Liver is the largest gland of the human body.Liver is mainly considered as the digestive gland, but it performs various other functions in the body. Liver is mainly important for the conduction of the metabolic activities, and hence it is popularly known as the biggest chemical laboratory of the body. Liver is situated in the right side of the upper abdomen and most of it is covered by the mesenteryor the peritoneal membrane.
Liver is usually reddish brown in color and its normal state however the color might change if a person is in an advanced stage of liver cirrhosis. Although the liver is divisible into the larger right lobe and much smaller left lobe, the interior surface of the right lobe has a slate blue colored piriform sac, called the gallbladder. Gallbladder effectively stores and modifies the bile secreted by the liver. From the liver originate the right and left hepatic ducts, from the corresponding lobes of the liver and they unite to form the common hepatic duct. The latter in turn joints with the cystic duct coming from the gallbladder and forms the common bile duct. The pancreatic duct then assimilates with the common bile duct and finally opens into the duodenum through the ampulla of vater.
On the interior surface of liver there is a deep fissure called the porta hepatic, through which the hepatic artery, nerves and the portal vein enter into the liver and the right and left hepatic duct and lymph vessels emerge. If you come to India for medical tourism, you will get the best doctor for liver cirrhosis treatment. As a digestive gland, the liver secretes bile. This juice does not contain any digestive enzyme, but it is very important for digestion and absorption of fat.The liver also excretes certain materials through the bile and henceit is considered as a secretion as well as excretion of liver. The heat produced by the metabolic activities of the liver also helps in maintaining the body temperature of a normal human being. The liver is also the place where plasma protein formation takes place. It is the site of erythropoiesis in fetus, and here the degradation of old and defunct red blood cells occur.
The liver also functions as a reservoir of blood. It produces an anticoagulant called the heparin which prevents the intravascular clotting of blood. Liver functions as the store house of different kinds of food stuffs such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals and also takes an active part in the metabolism of the same. The food materials which are absorbed from the intestine and first of all carried to the liver by the hepatic portal vein. The liver chooses them and stores them effectively, and releases them into the general circulation according to their needs, into the body from time to time.
This is why the liver is rightly referred to as the metabolic buffer of the body.It also helps in to inactivate the hormones after their target action is over.Thisis however known as the metabolic degradation.