Weighing in at around 3 pounds, the liver is one of the most important organs in the body and considered by many 'the lifeline' of the human body. It is connected to most bodily processes, which are responsible for the filtration of all incoming food, fluids, vitamins, herbs, drugs, and toxins. The body relies upon the liver to remove toxins so that the nutrients supplied to the body are pure and capable of providing nourishment. It serves a vital function in almost every system in the body; for example, from hormone and digestive enzyme production, to blood filtration, and the metabolization of chemicals and drugs.
By means of a complicated chemical process, the liver performs 100 of functions necessary for the vitality of life. It manufactures hormones, regulates platelet production in the bone marrow, makes cholesterol and triglycerides, produces bile, breaks down fats, produces InsulinâLike Growth Factor (IGF 1), converts glucose into glycogen, and stores vitamins and minerals for short and long term use. The liver's key roles are related to synthesis, storage, digestion, breakdown of naturally produced but harmful substances and detoxification.
The liver synthesizes amino acids, the building blocks for proteins; hormones such as thrombopoetin, which regulates platelet production, and angiotensin, which regulates blood pressure; cholesterol and lipids; albumin, a major component of blood serum; and coagulation factors. The liver also plays a crucial role in carbohydrate metabolism by synthesizing glucose and transforming it into its storage form called glycogen.
The liver's glycogen reserve is the first line of defense against falling blood glucose levels. When needed, the liver converts glycogen into glucose and releases glucose into the blood stream. In a similar way, the liver releases iron, copper and vitamins into the bloodstream when needed.
Modern medical testing does not always give us a complete look at the subclinical function of our liver. alternative forms of testing are available.
Reviewing your family history of liver related diseases can be a good place to start.