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The importance of liver function for the body

Some healthy people may not be aware of what the liver or liver functions for the overall health of the body. Some liver functions include destroying toxins in the blood, producing proteins, and helping the digestive process. If the liver has been sick, then they realize the importance of this organ.

Don't wait until the sick liver just realizes how important this organ is. The liver has many vital functions in maintaining survival.

The liver or liver is the largest gland in the body. In adults, the average heart weight is 1.4 kilograms. This brown-red organ is located in the right upper abdominal cavity, just below the diaphragm and on the right side of the stomach. Normally, you cannot feel this organ because it is protected by the ribs. Under the liver, there is a gallbladder and a portion of the pancreas and intestine.

Understanding the Various Functions of the Heart for the Body

Here are some liver functions:

  • Destroys old red blood cells. This process will make the stool brown. However, if the stools are pale or even white, or the color of the urine becomes darker, it can be a sign of a problem in the liver, such as hepatitis caused by a virus. In addition, the eyes and skin that become yellowish or known by the public as jaundice can also indicate a problem in this organ. This condition can be caused by accumulation of bilirubin or the result of remaining hemoglobin decomposition. Hemoglobin is a compound in red blood cells that arises when red blood cells are described.
  • Cleanses blood from harmful compounds, such as poisons, drugs, and alcohol.
  • Helps metabolize proteins by converting ammonia to urea, which is released with urine by the kidneys.
  • Save energy for the body in the form of glycogen and convert it to glucose when blood glucose levels are low.
  • Store folic acid, iron, and some vitamins, such as vitamins A, B12, D, and K.
  • Producing cholesterol and triglycerides, and carbohydrate proteins so that they can be drained in the blood.
  • Producing proteins, such as albumin, which helps maintain fluids in the body's circulatory system. Proteins that act as blood clotting factors and the immune system are also produced by the liver.
  • Producing hormones, such as growth hormone in children.
  • Producing bile, which is responsible for helping digestion of food.

Examination or Test of Liver Function

To monitor the condition of the liver or liver it is necessary to examine liver function or also called liver function testing. The point is to detect the potential for liver disease, such as hepatitis, fatty liver, cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver damage caused by consumption of alcoholic beverages and certain drugs. In addition, if you experience symptoms of jaundice, liver function testing also needs to be done to help diagnose whether these symptoms are caused by liver disease.

Various functions carried out by the liver make various chemical compounds produced and circulating in the bloodstream. Therefore, liver function tests can be done by taking blood samples to examine the chemical compounds. The pattern of blood tests can help determine which compounds are excessive or reduced, causing problems. Here are some compounds that are usually measured in liver function tests:

Alanine Transaminase (ALT)

ALT has another name for the Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase (SGPT) Serum. This is a useful enzyme that helps process protein. Levels of this compound will be high when the liver is injured or inflamed, as in hepatitis.

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)

Also called Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase (SGOT) Serum. This is also an enzyme that is in the liver. If the level is high it usually describes the existence of a problem in the liver.

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)

This is an enzyme that forms in the liver and bones. In patients with bone disease or some types of liver and bile duct disease, the level of alkaline phosphatase compounds in the blood will be high.

Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)

It is an enzyme produced by the liver, but can also be found in other organs such as the kidneys, pancreas, heart and brain. A Gamma GT examination along with other liver function test components is performed to assess whether there is a disruption in the bile duct or liver.


This is the main protein produced by the liver and enters the blood circulation. Low albumin levels can indicate several types of liver problems or can also be caused by a condition of malnutrition.


Bilirubin is a compound made from hemoglobin. This compound gives a yellowish or greenish color to the bile. High levels of bilirubin in the blood cause jaundice.

The type of bilirubin examined in liver function tests includes unconjugated bilirubin, conjugated bilirubin, and total bilirubin.


Measurements for all proteins in the blood. The type of protein examined includes total protein, albumin, and immune factors.

In addition to liver function tests that measure the above compounds, other tests may be needed to help confirm the diagnosis or monitor problems in the liver. Other tests also take blood samples, but those that are measured are different, namely blood clotting tests and immunological tests to detect the presence of viruses or antibodies. If needed, the doctor may also suggest a liver ultrasound examination.

To keep liver function in a fit condition, apply a healthy and balanced diet, and prioritize vegetables and fruits. The intake of protein needed can be obtained from lean meat or skin, beans and legumes. Limit fat intake to a maximum of 20 percent of the total consumption of all foods. Last but not least, don't forget to exercise regularly. If there are complaints related to liver function disorders, you can consult a specialist in internal medicine.



1. US National Library of Medicine PubMed Health (2016). How does the liver work?

2. Lowth, M. Patient (2017). Abnormal Liver Function Tests.

3. Lab Test Online (2018). Liver Panel.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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