As one of the most vital organs in the body, it is the organ that’s responsible for up to hundreds of chemical actions that help the body to survive. The liver weighs about 3 pounds, and it is a large, meaty organ that is found on the right-hand side of the belly. It has two large sections known as the right and lifestyle lobes. Asides the intestines and pancreas, the gallbladder is also found near the liver. Those organs work together to help digest, absorb and even process food. The primary job of the liver is to help filter blood that comes from the digestive tract just before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also helps to metabolize drugs and detoxify chemicals and as it does so, the liver also secrets bile that has its final destination in the intestines. It also makes proteins that are important for blood clotting and some other functions.
Anatomy of the Liver
The liver extends across the entire abdominal cavity and has a roughly triangular shape. The bulk of the liver’s weight is on the right side of the body, and that is where it descends toward the right kidney. The liver is encapsulated by a connective tissue capsule and is made of soft, pinkish-brown tissues. This connective tissue capsule is also reinforced and covered by the peritoneum of the abdominal cavity that ensures the liver is held in place within the abdomen. The liver gets its blood supply from two distinct sources. First is the oxygenated blood that flows into the liver from through the hepatic artery while the second source of blood into the liver is from the intestines through the hepatic portal vein where Nutrient-rich blood. Of all the blood that enters the liver at any given moment, it is able to hold up just about thirteen percent.
Functions of the liver
As a gland and an organ all at the same time, the liver has a whole lot of jobs that it carries out. Some of the significant roles of the liver include:
- Production of Bile: the bile is essential to the small intestine as it helps it break down and absorb cholesterol, fats and few vitamins.
- Absorption and metabolism of Bilirubin: the breakdown of hemoglobin is what produces bilirubin. These irons are stored in the bone marrow or liver for the production of another generation of blood cells.
- Metabolism of carbohydrates: while carbohydrates are stored in the liver where they’ll be broken down into glucose and moved into the bloodstream for the maintenance of healthy glucose levels, they’re also stored as glycogen and released for use any time there’s an urgent need of energy
- Production of albumin: it is the most common protein existing in the blood serum, and its function is to transport steroid hormones and fatty acids that help prevent blood vessels from becoming leaky.
The importance of the liver in the body cannot be overemphasized, and its functions are inexhaustible here. Other duties of the liver include the creation of blood clotting factors, minerals and vitamin storage, filtration of the blood, metabolism of protein, immunological functions, and many more.