The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the stomach. Weighing about 3 pounds, the liver is about the size of a football and is reddish-brown in color. Normally you can't feel the liver, because it's protected by the rib cage. The liver is the largest solid organ in the human body.
The liver has two large sections, called the right and the left lobes. The gallbladder sits under the liver, along with parts of the pancreas and intestines. The liver and these organs work together to digest, absorb, and process food.2
Unlike most other organs, the liver gets blood from 2 sources. The hepatic artery supplies the liver with blood that is rich in oxygen, and it is about 20% of the blood supply. The portal vein carries nutrient-rich blood from the intestines to the liver, and is about 80% of the blood supply to the liver.3
What does the liver do?3
The liver's main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.1
The liver plays a major role in the composition and circulation of blood; therefore, it impacts all body systems. Some of the liver’s many jobs include: