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10 Surprising Facts About Liver We Bet You Didn't Know

The liver is among the most vital organs in our body. It plays a crucial role in preserving our overall health and well-being. The liver is responsible for detoxifying toxic substances, producing bile for digestion, regulating blood sugar levels, and many other essential functions. July 28th is celebrated as World Hepatitis Day to step up national and international efforts on hepatitis, encourage actions and engagement by individuals, partners and the public and highlight the need for a greater global response. 


In this article, we will discuss ten surprising facts about the liver that you did not know. We will also discuss liver anatomy, liver function, and common liver infection.


Liver Function 


The liver, an indispensable organ, performs a gamut of crucial functions that enable our body to operate normally. Apart from detoxifying noxious substances and creating bile for digestion, it has a role in regulating blood glucose levels, synthesising cholesterol, and storing key nutrients. 


Foremost among the array of tasks the liver undertakes is detoxification. It sifts through the bloodstream for deleterious agents like medicinal drugs, alcohol, and metabolic waste, changing them into less harmful compounds that can be disposed of by the body. But persistent exposure to toxins can inflict harm on the liver and make an affliction like liver disease possible. 


Another crucial liver function is production of bile which is gundamental to the digestion process. The liver produces approximately 1-1.5 litres of bile every day and regulates blood sugar levels, produces cholesterol, and stores important nutrients, highlighting its vital metabolic role.


Liver Anatomy


Situated in the upper right part of the abdomen, the liver is a sizable and wedge-shaped organ. It is distinguished for its weight (approximately 1.5 kg in adults), earning the status of the largest internal organ in the human body. Anatomically it is divided into eight segments, each with a distinct blood circulatory system, and biliary drainage mechanism. 


Blood gets transported into the liver from two origins - the hepatic artery and the portal vein. The former carries oxygenated blood to the liver, while the latter conveys nutrient-laden blood from the digestive system to the liver. 


Blood gets transported out of the liver via hepatic veins into the inferior vena cava. The bile ducts have a significant role in draining the bile produced by the liver and transporting it to the small intestine, assisting in digestion with efficacy.

10 Surprising Facts about the Liver You Didn't Know


1. The liver can regenerate itself:

One of the most surprising facts about the liver is its regenerative abilities. The liver has an astounding ability to regenerate itself even after significant insult. This means that even if up to 70% of the liver is extracted, the leftover liver tissue can regenerate and restore the liver's function.


2. The liver can store vitamins and minerals:

The liver stores essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12, as well as iron and copper. These vitamins and minerals are stored in the liver until the body needs them. This is an important function of the liver, as it ensures that the body has a constant supply of these essential nutrients.


3. The liver can produce glucose:

The liver plays a significant role in regulating blood sugar levels. It can produce glucose, which is then released into the bloodstream when blood sugar levels are low. This process is known as gluconeogenesis, and it helps maintain blood sugar levels and prevent hypoglycaemia.


4. The liver can metabolise drugs:

The liver is responsible for metabolising drugs and converting them into less dangerous substances that can be excreted out of the body. However, the liver's ability to metabolise drugs varies from individual to individual, depending on their genetic makeup and other factors. This can lead to variations in drug efficacy and potential side effects.


5. The liver can produce blood clotting factors:

The liver produces several blood clotting factors, including fibrinogen and prothrombin. These proteins are essential for the blood to clot properly, which is important for preventing excessive bleeding and promoting wound healing.


6. The liver can produce heat:

The liver can produce heat through a process known as thermogenesis. This process helps maintain body temperature and is especially important in new-borns and infants.


7. The liver can remove bacteria from the blood:

The liver plays a crucial role in removing bacteria and other harmful substances from the bloodstream. It contains cells called Kupffer cells, which can engulf and destroy bacteria, viruses, and other harmful particles.


8. The liver can produce hormones:

The liver produces several hormones, including insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which plays a role in growth and development. The liver also produces angiotensinogen, which is involved in regulating blood pressure.


9. The liver can metabolise alcohol:

The liver is tasked with metabolising alcohol and converting it into less harmful substances. However, excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver and lead to liver disease.


10. The liver can affect mental health:

Recent studies have suggested that the liver may play a role in mental health. The liver is tasked with filtering out toxins like ammonia from the bloodstream. When the liver is not functioning correctly, toxins can accumulate in the body and affect brain function. This can lead to symptoms such as depression and anxiety.




The liver, an indispensable organ, performs crucial roles to keep our well-being in check. Among other functions, it expels toxins, generates bile, regulates blood sugar and stores vitamins and minerals. Besides, it can renew itself, produce hormones, dissipate heat and eliminate bacteria from blood. Alas! Liver ailments can severely affect its functioning and our health. Therefore, it is imperative to fortify it through a healthy diet, regular physical activity and very moderate drinking. 


As we observe World Hepatitis Day, let's acknowledge the paramount role played by the liver in upholding our health and spread the word regarding liver care. By prioritising our liver's needs, we can enhance our universal wellness and forestall potential liver infection or illnesses.

Dr. Swapnil Dhampalwar
Meet The Doctor
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