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What Are the Functions of the Liver?

Though a fragile organ, the liver is crucial for the body’s well being. It is almost impossible to repair a damaged liver. The liver’s many important functions include the regulation of the chemical composition of blood and the production and regulation of bile.

Bile is a substance made up of mineral salts, cholesterol and lecithin. Bile breaks down the ingested fats which contain fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, E and D. Without bile, these vital vitamins cannot be absorbed into the body.

Another liver function is to regulate blood content. The liver usually holds at least 10% of all the blood in the body. The liver regulates the amino acids that are present in blood, it processes hemoglobin and produces hormones that assist to regulate blood pressure. The liver also generates albumin which is the greater part of the serum which holds the blood cells.

Without the liver, blood would struggle to clot. The liver produces clotting substances that force the body to respond and react to any injury to stop excessive blood loss. Anyone suffering from liver damage, when wounded bleeds profusely as the blood takes much longer to coagulate.

The liver is also capable of breaking down various poisonous substances especially alcohol. Feeling inebriated is a sign of increased toxic content in the body. The liver metabolizes toxic substances by adding oxygen to their composition and removing hydrogen from them. Alcohol and drug abuse damages the liver because it would have worked beyond its capacity to keep the body functioning.

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