Why is your liver so important?

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It weighs about 49 ounces. It is usually about 8 to 9 inches in diameter. And you rarely think about it until it fails.

Give up?
It could be the oil filter in your car. But it is really your liver.

They perform similar functions - cleaning out toxins and cleansing (in the case of your car, your oil supply, in the case of your body, well, your body).
But while it is easy to replace an oil filter, replacing a liver is a life-threatening, life-changing event. Most of the time, the liver goes unnoticed, producing bile to digest food, metabolizing fats and proteins, storing glucose for energy and yes, breaking down the toxins you take in.

In some people, the liver doesn't work so smoothly. The little organ that could can't. It can't do all the things it is supposed to do and is quickly overwhelmed by too many toxins, including food additives, pollution, pesticides, alcohol and drugs.

When that happens, the body is in big trouble. All those toxins back up into the blood system and course through the corpus, damaging everything they touch. Worst case scenario, of course, is death. Next worse, a transplant. But there are some options to take care of your liver before trouble starts.

Improving diet is always a good idea. But some people suggest a yearly liver cleanout, a process, they say, that can help keep this vital filter functioning at full capacity. Because there is no Jiffy Lube for the human body.

Continue Learning about Digestive Health

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.