in Digestion and Absorption (Digestive System and Nutrition) by

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The liver is major metabolic gland in the body located in the upper right section of the abdominal cavity, under the diaphragm.

It contains approximately 100,000 lobules that serve as its structural and functional units.

The liver performs many significant functions.

  • Produces bile, (the greenish-yellow/brownish fluid secreted by the liver), a byproduct of the breakdown of hemoglobin and cholesterol to help digest fat. This is one of the primary function of liver associated with digestion, as it make possible the digestion and absorption of lipids by producing bile.
  • Serves functions associated with processing and storing nutrients for the body (i.e., metabolic processing of nutrients and regulatory functions)
  • Liver is a storage organ. Stores iron and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
  • Involved in blood glucose homeostasis.
  • Stores glucose as glycogen (after meal) and convert glycogen to glucose (between eating period).
  • Makes the plasma proteins (albumin and fibrinogen) needed in the blood from amino acids.
  • Synthesize and store lipids.
  • Helps regulate the blood cholesterol levels.
  • Detoxification - Liver detoxifies blood by means of removing and metabolizing the poisonous substances. (many chemicals, poisons, hormones, alcohol, drugs, etc.)
  • Convert ammonia (toxic waste product of metabolism) into less toxic urea, the nitrogenous waste product in humans.
  • Destroys old red blood cells.
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