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What does the liver do?

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted August 27, 2009 at 3:50 AM via web

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What does the liver do?

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zarinateacher | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 27, 2009 at 8:13 AM (Answer #1)

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The liver is the largest organ in the human body with many functions:  elimination of toxic substances from the blood; regulation of protein metabolism; regulation of carbohydrate metabolism; storage of glycogen and vitamins A,D and B complex vitamins; and, synthesis of most blood components.

Liver toxicity may be caused by various drugs, alcohol, diseases or a combination of two or more.  Excessive amounts of acetaminophen cause liver damage and the FDA has now recommended lower dosages for the general public.  Eating healthy along with excercise will keep a liver healthy.

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marilynn07 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted August 27, 2009 at 7:46 PM (Answer #2)

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I really want to say everything, but that would not be correct. After going through the transplant evaluation process for my husband, I was amazed at what I learned.

The liver removes toxic substances from the blood, regulates glycogen storage and secretes bile which is an enzyme used in digestion. The liver is able to remove ammonia from the blood which is a waste product from protein digestion as well as many other amazing processes. The liver regulates blood platelet production. The liver is also part of the thermostat of the body as many persons who are dealing with liver failure complain of being cold all of the time.

The liver affects the processes of many other organs. If the liver is failing, then the kidneys will also begin to fail. In fact there is no way to replicate the processes the liver does, so if a person is in liver failure, the only possible help for that person is a liver transplant. There is no "liver machine" as there is a kidney machine. The liver can rejuvenate and restore itself. It is the only organ that can do this. However, once beyond a particular stage in liver disease, the liver can no longer heal itself. This is called decompensated cirrhoses. Liver disease can be caused by heredity (hemochromatosis), toxin exposure, acetomeniphen (tylenol) overdose, alcoholism, hepatitis and a variety of other factors.

The liver is one organ which weighs about 2-3 lbs. It consists of 2 lobes and lies just under the diaphragm under the lungs.  Directly behind the liver is the gallbladder which takes up unused bile.

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ebaker13 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 28, 2009 at 7:12 AM (Answer #3)

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The liver has many functions.  It stabilizes blood glucose levles by breaking down glycogen and releasing glucose into the bloodstream.  It regulates lipid levels (triglycerides, fatty acids and cholesterol) by breaking down lipids and releasing into bloodstream.  It removes extra amino acids from bloodstream and makes proteins or lipids or glucose for storage.  It removes ammonia and then changes it to urea.  Other toxins are removed as well.  Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the liver.  The liver stores minerals.  The liver removes and breaks down drugs.  It engulfs old and damaged red blood cells and pathogens from the bloodstream.  It makes and releases plasma proteins.  It absorpts and recylces many hormones including: adrenaline, noradrenaline, insulin, and thyroid hormones.  It removes antibodies.  It removes toxins and stores them in lipids or excretes them in bile.  Finally it makes and secretes bile (which digests fats). 

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted August 27, 2009 at 10:41 AM (Answer #4)

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I liver is the largest gland in human body. But I am not sure if it is also the largest organ. It is a reddish brown mass weighing about one and half kilograms. It lies on right side of the body below diaphragm and above stomach. It produces many different chemicals required by the body and also stores food. main functions of liver include the following.

  • Help the body digest food by producing bile, an essential digestive fluid.
  • Filter out and store excessive food from the blood and release it when needed.
  • Change digested food into some of the compounds needed by body cells.
  • Filter poison and wastes from the blood.
  • Produces and release substances that enables the body to fight diseases.
  • Produce and release substances that allows blood to clot.
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Yojana_Thapa | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 27, 2014 at 10:53 PM (Answer #5)

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Liver's three main functions:

  1. It cleans your blood.
  2. It produces an important digestive liquid called bile.
  3. It stores energy in the form of a sugar called glycogen.

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laurto | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 29, 2014 at 6:05 PM (Answer #6)

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The liver's main functions is to process nutrients from food, make bile, remove toxins from the body and build proteins. T

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zumba96 | TA , Grade 11 | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted April 29, 2014 at 12:41 AM (Answer #7)

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The liver is a very important factor of our body. It has many factors such as cleaning your blood, it stores energy within your body in a form of sugar called glycogen, and it produces an important digestive liquid known as bile. The liver separates the good from the bad essentially. 

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acompanioninthetardis | TA , Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 18, 2014 at 3:36 PM (Answer #8)

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The liver mainly purifies your blood, getting rid of all the toxins or harmful substances. It also performs many essential functions related to digestion, metabolism, immunity, and the storage of nutrients within the body.

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atyourservice | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted May 23, 2014 at 9:09 PM (Answer #9)

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The liver produces bile which is used during the digestive, it produces protein and stores glucose. It also processes many different types of foods and releases them as glucose when the body is running low. It also helps the body get rid of alcohol in the bloodstream

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taangerine | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted July 30, 2014 at 5:54 AM (Answer #10)

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The liver plays many important factors in our daily lives. The liver helps digest food and filter out waste from our system. Furthermore, the liver also helps regulate our glucose levels, body temperature, blood pressure, and hormones. 

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