8 Cool Things You Probably Didn't Know About Your Liver. It's Bigger Than Your Brain!

TIL man!

Cover image via Hawaii Pacific Health

1. Your liver is actually bigger than your brain!

It sounds crazy but it’s true, your liver is the second largest organ in your body! The skin is your largest organ and the brain comes in at third largest. As an adult, your liver weighs between 1.3kg and 1.8kg.

2. The liver is the only organ that is self-regenerating - like a starfish or cicak tail

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That’s what makes liver transplants possible. When someone donates part of their liver, both the donated part and the part left behind are able to regrow themselves into a complete, fully-functioning liver. The liver can do this even if only 25% of it is left working.

3. It plays a double role by functioning as both an organ and a gland

When asked, most people would probably categorise the liver as an organ but many may not know that the liver is also considered a gland. This is because it both performs important bodily functions that are essential to your survival (making it an organ) as well as secretes chemicals that are used by other parts of the body (making it a gland).

4. Most nutrients and medication you consume wouldn't do much good without your liver

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You know how we're always told to eat healthy to make sure that we're consuming enough important vitamins and minerals? Turns out that without our livers, there wouldn't be much of a point in doing so.

When the food we eat goes through the digestion process, nutrients are absorbed by our intestines. But it's the liver that not only converts these nutrients into forms that our body can use, but also to store some of these nutrients such as vitamin A and iron until they need to be used.

5. The liver has an effect on the colour of your poop

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One of the processes that takes place in the liver is the destruction of old red blood cells. This produces waste which is what gives poop its characteristic brown colour. So if your poop is ever a colour other than brown or if your urine is a darker colour than usual, it could be a warning sign that something is wrong with your liver.

6. Your liver is literally a body-guard - it prevents your body from poisoning itself

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As we go about our days, there are a multitude of ways that toxins can get into our bloodstream, including via food and drink or simply by breathing. The liver makes sure that your blood is cleansed by removing all these toxins.

Some natural process in our bodies actually result in the production of poisonous by-products such as ammonia. They can cause some serious damage if left to run rampant in our bodies so it's the liver's job to filter and get them out of us. It does this by converting the harmful substances into urea, and sending it to our kidneys via the bloodstream, to eventually be disposed of when we pee.

7. If you get ‘Asian flush’ when you drink alcohol, you’re missing an important liver enzyme

Contrary to popular belief, the typical Asian phenomenon of turning bright red after having an alcoholic drink, doesn’t have anything to do with having a strong energy flow or good blood circulation. It’s actually caused by a deficiency/inactivity of an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) which aids in metabolising alcohol in the liver.

8. You literally cannot live without your liver

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Your liver is one of the busiest and most important organs - it performs over 500 different vital bodily functions! Here are some of the things it does:

- Fighting off infections
- Neutralising toxins
- Helping to clot blood
- Controls your blood glucose level
- Breaking proteins down into amino acids
- Producing cholesterol
- Produces bile
- Produces its own protein

Knowing how important our liver is, it only makes sense to take good care of it

Besides living a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, limiting your alcohol intake, and going for regular medical checkups, you can also take supplements to give your liver some support.

Keep your liver healthy and strong with Essentiale. It contains Essential Phospholipids (EPLs), which are the building blocks of liver cells that help to repair and protect your liver, in order to support its vital functions.

Essentiale contains 300 mg of EPLs. EPLs has been shown to help repair damaged liver cell membranes and restore normal cell function.

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