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"A really good practitioner never stops learning and is never qualified as there is always something more to learn."

Diana Mossop

About The Human Liver

Thirty per cent of the blood pumped through the heart in one minute passes through the body's chemical factory, which is called the liver. The liver cleanses the blood and processes nutritional molecules, which are distributed to the tissues. The liver also receives bright red blood from the lungs, filled with vital oxygen to be delivered to the heart. The only part of the body which receives more blood than the liver is the brain. The liver is located at the top of the abdomen, just below the diaphragm and has two main lobes. It is the largest gland in the body, weighing 2.5 to 3.3 pounds. When we eat, more blood is diverted to the intestines to deal with digestive processes when not eating, three-fourths of the blood supply to the liver comes from the intestines. It also produces about two and one-half pints of bile in its ducts, which is delivered to the gallbladder through a small tube called the "cystic duct" for storage. "Liver" is probably an appropriate name for this gland, which makes the important decision as to whether incoming substances are useful to the body or whether they are waste. The liver is an extremely important organ and has multiple functions. The liver detoxifies blood cells by mixing them with bile and by chemical alteration to less toxic substances, such as the alteration of ammonia to urea. Many chemical compounds are inactivated by the liver through modification of chemical structures. The liver converts glucose to a storage form of energy called glycogen, and can also produce glucose from sugars, starches, and proteins. The liver also synthesizes triglycerides and cholesterol, breaks down fatty acids, and produces plasma proteins necessary for the clotting of blood, such as clotting factors I, III, V, VII, IX and XI. The liver also produces bile salts and excretes bilirubin. A "lily-livered coward" was someone whose liver contained no blood. The Greeks and Romans sacrificed animals to the gods before going into battle. When the liver was examined, if it was healthy and the blood was bright red, a victory was promised if it was diseased or the blood was pale, defeat was predicted.


Liver

Thirty per cent of the blood pumped through the heart in one minute passes through the body's chemical factory, which is called the liver. The liver cleanses the blood and processes nutritional molecules, which are distributed to the tissues. The liver also receives bright red blood from the lungs, filled with vital oxygen to be delivered to the heart. The only part of the body which receives more blood than the liver is the brain. The liver is located at the top of the abdomen, just below the diaphragm and has two main lobes. It is the largest gland in the body, weighing 2.5 to 3.3 pounds. When we eat, more blood is diverted to the intestines to deal with digestive processes; when not eating, three-fourths of the blood supply to the liver comes from the intestines. It also produces about two and one-half pints of bile in its ducts, which is delivered to the gallbladder through a small tube called the "cystic duct" for storage. "Liver" is probably an appropriate name for this gland, which makes the important decision as to whether incoming substances are useful to the body or whether they are waste. The liver is an extremely important organ and has multiple functions. The liver detoxifies blood cells by mixing them with bile and by chemical alteration to less toxic substances, such as the alteration of ammonia to urea. Many chemical compounds are inactivated by the liver through modification of chemical structures. The liver converts glucose to a storage form of energy called glycogen, and can also produce glucose from sugars, starches, and proteins. The liver also synthesizes triglycerides and cholesterol, breaks down fatty acids, and produces plasma proteins necessary for the clotting of blood, such as clotting factors I, III, V, VII, IX and XI. The liver also produces bile salts and excretes bilirubin. A "lily-livered coward" was someone whose liver contained no blood. The Greeks and Romans sacrificed animals to the gods before going into battle. When the liver was examined, if it was healthy and the blood was bright red, a victory was promised; if it was diseased or the blood was pale, defeat was predicted.

Liver

The liver has two major lobes and two minor lobes. Anteriorly, the right lobe is separated from the smaller left lobe by the falciform ligament. Inferiorly, the caudate lobe is near the inferior vena cava, and the quadrate lobe is adjacent to the gallbladder. The falciform ligament is responsible for attaching the liver to the anterior abdominal wall and the diaphragm by way of the coronary ligament, the upper layer of which is exposed as if the liver were to be pulled away from the diaphragm. A ligamentum teres is continuous along the free border of the falciform ligament and is a remnant of the umbilical vein of the fetus. The porta of the liver is where the hepatic artery, portal vein lymphatics, and nerves enter the liver and where the hepatic ducts exit. Although the liver is the largest internal organ of the body, it is only one to two cells thick. This is due to the fact that hepatocytes, or liver cells, are only one to two cells thick and separated from each other by large capillary spaces called sinusoids. The plate structure of the liver and high permeability of the sinusoids allow each hepatocyte to be in close contact with the blood. The hepatic plates are arranged into functional units called liver lobules. In the middle of each lobule is a central vein and at the periphery of each lobule are branches of the hepatic portal vein and hepatic artery, opening into spaces between hepatic plates. Arterial blood and portal venous blood, containing nutrient molecules absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract mix as the blood flows from the periphery of the lobule to the central vein. The central veins of the lobules will converge to form two hepatic veins which will carry blood from the liver to the inferior vena cava. Bile is produced in the liver by the hepatocytes and secreted into thin channels called bile canaliculi located within each hepatic plate. The canaliculi are drained peripherally by bile ducts which in turn drain into hepatic ducts that carry bile away from the liver. As a result, blood travels in the sinusoids and bile travels in the opposite direction so blood and bile never mix in the lobules of the liver under normal conditions. Cirrhosis, an irreversible liver disease destroys large numbers of liver lobules and replaces them with a permanent type of connective tissue from hepatocytes called regenerative nodules. These nodules don't have the plate-like structure of normal liver tissue and are consequently, less functional. Cirrhosis is often accompanied by the presence of ammonia from the hepatic portal vein on into systemic circulation. Any disease that attacks liver cells such as viral hepatitis or chemicals affecting the liver such as seen in chronic alcohol abuse may bring about sclerosis.

The information on this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended or recommended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/physician or other qualified health care provider regarding any medical condition or treatment. Some or all of the information on this page may be supplied by a third-party and not controlled by the DianaMossop.com website or authors and is therefore is not the responsibility of the DianaMossop.com website or its authors.

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