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The Digestive Function Of The Liver Is To

The Digestive Function Of The Liver Is To

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Liver And Pancreas Disorders: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Liver, the largest gland in the body, a spongy mass of wedge-shaped lobes that has many metabolic and secretory functions. The liver secretes bile, a soluble liquid; metabolizes proteins, fats and carbohydrates; stores glycogen, vitamins, and other substances; combines the components of the blood; removes waste and toxic substances from the blood; regulates blood pressure; and destroys old red blood cells.

Liver tissue consists of a collection of cells that are permeated with bile ducts and blood vessels. Liver cells make up about 60 percent of tissue and perform more metabolic functions than any other group of cells in the body. A second group of cells, called Kupffer cells, line the smallest channels of the liver’s hepatocyte system and play a role in blood formation, bacterial production, and the uptake of foreign particles and cellular debris.

Every day the liver secretes about 800 to 1,000 ml (about 1 quart) of bile, which contains bile salts needed to digest fats in food. Bile is also a medium for excreting some waste products, drugs, and toxins. From the liver, the duct system carries bile to the common bile duct, which flows into the duodenum of the small intestine and which connects to the gallbladder, where it is collected and stored. The presence of fat in the duodenum stimulates the flow of bile from the gallbladder into the small intestine. The red blood cells (which are not active) are destroyed in the liver, spleen, and marrow. Another pigment, bilirubin, which is found in the work of hemoglobin, appears in the bile, causing its characteristic orange-green color, and is excreted from the body through the intestines.

Liver cells synthesize a number of enzymes. As blood flows through the liver, both from the portal vein and from the hepatic veins, cells and enzymes are filtered. Nutrients entering the liver from the intestines are converted into forms that the body can use or stored for future use. Fats are converted into fatty acids and then converted into carbohydrates or ketone bodies and carried by the blood to the tissues of the body, where they are further digested. Sugar is converted to glycogen, which remains in the liver until it is needed for energy; it is then converted into glucose and released into the blood. The liver manufactures blood-forming proteins, including albumin and other blood-binding factors, and delivers them to the bloodstream. The liver also regulates nitrogenous waste products that destroy toxic substances, preparing them for elimination in the urine or feces.

Digestive System Information And Facts

Liver cells, or hepatocytes, have direct access to liver blood through small capillaries called sinusoids. Hepatocytes perform many metabolic functions, including the production of bile. Kupffer’s cells include the hepatic system of the liver; they play a role in blood formation and destruction of cellular debris.

A common symptom of liver dysfunction is jaundice, a yellow color of the eyes and skin that results from excess bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice can be caused by a high level of destruction of blood cells (hemolytic jaundice), impaired absorption of bilirubin by liver cells (hepatocellular jaundice), or blockage in the bile duct system (obstructive jaundice). Liver dysfunction can lead to liver cirrhosis, tumors, blood vessel blockages, or poisoning. Symptoms may include weakness, low blood pressure, lightheadedness and bleeding, tremors, and fluid retention. Blood tests can show abnormal levels of bilirubin, cholesterol, blood proteins, urea, ammonia, and various enzymes. A definitive diagnosis of a liver problem can be established by performing a needle biopsy.

The liver suffers from various diseases and ailments. Acute appendicitis can cause acute appendicitis; those that occur in the bile ducts may be caused by gallstones or may follow surgery. The virus that causes amebic dysentery in tropical areas can also cause inflammation of the liver. Other different bacteria that spread in different parts of the world also infect the liver. Liver cancer is common, occurring mostly as tumors that originate elsewhere in the body. Glycogen storage diseases, a group of hereditary diseases, cause accumulation of glycogen in the liver and low supply of glucose in the blood. Some drugs can damage the liver, causing jaundice. Did you know that melting is a north to south process? It starts in your brain and ends in your butt. Digestion requires two basic functions that include the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food: to reduce food into the smallest possible particles so that the body can absorb nutrients more easily and efficiently. These nutrients are essential for every function in your body and every cell, organ and system uses it for fuel and energy!

The Digestive Function Of The Liver Is To

It is amazing that just the sight and smell of food wakes up and activates our salivary glands so that they start producing today. Saliva is the key to all types of digestion because it contains water and digestive enzymes. Solutes are enzymes, and in this case, amylase that helps break down carbohydrates. All this happens before we finish chewing. When we say something is good in mouth, this is why!

Pancreatitis & Alcohol: Alcohol’s Effect On The Pancreas

The mouth is the entrance to the digestive system and where all nutrients are absorbed. With the physical activity of chewing, there is a chemical (enzymatic) breakdown of food here and this creates a bolus (a ball of chewed food).

As we swallow, the bolus enters the esophagus, ready to enter the stomach. It goes down to a young valve, which is called the cardiac sphincter. When everything is working and happy in the digestive system, this little valve will open (and close when it needs to) to allow the bolus to enter the stomach and prevent it from coming back.

Once the bolus reaches the stomach, it mixes with gastric juice and forms chyme (from the Greek khūmos “juice”). If digestion is working properly, the stomach secretes gastric juice from millions of small glands in the mucosal lining. This is where a healthy digestive system will produce HCl (hydrochloric acid) and pepsin. Unfortunately, most of us are unbalanced and lack these important digestive enzymes. Without stomach acid levels, chyme cannot break down to the point where it is released into the small intestine. Food remains in the stomach where it can cause acid reflux, H. pylori, GERD and other digestive problems.

Once the stomach completes its job of breaking down the bolus into chyme, it causes a valve at the bottom of the stomach to open, allowing the chyme to enter the chamber known as the duodenum. The duodenum is the first and shortest part of the small intestine that receives chyme from the stomach and plays an important role in the chemical digestion of chyme in preparation for absorption in the small intestine. It is in the duodenum where the acidic chyme is “cold” and further broken down by bile and pancreatic juice. This is necessary for emulsification and absorption of oil.

What Does The Liver Do?

Note: The liver, gallbladder and pancreas are called the biliary tract. Food particles do not pass directly through the biliary tract. Instead, bile (produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder) along with digestive juices, enzymes and bicarbonate (produced by the pancreas) enters the digestive system through ducts in the duodenum. In other words, while the liver, gallbladder and pancreas do not “digest food,” they are important to the entire digestion (as are the valves/sphincters (small gates).

The largest organ in the body, the liver has over 500 functions including making bile and filtering toxins. Bile is a fluid that helps break down fat and flush out toxins that the liver filters from the body. Bile also lubricates the intestines and prevents constipation. Without good bile, the body cannot absorb fats and vitamins A, D, E and K properly.

Gallbladder gland stores the bile produced by the liver. When fat is consumed, the gallbladder causes the release of bile into the duodenum, where it combines with pancreatic juice to break down food into molecules that can be absorbed into the small intestine.

The Digestive Function Of The Liver Is To

Pancreatic gland is the one that produces digestive juice, a mixture that includes bicarbonate and pancreatic enzymes that further digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates. When the bile from the gallbladder breaks down the fat into other small cells, the digestive lipase enzymes from the pancreas can further break down the fat for absorption in the stomach.

Digestive Glands In Human Digestive System, Their Secretions And Functions

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