Your liver is one of the largest internal organs of the human body, making up around 2% of your body weight1. It helps with digestion and metabolism and is thus connected to the endocrine and gastrointestinal systems.
The liver is involved in the following functions1:
- Production of bile, which digests and absorbs fats and helps eliminate waste products
- Storage of glucose
- Storage of fat-soluble vitamins
- Storage of iron and copper
- Regulation of cholesterol
- Metabolism and detoxification from drugs
- Sex hormone metabolism
- Production of plasma proteins, such as albumin, protein C, protein S and clotting factors
Liver function tests are used to see how well your liver is working and to what degree its cells are damaged1. Cirrhosis is one of the diseases that can affect the liver. It’s caused by excessive drinking or by the hepatitis B and C viruses1.
Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin, can be a sign of liver disease. Tumors such as hepatocellular carcinoma can also affect the liver1.