🧰 Functions of the liver

The liver performs hundreds of functions in the body such as detoxifying the blood, red blood cell homeostasis and hormone secretion. It is capable of regenerating its function but not its form, and processes the many biochemical reactions required for the whole body, acting as an assistant to digestion, processing carbohydrates, lipids and a central processor of proteins.



Red blood cells are recycled by the liver. The first stage is phagocytosis by specialised cells called Kupffer cells. These are macrophages. The bile canaliculus is a very narrow passage while the sinusoid is a type of capillary.



Red blood cells are engulfed by the macrophage through a vesicle which then fuses with a lysosome that contains the digestive enzymes required to break down the red blood cells.

Their contents are separated i.e. haemoglobin becomes heme and globin. Heme is further processed into iron and bilirubin.

The iron is transported to the bone marrow where it can go towards the…