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.

The digestive system (including the liver)

ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

Current as of: November 14, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology