The liver is a large organ in the right upper part of the abdomen. It
performs a range of complex and important functions that affect all body
systems. Some of the specific functions of the liver include:
Controlling the amounts of sugar (glucose), protein, and fat
entering the bloodstream.
Removing bilirubin, ammonia, and other
toxins from the blood. Bilirubin is a by-product of the breakdown of hemoglobin
from red blood cells.
Processing most of the nutrients absorbed by
the intestines during digestion and converting 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.
Producing cholesterol, substances that
help blood clot, bile, and certain important proteins, such as
Breaking down (metabolizing) many drugs.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Dennis L. Stevens, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
March 2, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 02, 2010
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