What Does the Liver Do?


Your liver is both an organ and a gland. It's found on the right side of your abdomen above your stomach. Your liver is very important for your health. You can't live without it. But what does the liver do, exactly? Let's take a moment to learn more about it.

Healthy Liver

A healthy liver is wedge-shaped, and about the size of a football. It's reddish-brown in color. The liver, along with the gallbladder, connects to the pancreas and small intestine by a tube called the "common bile duct."

The liver's role

The liver has hundreds of functions. It filters and cleans blood, breaking down toxins and helping to get rid of old and damaged red blood cells. It aids digestion by making a digestive fluid called "bile." It takes sugar from your blood and converts it to a substance called "glycogen," which is stored in the liver until your body needs it for energy. The liver also makes proteins that allow your blood to form clots. And, there are many other smaller jobs your liver performs every day.


Your liver can be damaged by things like alcohol use, obesity and viral infections. So talk to your doctor about how to keep your liver healthy.