Interesting facts about the human liver

Interesting facts about the human liver

Mangaluru : India | Mar 13, 2011 at 3:14 PM PDT
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Functions of a healthy human liver

By: Nina Rai

Mangalore, March 14, 2011:

Human Liver: The biggest glandular organ is your body is the liver, weighing about 3 lb (1.36 kg). Human liver is reddish brown in color and is made up of four lobes. It is located beneath the diaphragm, on the right side of the abdominal cavity. Blood reaches the liver through two large vessels known as the hepatic artery and the portal vein. Human liver tissue is made up of thousands of lobules, and each lobule is made up of hepatic cells, which are the basic metabolic cells of the liver.

Here are some interesting facts about the organ liver in your body, given in simple layman's terms:

1. Human Liver is a store house of iron: It keeps a storehouse of iron reserves as even lots of vitamins, and other minerals which gives you the strength to carry on during the day.

2. Human Liver makes bile: This is important as it helps to digest food. Without bile you would just waste away to nothing.

3. Human Liver detoxifies poisonous substances: Various substances and chemicals, including alcohol, wine, beer, drugs (prescribed and given-over-the counter) and even illegal substances all are detoxified. Without the liver, all these bad habits can barely keep you alive.

4. Human Liver is a store house of energy: Just like a battery, it stocks up sugar (carbohydrates, glucose and fat). And whenever your body requires it, it uses it. With out this energy the blood sugar level in your blood can fall drastically and you would slip into a coma.

5. Human Liver is the originator of blood: It made the blood which got your system up and running, even before you were born. In other words you wouldn't have been here without your liver.

6. Human Liver makes fresh proteins: Proteins are needed by your body to stay healthy and to grow. Without proteins you would not be able to grow properly.

7. Human Liver filters off poisons: It removes poisons from the air, exhaust smoke and chemicals you breathe in. Without the liver you would be choked and poisoned by the various pollutants.

8. Human Liver helps in clotting: It is due to this clotting factor that in case you hurt or prick yourself accidentally, the bleeding is stopped. Without this factor, you would bleed to death even due to minor injuries.

9. Human Livers fights against germs: It protects your body all the time from any germs or virus going into your body. It defends against the cold-germ, flu-bugs, and other antibodies which you inhale and destroys them or in most cases weakens them. With your liver, you would be goner, to any infection known to mankind.

10. Human liver also produces cholesterol: The liver is also responsible for manufacturing cholesterol, producing about 80% of the same in your body. Cholesterol is important as it produces the steroid hormones required for your normal development and functioning. These include the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone in women and testosterone in men, which play a big role in reproduction.

So now that you know how much your organ liver does for you, this is what you can do to protect your liver as well:

1. Don't overload your liver with any kind of alcohol, beer or wine. Keep within limits. In some case even a drink daily can cause great damage to your liver.

2. Drugs of any kind are chemicals and when these are mixed up without a qualified doctor's advice can be poisonous for your liver and damage it badly.

3. Scars to your liver are caused quite easily; these are what are known as ‘Cirrhosis' of the liver, which is permanent. These are chronic inflammation that progresses and ultimately leads to organ failure.

4. Sometimes due to illnesses, taking medicines becomes necessary. But taking pills when they are not necessary due to habit formation is bad. These chemicals can badly hurt your liver causing it to under-perform.

5. A warning: Be wary of aerosol sprays, bug sprays, mildew sprays, paint sprays and even the other chemical sprays or even mosquito coils you use. Be careful of this stuff you breathe in. Please remember, your liver has to detoxify what you breathe in, excess intake of this can damage your liver. Especially when cleaning with aerosol sprays ensure the room is well ventilated and you are wearing a mask too.

6. Be careful of what gets on your skin. The pesticides which are sprayed on plants and vegetables not only kill insects but even hit your liver, through your skin and destroy the cells making up the liver. The reason is these are chemicals too. Therefore make sure to cover your skin with gloves, long sleeved materials, a hat and a mask whenever there is insecticide in the air or if you are handling it.

7. Most importantly, your liver would not let you know it's in trouble and at the end of its tether. It's basically a non-complainer. You got to remember that overloading and abusing such a precious organ with alcohol, drugs and other junk can damage it irreparably. This is the only warning you will get. So do think over and re-read the above. Do all you can to protect your liver, remember it is the only one you have.

Prevention is always better than cure. Here is some simple advice:

Have a bi-annual check-up of your liver done with your doctor. Blood screening tests can pin-point any trouble. If your liver is soft and smooth, it's good. But if it's hard and bumpy then that spells trouble. If your doctor suspects any problem he may ask you to go for Ultra Sound and CT scan tests. Your life depends on your liver. So do take good and tender care of it, to ensure a healthy cheerful life. Here's a toast to your good health and life, always.

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Check out the various ways in which you can take care of your liver, what are its functions and how it helps you to be healthy in life.
Nina Rai is based in Mangaluru, Karnataka, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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