The Liver Essay

1044 words - 5 pages

he liver is a crucial organ in the body of vertebrates and mammals. It has a wide variety of functions from protein synthesis from blood, to production of biochemical’s necessary for digestion, and to detoxification of blood. The liver is essential for survival and there is no way to compensate for the absence of liver function.
The liver is a multiple lobed organ that is in the front part of the abdominal cavity. It is positioned directly behind the diaphragm and in front of the stomach. It is situated straight across the front of the abdomen, with more of the liver on the right side. A normal liver color is deep red to brownish with a firm consistency. The liver is divided into several lobes and each is made up of multisided units called hepatic lobules. Each lobule is composed of a rounded pane of cells that give it a spongy texture and enables it to hold large amounts of blood. There are two major blood vessels that enter the liver. Firstly, the portal vein, which carries most of the blood to the liver and contains nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract. The second is the hepatic artery, which carries oxygen rich blood to the liver from the heart and lungs. There are two major structures that leave the liver, the hepatic vein and the bile duct. The hepatic vein takes the blood from the liver, while the bile duct takes bile to the gall bladder.
The liver is a storage place for glucose and production of urea from amino groups and ammonia. It stores many essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals obtained from the blood passing through the hepatic portal system. It is important for animals to maintain concentrations of glucose in blood because it is one of the main functions of the liver. Too much glucose entering the blood after a meal would be rapidly taken up by the liver and appropriated as the large polymer, glycogen, this process is known as glycogenesis. Subsequently, when blood concentrations of glucose are low, the liver activates other pathways which lead to depolymerization of glycogen and exports the glucose back into the blood for transportation to the other tissues. The liver gets rid of ammonia by the synthesis of urea and then sent out of the body in urine. Ammonia is very toxic and if not rapidly and efficiently removed from the body it will result in central nervous system disease. The liver stores vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12 and minerals iron and copper; In order to provide a constant supply of the essential substances to the tissues of the body.
The liver is also responsible for the production of proteins that circulate in the blood such as albumin, prothrombin, and fibrinogen. Albumin, the major plasma protein, is synthesized almost entirely by the liver and low levels may indicate some problems such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or chronic hepatitis. Albumins maintain the isotonic environment of the blood so that cells of the body do not gain or lose water in the presence of body...

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