The liver is the body’s industrial hub or power station. This is where all the important processes that sustain your energy levels and regulate chemicals in your blood take place. Yet that’s just a tip in the iceberg of the functions performed by this organ. In fact, there are over 300 other functions performed by the cone-shaped organ that weighs about 3 pounds.
Functions of the Liver
Blood Sugar Level Regularization
The liver regularizes the level of sugar in your blood by converting excess sugar into a substance called glycogen. Glycogen is transported and stored under the skin and around various organs like the kidneys and heart. When your blood sugar level drops, the body automatically breaks down glycogen to maintain a healthy balance.
Digesting and Processing Food
The liver is responsible for the production of bile which plays a major role in digestion and absorption of vital nutrients in the body. Besides that, the amino acids (smaller components of broken-down protein) are regularized by the liver thereby ending a process called protein metabolism – and further converting ammonia to urea. Urea is later removed from the body in the form of urine and sweat.
Cleaning Up The Blood System
Another crucial role that your liver plays is that it removes harmful substances from your bloodstream and prevents infections by bolstering immunity. What’s more? The second largest organ in the body is also responsible for repairing worn-out tissues and regulating blood clotting. The liver stores blood in emergency cases.
Breaking Down Fat
Burning of fat is a key job in the liver’s diary. The process begins with breaking down of glycogen which is stored under the skin and around various body organs and ends with production of glucose. Glycogen is an inactive form of body sugar and is mainly stored for future use. Depending on your health state, diet or level of physical activity, the liver can break down fat to supplement your energy needs.
Conservation of Iron
Conservation of iron is important as any iron lost will need to be replaced in one way or another. Primarily, iron is the element that binds oxygen together – and as you may be aware, oxygen is such an important element in the body. Basically, the liver helps conserve iron by breaking down hemoglobin to prevent loss of iron mineral when red blood cells are worn-out and have to be replaced.
Warming up Your Body
The liver is a busy organ that is full of active enzymes. As such it generates a lot of heat and with body blood constantly flowing through it, your body is warmed up. Much more important in keeping you warm is the skin which when temperature gets too high regulates it through a process called themoregulation.
Storing Important Nutrients
The liver is a storage organ for copper, iron and many vitamins among them Vitamin D, A, B12 and K. Vitamin A is needed for healthy skin, urinary tract and intestines. B12 helps keep your nerves and blood cells in good working condition. Vitamin C is needed to keep your teeth, bones and other connective tissues intact. Damaged tissues need Vitamin D for growth and repair. Thus, by keeping and releasing these (among other) vitamins when needed, the liver directly ensures optimal functioning of the body.
Capable of performing hundreds of functions to keep your body healthy and safe, the liver is one of the most important organs in your body. From breaking down fat to eliminating toxins and promoting healthy growth of cells, it is clear that this central organ directly impacts our health and should be well taken care of always.