Your liver is a very important “weigh station” in the blood’s journey throughout your body. All of the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver.
But why exactly does your liver need the oxygen and nutrients from your blood? What does it do?
Some people think of the liver as the body’s chemical plant and inspection station.
The inspection part comes in handy because helpful nutrients are not the only things your blood carries. There are also some waste products, which your liver filters out.
Even though bile is made out of waste products, it certainly doesn’t go to waste. Bile is very useful in helping to break down fats, preparing them for further digestion and absorption.
Once bile is released into your small intestine, it works its magic on the food you’ve eaten.
In fact, there is an entire system in your body (of which your liver is a part) that is responsible for creating, transporting, storing, and releasing bile. This is called the biliary system.
The biliary system is made up of the:
All of this, however, is only the basic version of your liver’s job description.
The liver actually performs more than 300 separate functions — and perhaps even more that scientists don’t yet fully understand.
Some of the liver's other well-known functions include:
Your health information, right at your fingertips. Select MyUPMC to access your UPMC health information. For patients of UPMC-affiliated doctors in Central Pa, select UPMC Central Pa Portal. Patients of UPMC Cole should select the UPMC Cole Connect Patient Portal.