The Liver

The liver is located beside the abdomen and is found under the ribcage.

The liver is the largest organ in your body and when you grow up, your liver is the same size as a football.

The liver has many different functions for the body such as cleaning the blood from impurities, producing bile that helps with digesting food and storing glycogen, a form of sugar, that helps to give the body energy.

Removing Toxins

The liver helps to clean the blood by taking toxins and other substances that are harmful to the body out.

When the body breaks down certain things in the body, it sometimes causes there to be toxins that are released, and these are the things that the liver cleans and gets rid of.

The liver also helps to clean blood that has more vitamins and minerals that are needed.

The body stores vitamins and minerals when it eats and sometimes during digestion, these nutrients pass into the blood.

The blood then goes to the liver and the liver takes the nutrient rich blood and processes it for other parts of the body so that the body can use what is needed to be healthy.

Removing Waste

The liver takes the waste, and other stuff that the body does not need, and it is carried back into the intestine by the bile that is found in the liver.

This waste leaves the body as solid waste when we go to the bathroom.

The other waste is filtered back through the blood to the kidneys and the waste leaves the body as a liquid when you go to the bathroom and the liquid waste is called urine.

Protection from Poison

If you accidently eat something that could be harmful to your body, the liver helps to break this down, but not all poisons can be filtered by the liver, so be careful what you eat.

Food Digestion

When the body digests food, the body uses the food for the body. Things such as carbohydrates, sugars and fats stay in the body during digestion.

Liver Bile

Bile, which is made by the liver, helps to absorb things into the blood stream, such as fat.

The bile is stored in the gallbladder until it is needed to digest fats and it is a thick and greenish-yellow substance.

How Does the Liver Help with Digestion?

Another function of the liver is to help the body use other food that is digested in the body.

Carbohydrates, for example, are found in many of the foods we eat such as breads, cereal, fruit and milk.

Glycogen and Glucose

These carbs, when broken down, turn into a sugar called glucose. The glucose is stored in the liver and it is called glycogen.

Glycogen is needed to give your body energy. When a person has glycogen in their liver, it can give them a quick energy boost.

When a person’s blood glucose level drops, the liver uses the glycogen and breaks it down and releases some of the glucose into the blood stream.

Facts About the Liver

  • The liver helps to make cholesterol.
  • Even though cholesterol can be bad for the body, the body does need some to be healthy.
  • The liver helps to clot blood and it helps you to stop bleeding if you have been cut.
  • When you take medicine, the liver helps to break down the active ingredients to make the medicine work faster.
  • Damage to the liver is caused by drinking alcohol.
  • Being overweight can cause the liver to be damaged.
  • Eating healthy can help to keep your liver healthy.

What Did You Learn?

  • What is the largest organ in your body? The liver is the largest organ in the body and can grow to the size of a football.
  • What is the thick, greenish-yellow liquid that the liver makes? Bile is the thick, greenish-yellow liquid that the liver makes, and this helps to break down fats.
  • What does the liver do with toxins in the body? The liver breaks down the toxins and cleans out the blood.
  • What is the form of sugar that is stored in the liver called? The sugar that is stored in the liver is called the glycogen.
  • What is the form of sugar called that is in the blood stream? The blood stream has the glucose which is a form of sugar in the blood.
  • Can all things be broken down by the liver? The liver plays a huge role in breaking down substances that are bad for your body, but not all poisons can be filtered through the liver and can be deadly.
  • What function does the liver play with the skin? The liver helps to clot blood when the skin is cut so that the bleeding stops quickly.