Know Your Organs Beginning With the Liver is the first of what will be a series of blog posts delving into the different organs of the human body.
Each week we will post a new blog about a different organ.
The second-largest organ of the human body, behind the skin, takes part in over 500 functions within the body. This organ is so important and complex that no one has been able to replicate it enough to make an artificial one capable of replacing it. In fact, without this organ in healthy shape, one is either very sick or soon dead.
The liver regulates metabolism and produces enzymes. It converts nutrients to energy, while also acting as a detoxifier.
Did you know that liver is the only organ that can regenerate part gone due to disease or surgery? As much as 50 percent regeneration?
That makes the liver one of the strongest organs, although not indestructible. Liver’s interconnections with other bodily functions make liver problems impossible to isolate from the rest of the body.
We could say, “As the liver goes, so goes the body.” A liver gone bad affects the organism as a whole.
The typical adult liver – liver also is a gland – is brownish-red in color and located in the upper part of the abdominal cavity, underneath the diaphragm, on the right side. It weighs in at 1.5 kilograms, or about 3.4 pounds. Construction of the liver is made of two lobes, one three times larger than the other. In the part of the body where the liver is placed things are tightly packed. Neighboring organs make impressions into the outer shape of the liver, including the colon, stomach, esophagus, interior vena cava, right adrenal gland, right kidney, duodenum and gallbladder.
Imagine a freight train switching yard with a host of trains coming in and out for different purposes, and lots of connected supporting tracks contributing to the functional motions of the yard, and you have not only the tight quarters of the liver, but also the importance of the liver. The liver is the central station overseeing these many functions.
One of the most essential functions of the liver is the secretion of bile. Bile is essential for digestion of foods. Bile helps activate the pancreas which, in turn, helps to neutralize the hydrochloric acids of the stomach. This reaction enables the intestines to absorb more lipids (fats) and initiate peristaltic movement that pushes food along the digestive canal. Also, there is an antiseptic effect upon intestinal flora, which keeps the body from becoming toxic.
Every day, a neighboring gland, the gallbladder, collects about one liter of bile (almost a quart). The ingredients of this bile are bilirubin (a by-product from added blood), various salts, enzymes and fatty substances which, concentrated, help absorb water and mineral salts.
Going back to the symbolic freight train yard, we see liver’s function as constantly in motion and flux, keeping intact a balance of pH factors. Throw off that balance, and the result could be gallstones. Gallstones cane be removed or broken up through use of ultrasound therapy.
Bottom Line on Liver
The liver’s vital connections with the functions of other organs and digestive glands make it one of the most important organs to the body’s overall survival and to its health conditions. If you are to know your organs beginning with the liver is a good move.
DISCLAIMER: our blog information is presented and published only as general education for understanding body structures and functions. We are not doctors. We do not diagnose or make recommendations. We recommend that you consult with your favorite medical or nutritional professional when it comes to your health.
© 2014 by Desiree Lotz and Ronald Joseph Kule. All Rights Reserved.