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Liver Functions

The liver plays a huge role in your health. It is responsible for at least 500 tasks in your body!


The liver is the largest organ in the body and sits on the right side of the abdomen under the ribcage. The gallbladder, pancreas, and intestines are underneath it and work together to process food and absorb nutrients.


This article will help you understand basic liver functions and how they are compromised by disease.

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Basic Functions

Hepatitis

The liver has many jobs in your body, from blood clotting to structuring bones!

It cleans the blood, controls your blood sugar level, and creates bile to help with your digestion. A more detailed list of liver functions can be found on our Liver Health Basics pages.

One of its most important functions is removing any toxins that you have eaten, ingested or absorbed.

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Detoxification

The liver goes through two phases to detoxify harmful substances.

  1. In phase one, the liver converts a harmful toxin such as alcohol into a less dangerous form. This process creates free radicals, which can damage healthy cells. Antioxidants reduce negative effects of the free radicals.
  2. In phase two, the liver makes the former toxin water-soluble. Sulfur and amino acids are particularly helpful in this phase. Once this process is complete, the toxin will be flushed from the body with fluids such as bile or urine.

More information can be found on our Liver Detoxification page.

Hepatitis
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Dysfunctions

If diseased, the liver can no longer function properly. The way that the liver is affected is different depending on the disease. The following are the most common liver diseases and their effects on the liver.

  • Fatty liver disease occurs when the liver’s weight is more than five to ten percent composed of fat. If the disease progresses, it will often lead to cirrhosis.
  • Cirrhosis is severe scarring of the liver. This can also occur if the bile ducts are compromised and bile accumulates in the liver.
  • Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver. This restricts blood flow and prevents the liver from performing other basic functions.
  • Hepatitis C is the inflammation of the liver. This restricts blood flow and prevents the liver eventually leads to tiny scars on the liver. Many scars make it difficult for the liver to work well.
Hepatitis

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