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glossary:liver

(1) (Science: anatomy) a solid organ located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. The liver plays a major role in metabolism, digestion, detoxification and elimination of substances from the body. large and complicated reddish-brown glandular organ located in the upper right portion of the abdominal cavity; secretes bile and functions in metabolism of protein and carbohydrate and fat; synthesizes substances involved in the clotting of the blood; synthesizes vitamin A; detoxifies poisonous substances and breaks down worn-out erythrocytes.Liver of an animal used as meat.One of the most important organisms of the mammalian body, it is chiefly responsible for the control of glucose concentration in the bloodstream.

(2) An organ in the upper abdomen that aids in digestion and removes waste products and worn-out cells from the blood. The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. The liver weighs about three and a half pounds (1.6 kilograms). It measures about 8 inches (20 cm) horizontally (across) and 6.5 inches (17 cm) vertically (down) and is 4.5 inches (12 cm) thick.

The liver has a multitude of important and complex functions. Some of these functions are to:

Manufacture (synthesize) proteins, including albumin (to help maintain the volume of blood) and blood clotting factors

Synthesize, store, and process (metabolize) fats, including fatty acids (used for energy) and cholesterol

Metabolize and store carbohydrates, which are used as the source for the sugar (glucose) in blood that red blood cells and the brain use

Form and secrete bile that contains bile acids to aid in the intestinal absorption (taking in) of fats and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Eliminate, by metabolizing and/or secreting, the potentially harmful biochemical products produced by the body, such as bilirubin from the breakdown of old red blood cells and ammonia from the breakdown of proteins Detoxify, by metabolizing and/or secreting, drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins

(3) The largest gland of the body, weighing between 1200-1600 grams, and is situated in the top right portion of the abdominal cavity. The liver is divided by fissures into four lobes. The liver plays an essential role in many metabolic processes by regulating the composition and concentration of nutrients and toxic materials in the blood. Its functions include synthesizing bile and blood coagulating factors, acting as the site of metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, regulating the amount of blood sugar, converting excess glucose to glycogen, removing excess amino acids, storing and metabolizing fats, and detoxifying poisonous substances, worn out red blood cells and other unwanted material.

glossary/liver.txt · Last modified: 2012/10/16 14:40 (external edit)