The liver is one busy organ. These days it plays Widor’s toccata 24/7. The above video covers its main functions simply. Here is a brief synopsis of what it is saying.
The liver is a filter for waste, bacteria and poisons. It turns these toxins into water based excretable forms which the body can then get rid of.
Another job it does is process nutrients. For example, proteins are broken down into amino acids and peptides in the stomach and small intestine. These are then transported to the liver where they are recombined to form new proteins to be used around the body for many different things.
The liver stores fuel, vitamins and minerals which get sent around the body for energy or for tissue repair.
Cholesterol is made in the liver. Incidentally, cholesterol is far more complicated than just being public enemy number one. Look out for the forthcoming blog on cholesterol.
The liver also makes bile which it sends for storage into the gall bladder. Bile sent to the small intestine where it is used to dissolve fats so they can be utilised by the body.
One more rather mind boggling fact about the liver: when an adult is at rest, 2 1⁄2 pints of blood flow through the liver every minute.
The next blog on the liver will talk about liver detoxification and the importance of doing this carefully.