Your liver is your body’s largest gland. It is located on the upper right side of your abdomen, right below your diaphragm. It performs a wide range of jobs including:
- Detoxification: Your body breaks down all manners of chemicals from food to medication and it is your livers job to help make these by-products less harmful to your body.
- Making blood proteins: Your liver makes proteins that are secreted into your blood to help regulate the water content of the blood and to help with clotting.
- Storage of nutrients: Excess carbohydrates are turned into glycogen and stored in your liver.
- Break down of old red blood cells.
- Hormone Production: Important hormones for cell growth, blood pressure regulation, platelet formation and iron storage.
- Production of bile: Bile aids in the digestion of fat.
The liver has many more functions, some estimates put it at around 500. It is a very important organ, one that your body cannot survive without. Your liver supports every other organ in the body. Damage to the liver can occur through inflammation (Hepatitis), excessive alcohol consumption (Cirrhosis or Fatty Liver), cancer, or genetic disorders.
Thankfully a liver transplant can help if the damage becomes too severe and the liver’s function is compromised. Due to the livers remarkable ability to regenerate itself, part of a living adult’s liver can be transplanted into the recipient and re-grow into a fully functioning liver in both individuals. The liver is the only organ in the human body capable of regenerating if part of it is lost. In fact, someone can have as little as 25% of their liver and it will still regenerate.
Your liver is truly an amazing organ and arguably one of your body’s most important so take proper care of it.