Skip to main content

Function of the Liver

The digestive system (including the liver)

A healthy liver does the following:

  • It regulates the composition of blood, including the amounts of glucose (sugar), protein, and fat that enter the bloodstream.
  • It removes bilirubin and other toxins from the blood. Bilirubin is a by-product of the breakdown of red blood cells.
  • It processes most of the nutrients absorbed by the intestines during digestion and converts those nutrients into forms that can be used by the body. The liver also stores some nutrients such as vitamin A, iron, and other minerals.
  • It makes cholesterol, vitamin A, substances that help blood clot, and certain proteins.

The picture shows the organs of the digestive system, including the liver.

Current as of: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
W. Thomas London MD - Hepatology

 
 

PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.