Human Liver is a very crucial organ and is the second largest organ in the body after skin. It is situated in the right side, upper abdominal area. Do you know that if liver stop functioning then a person will die? Liver is present in every single vertebrate i.e. animals with a backbone, or spinal cord. Liver influence metabolism of the body.
The human liver is a very vital organ. It is so important that we cannot survive if it stops functioning for one single day. Unfortunately, it is also one of the least thought about organs. Given its importance, let’s take some time to learn more about the liver and give it the attention it deserves. Here are some fascinating facts about the liver:
1. It has dual identity
Liver is the largest gland and second largest organ of Human Body. It can weigh up to 1.3 to 1.6 Kg for a human adult and is a reddish brown in colour. Liver filters the toxins or chemicals from the body which are disposed of as bile and remove it in the form of stool or urine. Brown colour to the stool is due to the bile which is produced in the liver.
2. An organ that can regenerate
Liver is the only organ that can regenerate or can completely regrow. To do so it only needs 25% of the original tissue. According to a 2009 study in the Journal of Cell Physiology, if a person needs liver transplantation and a person donates more than half of the liver then it returns to its original size in nearly two weeks.
3. Liver helps in water storage and carbohydrate metabolism
It helps to control blood sugar level. If a person has fatty liver then type 2 diabetes may occur. It converts glucose from carbohydrates rich foods in to glycogen and is stored in the liver. It is released between meals to keep energy levels high. Do you know that glycogen absorbs water over 6 times its own weight, so liver plays a vital role in the storage of water.
4. Function of brain somewhere depends upon liver
Plasma glucose and ammonia levels are regulated by the liver. If it gets out of controlled then results in to a condition known as hepatic encephalopathy and eventually coma. So, we can say that, if we want brain to function properly then working of liver is important.
5. It helps in hormone metabolism
Liver is the major site of hormone breakdown. It breaks down estrogen and secretes it into bile, which enters intestines for excretion. If liver is overworked, it will not excrete estrogen properly and may get the symptoms of lumpy breasts, fluid retention, menstrual cramps etc. If liver does not break androgen that is male hormone properly then problem of acne, scalp hair loss, facial hair in women may occur.
6. Liver stores vitamins and minerals
Do you know that Vitamin A, D, E, K and B12 along with iron and copper are stored in the liver? It also helps in converting vitamin D into its active form.
7. Liver is a protein creator and a clotting agent
For growth and properly working of our body we need protein. The food that we eat is not sufficient for our body to fulfil the needs of it. So, liver produces its own protein. Even the enzymes and chemicals required to form blood clots to stop bleeding during wound or cut are secreted by the liver. People having unhealthy liver will bleed easily.
8. Liver acts as a medicine converter
Do you know that the medicine that we eat is not directly consumed by our body? It is liver that convert it into usable form so, that our body can accept it. Therefore, we can say that without liver medicine would be useless.
9. Liver determines cholesterol level
On the health of the liver, cholesterol level is determined. If the liver is fatty or sluggish then higher levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides will be formed. We can say that liver produces cholesterol which synthesise certain hormones and generate new cells.
10. Liver perform 500 different functions
According to scientists liver can perform around 500 different functions. Alcohol, drugs, virus (hepatitis B) can harm liver. Due to unprocessed bilirubin the colour of eyes and skin turns yellow which means that liver is not working properly.
So, liver is very important organ of our body which perform several functions like it is responsible for producing enzymes and chemicals that helps the blood to clot and stops bleeding during wound or cut. It stores sugar in the form of glycogen. When our body need energy it breaks glycogen into glucose which is used by our body as energy fuel.
11. It contains fat
10% of our liver is made up of fat. If the fat content in the liver goes above 10% it is considered a “fatty liver” and makes you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
12. It stocks iron
Our liver stores important vitamins and nutrients from the food we eat and stocks them up for when we need them later.
Look after your liver and it will look after you
Improving the health of your liver can have wide-ranging health benefits. It is your body’s factory, processing everything you eat and drink. If you look after your liver then your liver will look after you. Contact your doctor or healthcare practitioner if you suspect you may have liver problems.