Liver life

The liver is the largest solid organ in the human body that carries out over 500 essential tasks and is the only organ that can regenerate. It is located in the upper right-hand portion of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm, and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines.

A healthy liver is reddish-brown in color and feels smooth to touch with no irregularities. We never feel the liver because it is protected by the rib cage. It is composed of 2 lobes, the larger right and the left one. These lobes are further divided into thousands of lobules that contain blood vessels. Men tend to have a larger liver than women. However liver size can vary with sex, body mass, height, amount of alcohol consumed and many others.

The liver regulates most of the body’s reactions. All the blood leaving the stomach and the intestines passes through the liver. Anything that is consumed, whether food, alcohol, medicine or toxins, gets filtered by the liver. Once we ingest food, it is digested by the stomach and the intestines, gets absorbed into the blood and goes to the liver.

However the roles of the liver are not just digestion, it plays several other roles in the body. The liver clears the blood of toxins, gets rid of old red blood cells, metabolizes proteins, carbohydrates and fats for the body to utilize them. The liver also produces substances essential for blood clotting, regulates blood sugar (stores glycogen), and regulates blood amino acid concentration. The liver produces blood during fetal development and acts as a blood recycler during adulthood.

With all this, we ought to guard our liver with utmost care, for without a properly functional one, we are doomed!

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