The liver is one of the body's most important organs. In adults the live represents only 2% of the body weight and still copes with the 25% of the metabolism and has over 500 different functions, many of which are vitally important.
The liver takes care of most of the nutrients that come into the stomach and intestine the livier will need to manipulate and transform them into a form that the body can easily exploit, for example. protein to sugar. It produces even a number of substances to be used elsewhere in the body, for example. clotting substances that causes blood to clot if you have a wound, and bile, which is necessary for digestion.
In addition, the liver detoxifies and converts or automatically gets rid of e.g. drugs and toxins, so that they can more easily excreted in the urine or stool.
And finally, the liver stores different nutrients, especially iron and vitamins. Acting as a vitamin-"bank" that is actually so fully-stocked that a healthy and beefy person can function without signs of vitamin deficiency for 2-4 years without the intake of vitamin B12 and for several months without vitamin A.
Animal studies have shown that if the liver is healthy, it can operate normally even if you take away the whole 80% of it.
As all other organs are the liver supplied oxygen-rich blood from a artery. In addition, all the blood from the stomach and intestine gathers in a special vein (Portal vein) and transferred to the liver. This blood has already delivered its oxygen, and it contains a number of nutrients that it has got from food in the intestine.
The liver plays a vital role in keeping blood glucose levels even. Right after a meal the liver will abosrb the glucose, store it in the form of glycogen and secretes it in adequate amounts between meals.
Is controlled by hormones
The liver makes the chemical transformations that are required to maintain an adequate blood sugar levels. But it cannot decide the direction in which it must operate. A variety of signal substances, hormones, tells the liver whether to raise or lower blood glucose levels.
Insulin from the pancreas provides, for example. message when the sugar level is too high and must be lowered. And the stress hormone, epinephrine, are indications that the body has a particular need for the energy.
Produces bile for digestion of fat
The liver secretes 1/2-1 litre of bile a day. Bile is stored in the gallbladder until it is released into the intestine after a meal and helps in the digestion of fats. Bile also contains quite a lot of waste products, which eventually is removed out of the body this, for example. cholesterol.
The so-called bile salts works similar to a detergent that dissolves and shreds the fat in the food, so the digestive enzymes can better abosrb the broken down fat molecules as they will be smaller. Bile salts are also helps to carry these parts forward to intestinal cells, where they are absorbed.
Signs Of Disease
When the red blood cells grow old and die, formed waste bilirubin-an oily substance gathers. The body cannot get rid of it through the urine. It requires that the liver converts bilirubinet, so it will be more water soluble. If not bilirubinet gathering in the body and the skin and the whites of the eyes become more or less yellowish-a condition known as jaundice.
Jaundice is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of several different diseases of the liver, for example. that the red blood cells are injured, forming a larger amount of bilirubin, liver can't quite keep up.
Modern science has nevertheless demonstrated that the liver is supremely important.
The liver's main features and functions
Store and regulate nutrients:
Regulate a smooth level of grape sugar (the body's "fuel") in the blood.
Store food, especially sugar, vitamins and iron.
Produce and transform important substances:
Produce blood proteins, for example. clotting factors.
Transforming fats and proteins by hunger.
Produce bile, used in the digestion of fats.
Transform A and vitamin D to its active form.
Produce creatinine acting as muscle "energy-battery".
Produce nitrogenous bases, which, among other things. included in the DNA.
Defuse poisons and waste:
Destroy or defuse alcohol, poisons and medicines.
Destroy the hormones when they have completed their task.
Eliminate the bilirubin, a waste material from old red blood cells.
Transform ammonia, which is produced in the body, to urea.
Transform into lactic acid, which is formed in the muscles into grape sugar.