The liver or liver is the largest dense organ and the largest gland in the human body. The liver lies just below the diaphragm on the right side of the body and has a number of important roles.
Classified as part of the digestive system, the role of the heart includes detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of chemicals necessary for digestion.
This article will explain some important points about the heart including its main role, how the heart regenerates, what happens when the liver is not functioning properly, and how to keep it healthy.
Some interesting facts about the heart:
- The liver is classified as a gland.
- The liver performs more than 500 roles in the human body.
- The only organ that can regenerate.
- It is the largest solid organ in the body.
- Carbohydrates are broken down and stored as glycogen in the liver.
- One of its important tasks is to remove toxins from the body.
- Alcohol is one of the main causes of liver function disruption.
- Yellow fever and malaria affect the liver.
- Albumin is produced in the liver and helps prevent blood vessels from occurring ‘leaks’.
- The Structure of the Heart
- The liver has a reddish-brown color with a chewy texture, located above and to the left of the abdomen and below the lungs. It weighs between 1.44 and 1.66 kg. Only the skin is the only organ that is heavier and bigger. The liver is more or less triangular and consists of two lobes, a larger right lobe and a smaller left lobe.
Unlike most organs, the liver has two main sources of blood. First is the portal vein that carries the nutrient-rich blood from the intestine and spleen to the liver. Second, the hepatic artery carries oxygenated blood from the heart.
As mentioned earlier, that the heart has an important role for the body, including:
- Production of bile
Bile helps the small intestine to break down and absorb fat, cholesterol, and some vitamins. Bile consists of bile salts, cholesterol, bilirubin, electrolytes, and water.
- Absorb and metabolize bilirubin
Bilirubin is formed by the breakdown of hemoglobin. The iron released from hemoglobin will be stored in the liver or bone, and used to make the next generation of blood cells.
- Helps create blood clotting factors (anticoagulants)
Vitamin K is needed to make certain coagulants, and to absorb vitamin K, bile is very important. Bile is made in the liver. If the liver is not producing enough bile, then clotting factors can not be produced.
- Fat metabolization
The bile breaks down the fat to make it more digestible.
- Metabolizes carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are stored in the liver where carbohydrates are broken into glucose and sucked into the bloodstream to maintain normal glucose levels. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen and released whenever a rapid burst of energy is needed.
- Store vitamins and minerals
The liver stores vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12. The liver keeps some of these vitamins stored. The iron from hemoglobin in the form of ferritin is stored in the liver, ready to make new red blood cells. The liver also stores copper and releases it when needed.
- Helps metabolize proteins
Bile helps break down proteins to make them easily digested.
- Filter the blood
The liver filters and removes compounds from the body, including hormones such as estrogen and aldosterone, and external compounds such as alcohol and other drugs.
- Immunology Function
The liver is part of the mononuclear phagocyte system that contains a large number of immunologically active cells called the kupffer cells; these cells destroy pathogens that enter the liver through the gut.
- Albumin Production
Albumin is the most common protein in blood serum. Albumin transports fatty acids and steroid hormones to help maintain the correct osmotic pressure and prevent ‘leakage’ from blood vessels.
- Synthesis of Angiotensinogen
This hormone increases blood pressure through vasoconstriction when ‘warned’ through the production of renin (an enzyme produced in the kidneys, helps control blood pressure).
Because of the importance of the heart and its function, evolution has ensured that if given the chance to fight, the heart can grow back very quickly. This ability is seen in all vertebrates, from fish to humans. The liver is the only visceral organ with the ability to regenerate.
The liver can regenerate completely for at least 25% of the fixed network. One of the most impressive aspects of this ability is that regrow to previous size and capability can be achieved without losing its function.
In mice, if two-thirds of the liver is removed, within 5-7 days the remaining liver tissue can grow back to its original size. In humans, this process takes a little longer, but usually can occur within 8-15 days. Over the next few weeks, the new liver tissue will be rearranged to become indistinguishable from the original tissue.
This regeneration is assisted by a number of compounds including growth factors as well as cytokines. Some important compounds in this process appear to be growth factors of hepatocytes, insulin, alpha-growth factor growth, epidermal growth factor, interleukin-6, and norepinephrine.
With organ as complex as heart, there are many problems that may occur. Just like other body organs, the heart works magically. And if it does not work well anymore, then the consequences can be a big problem. Some examples of diseases of the liver:
Caused by a parasitic invasion of the liver worm of the genus Fasciola. Fascioliasis is a tropical disease; worms can fall asleep in the heart for months or years.
Fibrous tissue replaces liver cells (fibrosis). This condition can be caused by a number of factors, including toxins, alcohol and hepatitis. Fibrosis can cause liver failure as the function of the liver cells has been destroyed.
Caused by viruses, toxins, or autoimmune responses. Hepatitis is treated with liver inflammation. In many cases, the liver can heal itself, but the worst scenario is liver failure.
- Alcoholic liver disease
Excessive consumption of alcohol over a long period of time can cause liver damage – scarring and cirrhosis. This is the most common cause of liver disease especially in western countries.
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)
PSC is a serious inflammatory disease of the bile ducts. The cause is not yet known, but is thought to be the result of an autoimmune response. In addition, no medical therapy has so far been proven to overcome this disease.
- Fatty liver disease (fatty liver disease)
Usually along with obesity or alcohol abuse, triglyceride fat vacuoles accumulate in the liver cells. This condition is reversible and does not seem to cause too much painful effect.
- Gilbert’s syndrome
Genetic disorders affecting 3-12% of the population. Bilirubin can not be broken down well enough. Mild jaundice may occur, but the disorder is not dangerous.
- Heart cancer
The most common forms are hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma. The main causes of liver cancer are alcohol and hepatitis. One of the most common forms of cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths.
Maintain good health
Here are some recommendations to help keep your heart healthy working properly:
- Keep your food intake well
Because the liver is responsible for digesting fat, the excess lipid can make it work too hard and disturb it to do other tasks. In addition, obesity can also lead to fatty liver disease. Therefore, keep the pattern of food intake well.
- Avoiding alcohol
Avoid alcohol as much as possible. Consuming alcohol moreover in large quantities can cause cirrhosis of the liver. The breakdown of alcohol can produce toxic chemicals for the liver, such as acetaldehyde and free radicals.
- Beware of chemicals
If you frequently deal with chemicals present in cleaning products, carpentry, etc., you should use a mask, gloves, long sleeves, and hats. If working indoors, make sure the room is well ventilated. This is because the liver has the potential to deal with toxins that enter the body related to the chemicals around you.
If you are at a high risk of contracting hepatitis or you have been infected with any form of viral hepatitis, consult your doctor, if necessary ask if you should get hepatitis A vaccine and hepatitis B.
- Use medicine wisely
Consumption of drugs only when needed only, in accordance with the recommended dosage or doctor’s advice. Do not mix drugs, including mixing of herbal supplements, prescription drugs, or over-the-counter medicines.