- Energy storage: One of the liver's primary jobs is
to store energy made from glucose. The liver removes glucose
from the blood when blood glucose levels are high.
- Production of bile: Another crucial function of the
liver is the production of bile, a yellowish-brown liquid containing
salts necessary for the digestion of lipids, or fats.
- Storage of vitamin: The liver collects and stores supplies
of vitamins A, D, E, and K. The B vitamins are also stored here,
including a 2-4 year supply of Vitamin B12.
- Chemical factory: Several important proteins found
in the blood are produced in the liver. One of these proteins,
albumin, helps retain calcium and other important substances
in the bloodstream. Albumin also helps regulate the movement
of water from the bloodstream into the body's tissues. The liver
also produces globin, one of the two components that form hemoglobin-the
oxygen-carrying substance in red blood cells.
- Wound healing:
These include fibrinogen and prothrombin, which help wounds
to heal by enabling blood to form clots, and cholesterol, a
key component of cell membranes that transports fats in the
bloodstream to body tissues.
The liver helps
clear toxic substances, such as drugs and alcohol, from the bloodstream.
It does this by absorbing the harmful substances, chemically altering
them, and then excreting them in the bile.
Certain globulins, a group of proteins that includes antibodies,
are produced in the liver, as are the proteins that make up the
complement system, a part of the immune system that combines with
antibodies to fight invading micro-organisms.