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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.

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By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Current as of August 30, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 30, 2012
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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