What are the three major functions of the liver in the digestive system?
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 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.
- Signs and Symptoms of Liver Disease. Flu-like symptoms (e.g., fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle or joint pain, fever) Loss of appetite. Swelling of abdomen and/or legs.
- Most people feel it as a dull, throbbing sensation in the upper right abdomen. Liver pain can also feel like a stabbing sensation that takes your breath away. Sometimes this pain is accompanied by swelling, and occasionally people feel radiating liver pain in their back or in their right shoulder blade.
- Ways You Can Take Care of Your Liver
- Healthy Lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly help the liver to work well.
- Limit the Amount of Alcohol You Drink. Alcohol can damage or destroy liver cells.
- Manage Your Medications.
- Avoid Breathing in or Touching Toxins.
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 kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid.
- The main function of the lungs is the process of gas exchange called respiration (or breathing). In respiration, oxygen from incoming air enters the blood, and carbon dioxide, a waste gas from the metabolism, leaves the blood. A reduced lung function means that the ability of lungs to exchange gases is reduced.
- The liver is an essential organ that has many functions in the body, including making proteins and blood clotting factors, manufacturing triglycerides and cholesterol, glycogen synthesis, and bile production. The liver is a large organ that sits on the right hand side of the belly.
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.
- 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.
- The stomach secretes acid and enzymes that digest food. Ridges of muscle tissue called rugae line the stomach. The stomach muscles contract periodically, churning food to enhance digestion. The pyloric sphincter is a muscular valve that opens to allow food to pass from the stomach to the small intestine.
- The liver secretes bile, a digestive fluid; metabolizes proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; stores glycogen, vitamins, and other substances; synthesizes blood-clotting factors; removes wastes and toxic matter from the blood; regulates blood volume; and destroys old red blood cells.
Updated: 17th October 2019