Journey Through The GI Tract PART 6: The Liver

December 23, 2023
Welcome to our ‘My GI Tract’ series. We continue our journey along the digestive tract and learn how the liver aids our digestion.
Here’s a quick recap. The digestive process begins in the mouth. It receives the food and breaks it up into small, easy-to-swallow pieces. Enzymes from the saliva break down any starch and the food passes into a long tube called the oesophagus. It carries the food bolus along its length, and contracts (peristalsis) to move food down towards the stomach. The enzymes and acids in the stomach continue the process of breaking down food, before they are released into the small intestine. The small intestine receives food from the stomach and continues to break down the food while absorbing the majority of its nutrients. In the upper section of your small intestine (duodenum), digestion continues as chyme from the stomach mixes with a variety of digestive juices from your pancreas, liver and gallbladder.
Your Liver 
The liver, one of the largest organs in your body and responsible for over 500 functions, is the essential filtration system that breaks down harmful substances in your blood as well as processing key nutrients. This organ helps filter toxins from the blood and produces bile, a solution that helps you digest fats. It’s located just beneath your rib cage on the right side of your body. If you could feel it, it would be rubbery to the touch.
Did you know that your liver is the only organ that can completely regenerate? 
The Liver’s Role in Digestion 
You liver’s primary job within the digestive system is to process the nutrients absorbed from the small intestine. Bile from the liver secreted into the small intestine also plays an important role in digesting fat and some vitamins.
The liver filters anything that is eaten or consumed, whether it’s food, alcohol, medication or toxins. Essentially, the liver is the body’s chemical factory. It takes the raw materials absorbed by the intestine and created the necessary chemicals your body needs to function. It also creates albumin, a blood protein that transports hormones, drugs and fatty acids through the body.
In addition to its role as a chemical factory, the liver is also a fat factory. When fats are consumed, the liver breaks them down. It also creates bile, which converts excess carbohydrates and proteins and stores them for later use. Bile is highly important for digestion as it helps the body absorb fat into the bloodstream and helps to carry unusable waste products and toxins out of the body through the stool.
A healthy liver = good health 
The liver also breaks down toxic substances like alcohol, drugs and medicines. It removes them by excreting waste into the blood, which is then cleansed by the kidneys and removed from the body through the urine.
Your liver is one of the most powerful organs in your body. Love your liver! Tune in next time, as we explore just how important our gallbladder is for our digestion.
liver cleanse improves the liver’s capacity to remove toxins from your body. This means that you restore your natural defence system so that you can fight virus, infection, inflammation and disease. To find out about liver cleanses and to book your appointment, get in touch with us now.
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