The liver is the only visceral organ that can regenerate. It is your body’s largest internal organ and sits on the right hand side of the belly.
It can regenerate completely, as long as a minimum of 25 percent of the tissue remains. One of the most impressive aspects of this feat is that the liver can regrow to its previous size and ability without any loss of function during the growth process. Without a functioning liver, a person cannot survive.
The major functions
1. Bile production
Bile helps the small intestine break down and absorb fats, cholesterol, and some vitamins. Bile consists of bile salts, cholesterol, bilirubin, electrolytes, and water.
2. Absorbing and metabolizing bilirubin
Bilirubin is formed by the breakdown of hemoglobin. The iron released from hemoglobin is stored in the liver or bone marrow and used to make the next generation of blood cells.
3.Supporting blood clots
Vitamin K is necessary for the creation of certain coagulants that help clot the blood. Bile is essential for vitamin K absorption and is created in the liver. If the liver does not produce enough bile, clotting factors cannot be produced.
4. Fat metabolization
Bile breaks down fats and makes them easier to digest.
5. Metabolizing carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are stored in the liver, where they are broken down into glucose and siphoned into the bloodstream to maintain normal glucose levels. They are stored as glycogen and released whenever a quick burst of energy is needed.
6. Vitamin and mineral storage
It stores vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12. It keeps significant amounts of these vitamins stored. In some cases, several years’ worth of vitamins is held as a backup. The liver stores iron from hemoglobin in the form of ferritin, ready to make new red blood cells. It also stores and releases copper.
7. Helps metabolize proteins
Bile helps break down proteins for digestion.
8. Filters the blood
The liver filters and removes compounds from the body, including hormones, such as estrogen and aldosterone, and compounds from outside the body, including alcohol and other drugs.
9. Immunological function
It is part of the mononuclear phagocyte system. It contains high numbers of Kupffer cells that are involved in immune activity. These cells destroy any disease-causing agents that might enter the liver through the gut.
10. Production of albumin
Albumin is the most common protein in blood serum. It transports fatty acids and steroid hormones to help maintain the correct pressure and prevent the leaking of blood vessels.
11. Synthesis of angiotensinogen
This hormone raises blood pressure by narrowing the blood vessels when alerted by production of an enzyme called renin in the kidneys.
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Beyond Borders Medtours team