Let’s begin by finding your liver. Place your hand on the right-hand side of your stomach and over your ribs. There it is. It's the largest organ inside your body. It’s about the size of a rugby ball, wedge-shaped and weighs around 1.5 kilograms.

Your liver is important for keeping your body healthy. It makes chemicals in the body and breaks them down, helps us digest food and gives us energy. 

Every day your liver:

  • clears the blood of waste products, drugs and other toxins
  • makes and breaks down hormones
  • breaks down old or damaged red blood cells
  • stores extra glucose (sugar) so that the body can use it later
  • makes cholesterol which we need to make some hormones
  • makes most of the body’s proteins, including enzymes (proteins which speed up chemical reactions in the body)
  • helps the body digest some fats and vitamins
  • stores and releases iron 

Your liver is one of the few organs able to regenerate itself. This means it creates new tissue. So, it can still cope with doing all of these things even when it is a bit damaged, just not as well.



Liver, Better Health Channel, Department of Health, State Government of Victoria, Australia

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Page updated 2 September 2022