Illustration of the liver. The liver is the largest internal organ. It regulates chemical levels in the blood and excretes the bile that helps remove waste products. The liver is made up of thousands of lobules that are connected to ducts that ultimately form the hepatic duct. The hepatic duct transports bile to the gallbladder and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The liver also processes blood and breaks down nutrients and drugs into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body. More than 500 vital functions have been identified with the liver. Portions of the gallbladder, hepatic portal vein, inferior vena cava, and falciform ligament are also shown.

Credit: John M. Daugherty / Science Source

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