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Saturday, May 3, 2008

The liver

The liver is the largest organ in the body. It is surrounded by a fibrous capsule and is divided into sections called lobes. It is in the upper part of the abdomen and runs across the whole of the upper abdomen, although it is larger on the right hand side. It is surrounded and protected from injury by the lower ribs.

The liver
The liver

The liver is an extremely important organ that has many functions. This includes regulating sugars and fats in the body so that they can be used for energy. It also produces proteins that circulate in the blood. Some of the proteins help the blood to clot and prevent excessive bleeding, while others are essential for maintaining the balance of fluid in the body. The liver also destroys harmful substances such as alcohol and gets rid of waste products. It does this by breaking down substances not used by the body so that they can be passed out in the urine or stools (bowel motions).

The liver stores substances such as glucose and vitamins so that they can be used by the body when needed. It also produces bile, a substance which breaks down the fats in food so that they can be absorbed by the bowel (intestine).

The liver is connected to the small intestine (duodenum) by a tube called the bile duct. This duct takes the bile produced by the liver to the intestine.

The liver has an amazing ability to repair itself. It can function normally with only a small portion of it in working order.

Via: http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk

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