WebMD Countdown: 5 Incredible Things About Your Liver
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INTERVIEWERYour liver. Not something you think about every day? Well, maybe you should. Found just under the rib cage, on your right side, this incredible organ does more than you can imagine. [MUSIC PLAYING] Let's count down five things to love about your liver.
At number five, it stops bleeding. If you find yourself saying, "I am bleeding," your next words should be, "Seriously, I would like to stop bleeding now. No. Seriously." Luckily, the liver creates proteins that help clot blood, which stops bleeding.
Number four. Your liver cleans your blood. Think of your liver like a giant sorting machine. It works all day and night to separate the good stuff-- like vitamins and nutrients-- from the bad stuff-- like alcohol, chemicals, from pesticides, pollution, and even cholesterol. Number three. Give it up for bile. Bile is a juice that the liver makes that has two big jobs. It's crucial for digesting food and for getting rid of those nasty toxins. Once it leaves the liver, bile moves over to the gallbladder where it's stored until you poop it out. Without this function, you'd be in big trouble.
Number two. Your liver is a source of energy. It's kind of like a fueling station for the human body-- open 24/7-- and its main job is to maintain blood sugar levels. It works like this. You eat carbs. Your body breaks down the carbs into glucose. Your liver grabs glucose and then stores it as glycogen. Your liver then breaks down that glycogen and releases sugar into your blood whenever you need energy.
And now, ladies and gentleman, something so outrageously cool about the liver that it boggles the mind. And number one, it really generates. No other organ in the human body has a greater capacity to rebuild itself. Even if up to 75% of it is diseased or removed, the healthy liver cells can take over. And voila! The liver is back in business. While it doesn't rebuild the whole liver, enough comes back to function normally. All your liver asks for in return is that you treat it well, and that means exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Limit alcohol, manage your medicines, and don't smoke. If you're putting it in your body, you're putting it in your liver. So be kind.
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