Difference between revisions of "Liver"

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The '''liver''' is an [[organ]] of the body, a crucial part of the [[digestive system]] which produces [[bile]].  
 
The '''liver''' is an [[organ]] of the body, a crucial part of the [[digestive system]] which produces [[bile]].  
  
==Anatomy and Medicine==
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==Organ Function==
  
 
One of the most important functions of the liver is to filter the blood that runs through the body. When harmful substances such as drugs, alcohol, metabolic waste and chemicals are ingested and reach the liver, they are at least partially filtered out before the rest of that material hits the blood stream. The liver is unable to always completely filter out these substances. This especially is the case with alcohol, as it is common to drink more alcohol per hour than the liver is able to filter before it reaches the blood stream. Healthy livers can usually filter about 1.5 quarts of blood per minute, or about 540 gallons of blood per day.
 
One of the most important functions of the liver is to filter the blood that runs through the body. When harmful substances such as drugs, alcohol, metabolic waste and chemicals are ingested and reach the liver, they are at least partially filtered out before the rest of that material hits the blood stream. The liver is unable to always completely filter out these substances. This especially is the case with alcohol, as it is common to drink more alcohol per hour than the liver is able to filter before it reaches the blood stream. Healthy livers can usually filter about 1.5 quarts of blood per minute, or about 540 gallons of blood per day.
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The liver is also a vital component of the digestive system. After you eat a meal, the liver is stimulated to produce a special digestive enzyme called bile. Bile is created in the liver and then stored in the gallbladder. Once the food reaches the intestines the gall bladder releases the bile into the duodenum, aiding in digestion. The bile is used to break down the complex fat in the diet.  The liver is one of the main storage areas in the body for vitamins, energy, and minerals (especially iron). The liver is able to store these products and then release them into the bloodstream as they are needed.
 
The liver is also a vital component of the digestive system. After you eat a meal, the liver is stimulated to produce a special digestive enzyme called bile. Bile is created in the liver and then stored in the gallbladder. Once the food reaches the intestines the gall bladder releases the bile into the duodenum, aiding in digestion. The bile is used to break down the complex fat in the diet.  The liver is one of the main storage areas in the body for vitamins, energy, and minerals (especially iron). The liver is able to store these products and then release them into the bloodstream as they are needed.
  
This liver is also largely involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates lipids and proteins. With carbohydrates the liver does this by creating glucose from amino acids and breaking glycogen down into glucose. With lipids the liver synthesizes cholesterol and produces triglycerides. With proteins, the liver converts lactic acid to alanine.  The liver is involved in creating blood clotting substances, such as fibrinogen and prothrombin, converting ammonia to urea and also helps with the immune system by storing active immunologic cells.
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This liver is largely involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates lipids and proteins. With carbohydrates the liver does this by creating glucose from amino acids and breaking glycogen down into glucose. With lipids the liver synthesizes cholesterol and produces triglycerides. With proteins, the liver converts lactic acid to alanine.  The liver is involved in creating blood clotting substances, such as fibrinogen and prothrombin, converting ammonia to urea and also helps with the immune system by storing active immunologic cells.
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==Disorders==
  
 
The liver can be damaged by excessive [[alcohol]] consumption, [[drug abuse]] or, in severe cases, an extremely poor [[diet]].  However, it is one of the only organs in the body which can regenerate its own tissue fully, allowing recovery from liver damage if sensible steps are taken to address the cause of the damage.  
 
The liver can be damaged by excessive [[alcohol]] consumption, [[drug abuse]] or, in severe cases, an extremely poor [[diet]].  However, it is one of the only organs in the body which can regenerate its own tissue fully, allowing recovery from liver damage if sensible steps are taken to address the cause of the damage.  

Revision as of 20:19, 30 November 2009

The liver is an organ of the body, a crucial part of the digestive system which produces bile.

Organ Function

One of the most important functions of the liver is to filter the blood that runs through the body. When harmful substances such as drugs, alcohol, metabolic waste and chemicals are ingested and reach the liver, they are at least partially filtered out before the rest of that material hits the blood stream. The liver is unable to always completely filter out these substances. This especially is the case with alcohol, as it is common to drink more alcohol per hour than the liver is able to filter before it reaches the blood stream. Healthy livers can usually filter about 1.5 quarts of blood per minute, or about 540 gallons of blood per day.

The liver is also a vital component of the digestive system. After you eat a meal, the liver is stimulated to produce a special digestive enzyme called bile. Bile is created in the liver and then stored in the gallbladder. Once the food reaches the intestines the gall bladder releases the bile into the duodenum, aiding in digestion. The bile is used to break down the complex fat in the diet. The liver is one of the main storage areas in the body for vitamins, energy, and minerals (especially iron). The liver is able to store these products and then release them into the bloodstream as they are needed.

This liver is largely involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates lipids and proteins. With carbohydrates the liver does this by creating glucose from amino acids and breaking glycogen down into glucose. With lipids the liver synthesizes cholesterol and produces triglycerides. With proteins, the liver converts lactic acid to alanine. The liver is involved in creating blood clotting substances, such as fibrinogen and prothrombin, converting ammonia to urea and also helps with the immune system by storing active immunologic cells.

Disorders

The liver can be damaged by excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse or, in severe cases, an extremely poor diet. However, it is one of the only organs in the body which can regenerate its own tissue fully, allowing recovery from liver damage if sensible steps are taken to address the cause of the damage.

As Food

Animals' and birds' livers are often eaten as food, including lamb, chicken, duck and goose liver. Liver pâté, such as foie gras is considered a delicacy, although there are concerns over the treatment of the ducks or geese involved, since this pâté can only be produced by chronically overfeeding them to engorge the liver.

See also

External links