More about our livers, their functions and how we can care for them. I've been using Milk Thistle extract for many years now for liver support. Full article here. http://energytimes.com/pages/features/0118/liver.html
The liver is located in the upper right abdomen, right below the diaphragm. It consists of two lobes, which in turn consist of thousands of lobules, each of which contains liver cells plus blood vessels and ducts for bile, which the liver creates to help break down fats during digestion.
The smaller bile ducts empty into the common hepatic duct, which meets up with the cystic duct from the gallbladder (a small sac under the liver that stores bile) to form the common bile duct, which empties into the small intestine.
The liver is a jack of all trades, performing hundreds of tasks. Among its main functions are:
> Processing, or metabolizing, everything you eat or drink. Bile not only breaks down dietary fats but allows the fat-soluble vitamins—A, D, E and K—to be absorbed. What’s more, the liver is the first organ nutrients encounter once they leave the digestive tract.
> Storing stuff. The liver stores glycogen, a ready source of energy. It also warehouses some vitamins along with iron, fat and amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
> Regulating cholesterol. It isn’t always evil: Your body actually needs cholesterol to create bile and things like cell membranes. In order to transport this waxy substance through the watery bloodstream, the liver makes cholesterol/protein packages, one called LDL (the type that under certain conditions can go “bad”) to deliver cholesterol to the body’s cells and another called HDL (the “good” type), which brings cholesterol back to the liver.
> Producing proteins. The liver makes proteins that help transport various other substances through the blood. One example is albumin, which carries thyroid and other hormones.
> Detoxifying harmful substances. It’s a poisonous world out there, and one of the liver’s most important jobs is protecting you from it. Noxious substances include environmental toxins and metabolism byproducts.