The Liver

The Liver

The Liver

Function & Anatomy

The liver is about the size of a football. It is the largest solid organ in the body, the second largest organ, and the largest gland. It weighs about 3 to 3.5 pounds. It is located in the upper right side of the abdomen, beneath the diaphragm, and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines. The rib cage protects it. The liver is cone-shaped and dark reddish-brown in color. It is an essential organ that performs about 500 vital bodily functions. 

The liver filters all the blood in the body and breaks down any poisonous substances, like alcohol and drugs. It removes toxins from the body’s blood supply, maintains healthy blood sugar levels, regulates blood clotting, removes waste products like old red blood cells, metabolizes protein, carbohydrates, and fats so the body can use them, and creates essential nutrients. It produces bile to help digest fats and move waste. It produces albumin, a protein that keeps fluids in the bloodstream from leaking into surrounding tissues. It also contains hormones, vitamins, and enzymes throughout the body. It ensures that amino acid levels are healthy. It removes bacteria from the bloodstream as part of the filtering process. It stores large amounts of vitamins A, D, E, K, B12, iron and copper. It removes excess glucose from the bloodstream and stores it as glycogen, and it can also convert glycogen back into glucose when needed. 

The liver holds about 13% of the body’s blood supply at any given time. It consists of four lobes: the larger right lobe, left lobe, smaller caudate lobe, and quadrate lobe. The falciform ligament divides the right and left lobes, which connect the liver to the abdominal wall. The lobes are made up of eight sections which are made up of thousands of small lobes. Each of the lobes has a duct that flows toward the common hepatic duct, which drains the liver of bile. 

There are many essential parts of the liver. The Common hepatic duct is a tube that carries bile out of the liver. The Falciform ligament which connects it to the abdominal wall. Glisson’s Capsule is a layer of loose connective tissue surrounding the liver and its arteries and ducts. The hepatic artery is the main blood vessel, carrying blood from the spleen, pancreas, gallbladder, and gastrointestinal tract to the liver. The peritoneum is the exterior membrane that covers the liver. 

Other Systems Affected: Hormones involved 

The liver plays a role in almost every organ system in the body. It interacts with the gastrointestinal and endocrine systems (hormones) by assisting with metabolism and digestion. It stores fat-soluble vitamins and regulates cholesterol. It stores copper and iron, which helps with clotting factors and protein synthesis in hematology. It also plays a role in sex hormone metabolism and produces carrier proteins that are important in reproduction and development. It also plays a crucial role in the immune system. It is considered part of the digestive system as well. Due to its ability to rid the body of toxins, it subsequently helps keep the brain healthy as well. The liver also works with the gallbladder to help store bile. 

This organ is so important that it is the only organ in the body that regenerates itself by making new cells. These cells are called “hepatocytes,” which can multiply when the liver is damaged. This isn’t to say it is invincible; however, it still needs much care to function healthily. 

 

What Is Necessary For Optimal Liver Health? 

The liver requires oxygen and nutrients from the body to perform optimally. It needs vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, as well as choline, iron, copper, selenium, phosphorus, folate, beta-carotene, and biotin. Protein is also necessary to help the liver function properly. Eating a nutrient-dense diet and finding movement that gets the blood and oxygen moving in the body is the best way to support the liver.

Nutrition Support: 

Lean Protein

Olive Oil

Cranberries

Garlic

Acetylcysteine

Fruits

Organic Oatmeal

Grapes

Ginger

Selenium

Vegetables

Coffee

Prickly Pear

Chia Seeds

Zinc

Nuts & Seeds

Green Tea

Beets/ Beet Juice

Flax Seeds

Folate

Cruciferous Vegetables

Grapefruit

Almonds

Vitamins: A, E, C, B, D, K

L-Glutamine

Fatty Fish

Blueberries

Spinach

Choline

Glutathione

 

Lifestyle Support: 

  • Eat a nutrient-dense diet
  • Stay hydrated
  • Find an exercise you enjoy
  • Reduce toxin exposure
  • Limit:
    • Alcohol
    • Caffeine
    • Processed Sugar
    • Nicotine
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Get plenty of fiber
  • Minimize the use of plastic
  • Manage stress
  • Choose healthy fats


Recipe: Turmeric Ginger Detox Smoothie

This powerful blend of ingredients helps promote liver health and detoxification. Turmeric and ginger are known to support the body's natural, healthy state, free from excess inflammation. They also have antioxidant properties, which help to protect the liver from damage and promote overall liver function. Ginger is also helpful in promoting digestion. Blueberries, chia seeds, and leafy greens are packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Sea salt is full of minerals and helps with hydration. The honey rounds it out for taste. 

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • handful of favorite leafy greens
  • Honey to taste
  • 1 pinch of Celtic sea salt 
  • 1/2 cup of ice

Directions

Blend together and enjoy!

 

Herbal Friends of the Liver: 

Barberry Root

Blessed Thistle

Dandelion

Fennel Seed

Cloves

Boldo Leaf

Radish Root

Wild Yam Root

Licorice 

Turmeric 

Milk Thistle 

Astragalus 

Ginger

Holy Basil

Schisandra

Chinese Skullcap

Artichoke 

Beet Root

Jujube

Chicory

Burdock 

Berberine

 

 Fun Liver Facts:  

  • The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. It is the second largest organ in the body; the largest is the skin, and it is the largest gland in the body
  • It is about the size of a football and weights around 3lbs 
  • It works hard and takes a lot of abuse; it is elastic but can only stretch so much. It is so important that it is the only organ in the body that can regenerate
  • It stores vitamins and nutrients for when we need them
  • It helps to break down food and converts it to energy 
  • A healthy liver is about 10% fat
  • The liver produces FGF21, which helps to maintain core body temperature during cold exposure 

Companion RidgeCrest Products: 

Supporting Supplements: 

  • Zinc
  • Glutamine
  • Glutathione 
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
  • Choline
  • Selenium 

 Related Blogs:

  

About the Author 

Shae Brackett L.M.T is our Customer Service Director and Social Media Manager and has been with RidgeCrest since 2016. Shae is the mastermind behind our exceptional customer experience, ensuring every call, email, and customer experience is handled with love and care. She guides the customer care team, is our culture caretaker, helping to facilitate our employee experience, and our online creative oracle for our Facebook, Instagram, blog, and meditations. She describes herself as creative, thoughtful, nature-loving, compassionate, and nurturing. Her favorite herbs are Ginger and Lavender, and she proudly recommends SereniZen® (formerly Anxiety Free), PhysiQOL™SinusClear®, and Belly Be Happy®

Learn more about our team here. 

 

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