The Liver

Transcript

Dr. Mansfield
The liver is a solid organ that filters blood and helps break down fats in the digestive system. Dr. Malone, can you tell us about the liver?

Dr. Malone
Definitely, Dr. Mansfield. The liver, which sits on the upper right side of the abdomen behind the ribcage, is the largest internal organ in the body. It is divided into two sections, called the right and left lobes.

The liver filters blood coming from the digestive tract before the blood flows back to the heart to be pumped to the rest of the body. It also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs.

The digestive juice secreted by the liver and sent to the small intestine is called bile. The bile mixes with the fat in food and dissolves it, similar to the way detergents dissolve grease from a frying pan. Enzymes from the intestine and pancreas can then digest the fat molecules. Bile can be temporarily stored in the gallbladder if it isn't needed right away for digestion.