The liver function

La función del hígado
The liver function

The liver is a complex organ, but it is necessary to know its function within our body in order to take the required care and avoid suffering from liver diseases that affect our health and lifestyle.

The liver is located under the diaphragm and crosses the abdominal cavity longitudinally. It weighs between 1.4 and 1.6 kilograms and measures about 10 centimeters. This can vary according to the age and anatomy of the people.

This organ is formed by a left lobe and a right lobe. The gallbladder is located at the level of the right lobe and acts as a reservoir for bile.

In turn, it receives blood by two different routes: the hepatic artery, which supplies the blood coming from the heart, and the portal vein, which transports the blood sent from the intestine. The hepatic veins are responsible for ensuring the evacuation of the blood.

What is the function of the liver?

The liver, which is the largest organ in the human body, performs three vital functions that are indispensable to our organism: detoxification, synthesis and storage.

  • Detoxification: it acts as a real filter that collects and eliminates numerous toxins. These can be toxins naturally present in the waste produced by our body, such as ammonia, or toxins that we ingest, such as alcohol.
  • Synthesis: it is responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, secreting bile, an essential element for our digestion. It also prevents hemorrhages through a coagulation process.
  • Storage: it is a container of vitamins (A, D, E, E, K) and glycogen (carbohydrates). It stores energy in the form of sugar, it is made available to our organization.

Liver disorders

Liver disorders can occur as a result of various noxae, such as infections, drugs, toxins, ischemia and autoimmune disorders.

Occasionally, liver disorders develop after surgery. Most liver diseases cause some degree of hepatocellular injury and necrosis, resulting in various alterations in laboratory tests and sometimes symptoms.

To avoid suffering from liver disease and to ensure that this important organ constantly performs its function without problems, it is necessary to lead an appropriate and balanced lifestyle. Our body will thank us for it! 

Oriana Arenas, redacción

Pasante de contenidos Fundahígado América

Eugenia Jiménez Alvaréz, revisión

Asistente a la coordinación Fundahígado América

Licenciada en Ciencias Biomédicas

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Génesis is 3 years old and was born in Costa Rica with a congenital liver disease.


Elías is a young adolescent with an advanced liver disease.


Jin received a segment of his father´s liver in May 2015.