How Liver Works
The liver is the largest single glandular structure in the body. It is located high up on the right side of the abdomen just under the diaphragm which divides the chest from the abdomen. Your liver has many important functions to perform, for it is the great chemical laboratory of your body. When one is healthy the liver works so smoothly that we never give it a second thought. But the liver can be affected by a number of serious disorders, such as virus infections, parasites, disturbances of the circulation, stone formation in the bile ducts, injuries but to poisonous substances, and various kinds of tumor.
The liver is rather simple in appearance, but it has many important functions to perform. Most of the foods we eat are stored in the liver, after having been digested and absorbed from gastrointestinal tract. A vast network of tiny blood vessels arise from all parts of the stomach, small bowel, and spleen. These numerous tributaries unite and become the portal vein, which in turns flows into the liver. Then the large portal vein breaks up into numerous channels that pass between all the actively functioning cells of the liver. By this means the food materials from the digestive tract are able to reach the liver cells where they are changed and stored until needed by the body. These energy-foods are stockpiled to meet the needs of muscles, bones, nerves and other tissues.
Certain vitamins are also stored in the liver cells, particularly those that have to do with the production of red blood cells in the row of bones. Here also protein materials from the digestive tract are re-combined into the forms needed with the body. Thus the blood stream brings what we might call the raw materials from the gastrointestinal tract, leaves these with the liver cells, and then passes on to heart, carrying the finished products from the liver cells to the needs of each organ and tissue.