Liver: between bigger and more delicate

If it were a riddle, we would say: it is the largest organ of the body, but at the same time the most delicate, it is damaged more frequently than the others. If it fails to function, skin and eyes take a yellowish tone and is a producer of bile, what organ is spoken of? In effect, of the liver.

This is the largest glandular organ in the body; represents 2 to 5% of body weight. It is constituted by four lobes of different size and shape, and is located on the right side of the abdominal cavity, just below the diaphragm.

The liver performs many and important functions in the body: it synthesizes proteins, such as albumin, which allows several substances to be transported by the blood; elaborates large quantities of phospholipids, essential to build the membranes of cells; stores glucose in the form of glycogen that functions as a store of fuel and stores vitamins.

It produces bile, a substance that facilitates the absorption of fat contained in food; neutralizes and eliminates toxic substances that can be absorbed from the food, beverages and medicines that we ingest.

Although it is one of the most important filters in the body, this is one of the most frequently damaged organs. The common indicators of a problem in its functioning are weakness, appearance of a yellowish hue in skin and eyes, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.

Some viral infections, the alcoholism and the obesity , are the main causes of liver diseases .

Fortunately, the liver has an enormous reserve and regeneration capacity, and when it suffers moderate damage, its structure and function can recover. On the other hand, when the damage is persistent, extensive and severe, the gradual destruction of the liver cells and the accumulation of fibrous tissue cause their structure and function to be irreversibly altered.

However, the researcher Victoria Chagoya, of the Institute of Cellular Physiology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico , more than two decades ago he discovered that the substance called adenosine can recover liver function even when it is already damaged by cirrhosis . The finding allowed the creation of a drug that showed effectiveness in Mexican patients.

The prevention of viral infections and a healthy diet free of toxins is one of the simplest ways to keep this organ healthy, a central element for metabolism and detoxification of the body. A malfunction can be very serious and affect other organs, such as the kidney and the brain.

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