are the Major Functions that the Liver Carries?
In order to understand the effects of chronic hepatitis on the over all
health, first we need to know what functions the liver carries.
The liver has an abundant supply of blood, one-quarter of which comes
from the liver artery. The Portal Vein supplies the other three quarters
of blood and also carries oxygen, which collects nutrients from the
intestine to be processed by the liver.
The liver is like a chemical factory, which performs over 500 different
kinds of chemical reactions at any given moment. It is the largest organ
of our digestive system and its functions can be roughly categorized in
three major categories:
1. Digestive function:
The liver cells continuously produce bilic acid and bile, which is a main
digestive juice. With it, the
fat we receive from food can be digested and absorbed in the small
intestines. Without bile, about 40% of fat we receive from foods will be
lost in the stool and the fat-dissolvable vitamins cannot be absorbed.
Bile is also the secretion of the liver, which excretes the toxins from
the liver detoxification processes through bowel movement.
2. Metabolic and synthetic functions:
1) Glucose metabolism: The liver regulates blood sugar level. When the blood
sugar level increases after eating, it turns into glycogen and is stored
in the liver. When the blood
sugar level decreases, the liver glycogen decomposed into glucose and is
released into the blood to maintain the blood sugar level.
During chronic hepatitis, this function deteriorates; many patients
see their blood sugar levels unstable.
Bilirubin metabolism: Generation of the bilirubin from the heme (the
hemoglobin metabolites) and transportation of bilirubin to and through the
liver cells and eventually delivery through the bile duck to the
intestine. Over production, impaired transportation, blocked excretion,
and over re-absorption in the intestine may result in jaundice.
3) Hormone metabolism: The liver deactivates hormones, especially the
female hormones. When this function deteriorates, liver palm, spider mole,
low libido, and male breast development are some of the possible long-term
4) Fat metabolism: The synthesis and release of lipid, decomposition of
fatty acid, the synthesis and transport of cholesterol, lipid-protein, are
all done by the liver.
5) Protein synthesis: Albumin, blood clotting factors, globulin, enzymes
are all synthesized in the liver. 6) Vitamin synthesis and transportation:
Vitamin A, B, C, D and K are synthesized and transported in the liver.
The liver is one of the major detoxification organs in our body.
Exogenous and endogenous toxins are both being processed by the liver. In
the liver, those toxic substances, including medicines, are detoxified and
broken down and eliminated via bile secretion.
The functions our liver carries are very important in keeping our good
It is one of the most sophisticated organs in the human body and when its
functions are adversely affected due to Chronic Hepatitis, the treatment
protocol must be broad and able to deal with many parts of the body that
are indirectly affected by the liver.