What Does the Liver Do?

By albert
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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The liver is the largest internal organ and the second largest of all organs after the skin. It is also the largest gland in the body, and plays multiple roles in digestion and other metabolic processes. The liver is located in the upper-right section of the abdomen below the diaphragm. Roughly triangular in shape, the liver weighs about 3 pounds. At any given time, the liver holds about 13 percent of the blood in the body.

Unlike other organs in the body, the liver has the capacity to regenerate, which is helpful in case of injury. The liver is a critical organ that performs hundreds of life-supporting processes that revolve around detoxification, synthesis, and storage. It is so important that without it, it would be impossible to stay alive for more than two days. So, what does the liver do?

1. Production of Bile

The liver produces between 800 and 1000 milliliters of bile every day in an adult human. Bile is a fluid made up of water, electrolytes, bile acids, and many other organic molecules. After production in the liver, the bile makes its way to the gall bladder where it is concentrated and stored before release into the digestive system. This fluid plays two major roles. It contains salts, also called bile acids, which are needed during the breakdown and absorption of fats and fat-soluble nutrients in the small intestine. Secondly, bile aids in the elimination of waste products such as bilirubin, which are secreted into the bile and eliminated through feces.


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