Liver Function

Your liver is found in the upper right quadrant of the body. It holds approximately 13 percent of the body's blood supply at any one time. The liver acts as a giant filter for multiple toxins in the body. The blood comes from two distinct sources: the hepatic artery and the portal vein. The majority of oxygen-rich blood flows from the hepatic artery, while the majority of oxygen and nutrients come through the portal vein.

The liver is made of a large complex of crisscrossing blood vessels and filters called the sinusoids. Once blood is filtered and poured into main central veins, the blood exits the liver through the hepatic veins directly to the inferior vena cava and passes that blood on for your heart to use. The liver also works in conjunction with the pancreas and bile duct to aid in digestion.

What does my liver do?

  • Produces blood proteins
  • Produces cholesterol and proteins to carry fats through the body
  • Converts excess glucose into glycogen (sugar) for storage
  • Regulates blood levels of amino acids for building blocks of proteins
  • Processes and stores iron from hemoglobin
  • Converts poisonous ammonia to urea for urine
  • Clears the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances
  • Regulates blood clotting
  • Resists infections by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the blood stream
 

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Last Updated: 9/6/2013