The liver is found in the human body at beneath the diaphragm, in the upper right-hand side of the abdominal cavity. It is at the top of intestines, right kidney and stomach. The liver is attached to the gall bladder on the right side and lower portion of it. The liver is shaped like a cone. It looks in dark reddish-brown color, which weighs around 1.2 kg. The blood is supplied to the liver, through two distinct sources.
- From the hepatic artery, the oxygenated blood flows into the liver.
- From the hepatic portal veins, nutrient-rich blood flows into the liver.
At any moment, liver holds 13% or 500 ml of the blood supply in the human body. The liver has two main lobes. One is at right and one is at left. These both are made up of many of the lobules counting to thousands. These lobules get connected to small ducts that would in turn connect with larger ducts. And they ultimately form the hepatic duct. The liver cells produce the bile. The function of the hepatic duct is to transport this bile, to the duodenum and gall bladder. Here duodenum is the first part that is of the small intestine.
Liver is like an engine of the body. It is the main organ for metabolism which means that it is involved in breaking down and making up of chemicals and generating energy. It is responsible for storage of excess glucose from the food we eat and also breaks the stored glucose(glycogen) for utilization if a person goes hungry.
Liver performs many important functions that are essential for a healthy body as follows –
- Convert food into chemicals necessary for life and growth.
- Metabolize and remove drugs, alcohol and other substances generated in body that may be harmful.
- Produce bile, a yellowish-greenish fluid that is stored in the gall bladder and secreted into the bowel. Bile is necessary for the absorption of fats and vitamins
- Manufacture important proteins that are necessary for normal blood clotting and muscle building.
- Maintain hormonal balances
- Store vitamins.