Let’s begin by finding your liver. Place your hand on the right-hand side of your abdomen, just below your diaphragm, behind your ribs, and there it is — the largest organ inside your body. It’s about the size of a rugby ball and weighs around 1.5 kilograms.

Every day your liver performs the following functions:

  • clears the blood of waste products, hormones, drugs and other toxins
  • breaks down hormones and old blood cells
  • makes, stores and releases sugars and fats
  • produces essential proteins, including blood-clotting factors and enzymes
  • aids digestion by releasing bile salts to break down food
  • stores and supplies vitamins, minerals and iron to parts of the body where needed.1

Your liver is also the only organ able to regenerate itself by creating new tissue. So it can still cope with doing all of these things even when it is mildly damaged, just not as efficiently.

What is hepatitis?


Page updated 28 August 2020