Liver, largest internal organ of the human body. The liver, which is part of the digestive system, performs more than 500 different functions, all of which are essential to life. Its essential functions include helping the body to digest fats, storing reserves of nutrients, filtering poisons and wastes from the blood, synthesizing a variety of proteins, and regulating the levels of many chemicals found in the bloodstream. The liver is unique among the body’s vital organs in that it can regenerate, or grow back, cells that have been destroyed by some short-term injury or disease. But if the liver is damaged repeatedly over a long period of time, it may undergo irreversible changes that permanently interfere with function.
The largest internal organ in humans, the liver is also one of the most important. It has many functions, among them the synthesis of proteins, immune and clotting factors, and oxygen and fat-carrying substances. Its chief digestive function is the secretion of bile, a solution critical to fat emulsion and absorption. The liver also removes excess glucose from circulation and stores it until it is needed. It converts excess amino acids into useful forms and filters drugs and poisons from the bloodstream, neutralizing them and excreting them in bile. The liver has two main lobes, located just under the diaphragm on the right side of the body. It can lose 75 percent of its tissue (to disease or surgery) without ceasing to function.