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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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What does your liver do?

for Veterans and the Public

What does your liver do? - Cirrhosis for Patients

A healthy liver

The liver is one of the largest organs in your body. It has many important jobs. It’s like a factory that makes vital substances (such as albumin and proteins that help with blood clotting). It cleanses the body of toxins (like alcohol) and bacteria. It produces bile that helps digest food. The healthy liver also gathers and stores important substances for your body to use later, such as fat, sugar, and vitamins. The liver can perform these tasks because millions of cells work as a team around the clock. Everything that enters the body through the mouth is digested in the stomach and intestines. These raw materials then enter the liver “factory” through the bloodstream and the liver cells break them down, purify them, make them into useful products, store some of them, and get rid of harmful products.