What are all the functions of the liver?
The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. 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.
Many vital functions have been identified with the liver. Some of the more well-known functions include the following: Production of bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion. Production of certain proteins for blood plasma.
- 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.
- When the liver has broken down harmful substances, they are excreted into the bile or blood. Bile by-products enter the intestine and ultimately leave the body in the feces. Blood by-products are filtered out by the kidneys and leave the body in the form of urine.
- The small intestine is the part of the intestines where 90% of the digestion and absorption of food occurs, the other 10% taking place in the stomach and large intestine. The main function of the small intestine is absorption of nutrients and minerals from food. Digestion involves two distinct parts.
The liver has multiple functions, but its main function within the digestive system is to process the nutrients absorbed from the small intestine. Bile from the liver secreted into the small intestine also plays an important role in digesting fat. In addition, the liver is the body's chemical "factory."
- The stomach has five functions:
- digestion of food.
- secretion of gastric juices as well as mucus which helps to coat its lining, preventing erosion by gastric juices.
- secretion of gastric hormones.
- regulation of the rate at which partially digested food is delivered to the small intestine.
- The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood vessels, and blood. This system has three main functions: Transport of nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to cells throughout the body and removal of metabolic wastes (carbon dioxide, nitrogenous wastes).
- The primary functions of the liver are:
- Bile production and excretion.
- Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs.
- Metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
- Enzyme activation.
- Storage of glycogen, vitamins, and minerals.
- Synthesis of plasma proteins, such as albumin, and clotting factors.
With the help of vitamin K, the liver produces proteins that are important in blood clotting. It is also one of the organs that break down old or damaged blood cells. The liver plays a central role in all metabolic processes in the body. In fat metabolism the liver cells break down fats and produce energy.
- Most alcohol is broken down, or metabolised, by an enzyme in your liver cells known as alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). ADH breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, and then another enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), rapidly breaks down acetaldehyde into acetate.
- The human heart is an organ that pumps blood throughout the body via the circulatory system, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes.
- Since bile increases the absorption of fats, it is an important part of the absorption of the fat-soluble substances, such as the vitamins A, D, E, and K. Besides its digestive function, bile serves also as the route of excretion for bilirubin, a byproduct of red blood cells recycled by the liver.
Updated: 17th October 2019