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Waste Elimination: Liver

The liver is the largest gland in your bodies, weighing in at over a pound. Located just above the stomach, our liver filters the body's blood as it receives it directly from the heart, and the intestine. The lobules in the liver take apart the blood removing the nutrients and toxins, then rebuild the blood by putting the nutrients back into it and sending it out to the body. The blood enters the liver from the heart via the hepatic artery shown here in red and from the intestines via the hepatic portal vein shown here in blue. The liver has two prominent left and right lobes which are further divided into eight sections. Attached to the liver is the gallbladder which stores bile the liver manufactures, to aid in digestion. Because the liver processes​ the blood for the entire body it is full of veins and blood vessels. As the nutrients are extracted from the blood they are either stored for later used or return to the blood in a form that the cells can absorb, like as sugar or amino acids. The toxins that are removed from the blood in the liver are either converted into harmless substances or sent out to the kidneys to be excreted. Toxic waste is also converted into a substance called bile which is injected into the small intestine to aid in digestion. The bile not only helps to break down food but it also transports other toxins found in the liver out of the body. Because the liver is so nutrient and blood rich it is a deep color. Without its vital functions we would not survive. You can help your liver function properly by keeping toxins out, eating leafy greens, broccoli, garlic and drinking lemon water.

Learn more about the liver by watching this short TedEd video by clicking here. (You will be taken to YouTube).

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