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The Functions of the Liver

Your liver is the second largest organ in the body (your skin is #1) and is located in your abdomen. To find your liver, you need to be familiar with the quadrant system of identifying the organs. In this system, you first draw an imaginary horizontal line underneath your ribs and another at the level of your groin.

Then draw an imaginary vertical line through your navel. These lines now separate your abdomen into four quardrants. The two quadrants on your right side are called the right upper quadrant and the right lower quadrant. The two quadrants on your left side are called the left upper quadrant and the left lower quadrant.

The liver is shaped like a triangle with a 90 degree angle and two 45 degree angles. The 90 degree angle is rounded and located under your ribs in your right upper abdomen. One 45 degree angle is located about 3 to 4 inches straight down from the 90 degree angle under your right ribs; the other one is located under the ribs in your left upper abdomen. The liver weighs about three pounds.

There are billions of liver cells in the liver, and it's good that there are, sincechemicals and toxins in the environment are constantly affecting the liver negatively. Luckily for us all, the liver has a pretty remarkable regeneration capacity. The most circulation the liver gets is at night, when your body is restorating.

What else does the liver do? Below are 14 different functions of the liver but there are hundreds more!

14 Functions of the Liver You Might Not Know

1 Detoxifies Chemicals Like Herbicides, Pesticides, Heavy Metals, and Medications Your liver is your body's primary recycling center, changing and breaking down chemicals into safer fragments, recycling some for other purposes while discarding others.

2 Processes Nutrients From Foods Your liver collects and distributes nutrients as needed. When your body must create new proteins, the liver will assemble amino acids perfectly into what you need.

3 Secretes Bile For Digestion Your liver creates bile. Like detergent, bile emulsifies fat in the diet. Without being dissolved, fats can't be absorbed into the blood stream. Bile is stored in the gall bladder.

4 Stores Iron in the Body Iron is important for your endurance levels. All red blood cells depend on iron because these cells are not created without it.

5 Metabolizes Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins Every food and beverage you consume is processed and metabolized by your liver.

6 Provides Storage for Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Iron and Copper Each of these vitamins and minerals are essential for your health.

7 Controls the Production of Cholesterol Cholesterol is the precursor molecule for hormones, so your liver plays a role in hormone production.

8 Metabolizes Alcohol

9 Maintains Hormonal Balance By Breaking Down Hormones Hormones are recycled in the body by your liver.

10 Converts Ammonia into Urea Breaking down protein requires the removal of ammonia, and your liver has this job in the body.

11 Produces Immune Factors for Good Immunity

12 Stores Excess Glucose as Glycogen Sugars are converted to glycogen for use in the body at a later time.

13 Regulates Blood Sugar Besides your pancreas, your liver also plays an important part in controlling your blood sugar levels.

14 Creates Heat in the Body

15 Breaks Down Red Blood Cells That Are Old Your body's amazing recycle center in your liver will reuse the iron in the red blood cells.

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