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Function of the Liver

A healthy liver does the following:

  • It regulates the composition of blood, including the amounts of glucose (sugar), protein, and fat that enter the bloodstream.
  • It removes bilirubin and other toxins from the blood. Bilirubin is a by-product of the breakdown of red blood cells.
  • It processes most of the nutrients absorbed by the intestines during digestion and converts those nutrients into forms that can be used by the body. The liver also stores some nutrients such as vitamin A, iron, and other minerals.
  • It makes cholesterol, vitamin A, substances that help blood clot, and certain proteins.

The picture shows the organs of the digestive system, including the liver.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerW. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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