Liver

Right lobe-

Left lobe

Right lobe-

Left lobe

Falciform ligament

Gall bladder

Falciform ligament

Gall bladder

Fig 11.7 The liver

The liver is the largest gland in the body and is situated in the upper right-hand side of the abdominal cavity under the diaphragm. It has a soft reddish-brown colour and four lobes. Its internal structure is made up of cells called hepatocytes. The liver receives oxygenated blood from the hepatic artery and deoxygenated blood from the hepatic portal vein. Blood from the digestive tract, which is carried in the portal veins, brings newly absorbed nutrients into the sinusoids and nourishes the liver cells.

The liver is a vital organ and, therefore, has many important functions in the metabolism of food. It regulates the nutrients absorbed from the small intestine to make them suitable for use in the body's tissues.

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