The liver carries out many functions and damage to it can affect every major organ in the body. Liver impairment can affect the body's ability to absorb life-enhancing vitamins and nutrients, prevent waste products from being effectively eliminated and reduces the production of proteins. When the liver is damaged, energy levels plummet,the blood loses its ability to clot, concentration becomes poor and heart and lung function deteriorate.
The broad functions of the liver include:
- Production of bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion
- Production of certain proteins for blood plasma
- Production of cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body
- Conversion of excess glucose into glycogen for storage (glycogen can later be converted back to glucose for energy)
- Regulation of blood levels of amino acids.
- Processing of hemoglobin for use of its iron content
- Conversion of poisonous ammonia to urea
- Clearing the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances
- Regulating blood clotting
- Resisting infections by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream