Human Anatomy and Physiology

High School ・Biology ・MLA ・6 Sources

The liver in the human body is as big as it is critical. It is reddish brown, weighing about three pounds and it is located at the right side of the abdomen. It has the shape of a cone just underneath the diaphragm and a bit above the intestines, stomach and ride kidney. The human liver is divided into two lopes: the falciform ligament that joins the coronary ligament at the edge of the superior marks in front of the liver to an external division. In terms of size, the left lobe is smaller. When viewed from the rear, the separation of the right node from the others is by the gallbladder fossa and that of the inferior vena cava on the liver’s visceral surface. The left portion is inclusive of the quadrate, and the caudate lobes and its separation from the two flaps are by the connection of the ligumentum teres, and the ligamentum venosum and the ligumentum teres’ fissures (The University of Leicester, p 2).

Every liver lobe has its biliary drainage and venous and arterial supply and performs similar duties without area specialization. The liver has two different sources of blood supply, the hepatic artery that brings in the oxygenated blood, and the hepatic portal vein that takes into in the blood rich in nutrients. The liver is capable of holding about 13% of the blood supply to the body at any instance. The liver also has the cells called hepatocytes which have the exclusive capability for reproduction in rejoinder to any injury to the liver. In most cases, the regeneration of the liver can take place after surgical deletion of its fraction or after destruction by the injuries. Even though the liver’s capacity to respond to harm and repair itself is incredible, the repeated invective can lead to liver malfunction and fatality.

Between the hepatocyte plates are the spaces known as the sinusoids which do get blood from the portal triads. Approximately 25% of the entire cardiac output goes into the sinusoids through the arterial vessels and the last portal. Once both the blood from the hepatic artery and portal vein mixes, it then passes through the sinusoids where it draws off into the central vein immediately after bathing the hepatocytes.


The human liver has various roles that are inclusive of the making of the several chemicals that the body requires for the normal functioning, breaking down and detoxification of bodily materials, and also acting as the storing unit. The hepatocytes are accountable for the proteins synthesis in the body that is vital for the various functions such as the clotting of blood, and albumin necessary for the maintenance of fluid in the circulation scheme. The liver also has the responsibility for the manufacture of the triglycerides and cholesterol which are helpful in the carrying of fats through the body. The production of carbohydrates takes place in the liver and the formation of the glycogen from glucose before their storage within the organ itself and the muscle cells (JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE, p 4).

Moreover, the liver also produces bile which is vital in the carrying away of the waste materials and breaking down the fats during the process of digestion in the small intestine. When it comes to the body detoxification which is of great significance, it is always the role of the liver to convert ammonia, the byproduct of the body’s metabolism, into urea whose excretion is by the kidneys through the urine (Stanford Children’s Health, p 3). It is also the liver’s task to break down hormones and insulin in the body together with medicines and drugs such as alcohol. As regards storage, the organ acts as a store for the chemicals and vitamins that are essential for the body as the building blocks such as folic acid and iron for the making of red blood cells. Furthermore, there is also vitamin A for vision, and vitamin K for the proper clotting of blood among others (, p 6).

The Liver and the Digestive System

One of the primary duties of the liver is the manufacture of bile which is usually of importance when it comes to the fats digestion. Primarily, the fats are hydrophobic and oily thus cannot dissolve properly in the water. As the liquid within the intestines and stomach has more water, the consumed fats in the food incline to attach in big globules to reduce its contact with the water. The bile assists in the breaking of the globules as it has the parts that can interrelate well with both the water and fats hence forming a bridge separating the fats and allowing for their more natural absorption by the intestines. The liver also works with the digestive scheme through the filtration of the toxins as some of the absorbed things by the digestive system can end up building in the blood and poisoning the gastrointestinal tract tissues or even other organs. For that case, the liver breaks down all the toxins through metabolizing of the chemicals and the nutrients that the digestive system absorbs (Cloe, p 1).

The Liver and the Gallbladder and Pancreas

The gallbladder is a tiny storage organ whose location is to the liver’s inferior and posterior. However small it might be, the gallbladder is very critical especially in the digestion of food and works in conjunction with the liver by holding the bile that the liver produces until there is need for the absorption of the fatty food in the small intestines’ duodenum. Also, in the same region that is the duodenum, is the pancreas that produces the pancreatic juice which is very important to the liver as it makes it possible for it to secrete the bile (COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, p 6).

The Liver Diseases and Disorders

Various disorders and diseases usually have an effect on the liver either directly or due to a result of an infection from another organ. The first one is the fatty liver disease that occurs as a consequence of the cholesterol and triglycerides accumulation in the liver and has no association with the alcohol abuse. There is also the cirrhosis which is the scarring condition of the liver and might lead to its failure and is always as a result of the alcohol abuse. Moreover, another illness of the liver is hepatitis that results in its swelling. The hepatitis A is due to the scanty sanitation, hepatitis B and hepatitis C do spread through getting in touch with the contaminated body fluids. The hepatitis D needs the virus of the hepatitis B for its survival in the body and even damage the liver. The other diseases of the liver are inclusive of the adenovirus, toxoplasmosis, and cytomegalovirus. There are also the genetic disorders of the organ such as the hemochromatosis which is as a result of abnormal storage of iron, Wilson’s disease due to copper abnormality, and the liver cancers.

The liver is a very critical organ in the body, and any slight damage can lead to its malfunction or even death. For that case, people should always try their level best by keeping off from the activities that might bring about the liver complications, for instance, moderating the consumption of alcohol and also reducing the contact to the body fluids.

Works Cited

Cloe, Adam. "How Does the Liver Function in the Digestive System?" LIVESTRONG.COM, 14 Aug. 2017,

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER. "The Pancreas and Its Functions | Columbia University Department of Surgery." Columbia University Department of Surgery | Department of Surgery, 2017,

JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE. "Liver: Anatomy and Functions | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library." Johns Hopkins Medicine, Based in Baltimore, Maryland, 2017,,P00676. "Liver Function: Abnormal, Disease, Tests, Symptoms & Improve." MedicineNet, 2017,

Stanford Children's Health. "Anatomy and Function of the Liver." Stanford Children's Health - Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, 2017,

The University of Leicester. "Anatomy and Physiology of Hepatic Portal System Tutorial." The University of Leicester — A Leading UK University,

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