Published On: Wed, Aug 4th, 2010

Facts About Your Liver and Gallbladder – Ten Functions

facts-about-liver-functions

SOURCE: (Tortora, Gerard & Grabowski, Sandra Principles of Anatomy and Physiology NY:Harper Collins 1996, 777-782)

Your liver is the heaviest gland of your body (about 3 lb) and the second largest organ after your skin.  The liver  lies on the right side of your body, just below the diaphragm. It has two main lobes, a large right lobe and a smaller left lobe.  Your liver performs many vital functions for your survival.  Here are 9 main functions:

  1. Carbohydrate Metabolism: Especially important in maintaining blood glucose levels.
  2. Lipid Metabolism: stores, breaks down and regulates the transportation of fats, including synthesizing cholesterol and using it to make bile salts.
  3. Protein Metabolism. Without the role of the liver in this capacity, death would occur in a few days.
  4. Removal of drugs and hormones. It can detoxify substances such as alcohol or remove drugs such as penicillin.
  5. Liver can alter or excrete thyroid hormones and steroid hormones such as estrogen or aldosterone.
  6. Excretion of bilirubin. Bilirubin is derived from the heme of worn out red blood cells and is absorbed by the liver from the blood and secreted into the bile to be removed through the intestines.  If not removed this gives the person jaundice, and their skin turns yellow.
  7. Synthesis of bile salts. Bile salts are used in the small intestine for synthesizing fats.
  8. Storage. In addition to glycogen, the liver stores Vitamins A, B12, D, E and K and minerals (iron and copper) and releases them when needed.
  9. Phagocytosis: the process by which worn-out red and white blood cells and some bacteria is removed from the body.
  10. Activation of Vitamin D.

 

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac about 3-4 inches long, that hangs from the liver.  Its function is to store and concentrate bile (up to 10-fold) until it is needed by the small intestine to help digest fats and proteins.  Bile is partially an excretory product and partially a digestive secretion.

Estrogen is removed from the liver through bile and then removed in the stool via the colon in the digestive elimination process.

Steve Austin N.D. & Cathy Hitchcock, M.S.W., in their book Breast Cancer : What You Should Know (But May Not Be Told) About Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment 1994 (p.190-191) describe a study at the University of CA in San Francisco linking precancerous breast cancer and constipation.  The researchers suggest that a carcinogenic substance might be lurking in the stool that can be absorbed through the intestine if the stool stays in the intestine for a long-time.  They suggest that perhaps that substance is estrogen.  This supports the theory that colonics,  enemas, cleansing diets or liver flushes and parasite cleanses, can assist the body to overcome estrogen positive breast cancer.

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