A, D, E, K through the breakdown of fats
• Convert metabolic waste ammonia to urea which is then excreted through urine
• Production of blood clotting factors which prevents hemorrhage or severe bleeding
• Breaks down toxic substances such as alcohol and harmful components of drugs
• Amino acid synthesis which is the foundation of protein; the liver is also the main site in albumin production, which is the major osmolar component of the blood vessel (keeps the water inside the blood vessel).
• Carbohydrate metabolism: gluconeogenesis (creating of glucose from new sources like amino acids, glycerol, or lactate), glycogenesis (formation of glycogen from glucose), and glycogenolysis (breakdown of glycogen into glucose).
• It is where red blood cells are produced during first trimester, and by 32nd week of gestation it is then taken over by the bone marrow.
• Breaks down Insulin and hormones like estrogen and testosterone
• Synthesis of angiotensinogen which is a hormone that can increase blood pressure; it is activated by rennin from the kidneys whenever a low-blood pressure is detected. These are some of the many functions of the liver in the body. A damaged liver could mean a damaged life, so it should be taken care of properly by simply avoiding anything that can damage it.