Anatomy and functions of the liver

The liver’s structure


The liver is situated above the stomach, right kidney, and intestines in the upper right quadrant of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm.

Anatomy of liver

The liver is a dark reddish-brown, cone-shaped organ that weighs roughly 3 pounds.


The liver receives blood from 2 different sources, including the following:


The hepatic artery supplies the organ with oxygenated blood.

Blood that is rich in nutrients enters from the hepatic portal vein.

Approximately one pint (13%) of the body’s blood is always stored in the liver. There are two primary lobes in the liver. Each is composed of 8 segments, each with 1,000 lobules (small lobes). The common hepatic duct is formed by the union of smaller ducts (tubes) that are attached to these lobules. The bile produced by the liver cells is transported through the common hepatic duct to the gallbladder and duodenum, which is the first section of the small intestine.


What the liver does?


The liver excretes a substance known as bile and controls the majority of blood chemical levels. This aids in removing waste from the liver. The liver receives all the blood that exits the intestines and stomach. This blood is processed by the liver, which also breaks down, balances, and produces nutrients. It also metabolises medications to make them more easily absorbed by the body or nontoxic. The liver is known to have more than 500 essential activities. The following are some of the more well-known functions:

Functions of liver

Production of bile, a digestive fluid that aids in the removal of waste and the breakdown of lipids in the small intestine.

Manufacturing specific proteins for blood plasma.

Production of specific proteins and cholesterol to assist the body in transporting fat.

Conversion of extra glucose to glycogen for storage (glycogen can then be converted back to glucose for energy), as well as to maintain balance and produce glucose as needed.


Control of blood amino acid levels, which serve as the building blocks for proteins.

Iron concentration in hemoglobin is used after processing (the liver stores iron).

Converting lethal ammonia to urea (urea is an end product of protein metabolism and is excreted in the urine)

Removing drugs and other poisons from the blod

Control of blood clotting


Creating immunological factors to fight infections and eliminating microorganisms from the blood

Removal of bilirubin from red blood cells as well. The skin and eyes become yellow when bilirubin levels rise.

Byproducts of the liver’s breakdown of toxic chemicals are discharged into the bile or blood. By-products of bile enter the intestine and depart the body as faeces. The kidneys filter out blood waste materials, which then leave the body as urine.

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