The Liver and Its Functions

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  • Topic: Liver, Blood, Metabolism
  • Pages : 2 (667 words )
  • Download(s) : 252
  • Published : November 25, 2005
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The Liver is the body's largest gland, weighing about three to four pounds. It is located beneath the diaphragm in the right upper quadrant (RUQ) of the abdominal cavity. Without the liver, our bodies would be poisoned and unfit for us to do anything at all. It is a metabolically active organ responsible for many vital life functions. The primary functions of the liver are: Bile productions 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. And blood detoxification and purification. The liver is the body's energy factory. Most of the sugar you eat is turned into chemicals that can be used by the body cells. These chemicals known as glucose or dextrose are part of the bodies main source of energy that is known as glycogen. Glycogen is produced by the liver. It is an "instant" energy source because many times the body does not use all the glycogen that is produced. The Liver is not just an energy producer, it also acts as a thermometer of sorts for the body. Blood is passed through tiny channels, called sinusoids, in the livers inner spaces. This network of veins warms the blood, enabling the body to maintain its proper temperature. The liver also stores vitamins until needed. Proteins, manufactured in the liver, are responsible for normal blood clotting. The liver is also a filter for keeping out harmful substances. It regulates the amount of red blood cells in circulation by breaking down and absorbing the cells. As a filter, the liver absorbs harmful chemicals and even some poisons and breaks them down into less harmful materials. The liver then allows the substance to pass out of the body through the urine. The Substance left after the blood cells have been broken down, and any unusable nutrients have been broken down, are combined...
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