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What is the function of liver?

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Posted on Mon, 25 Aug 2014
Question: I know that all absorbed nutrients go straight to the liver, they don't go past the pancreas to signal insulin, so what does the liver do with the absorbed carbohydrates/glucose? I know some is converted to triglycerides but what happens to the rest of the glucose?
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Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Stored as emergency supply for energy

Detailed Answer:
Hello ma'am and welcome.

Thank you for writing to us.

I have gone through your query with diligence and would like you to know that I am here to help.

The glucose that is in excess and is not used up by the body is stored in the liver and the muscles in the form of glycogen. This is like a storage of energy during the time of a crisis. Two hormones called glucagon and insulin help with regulation of the blood glucose levels. When the body has glucose in sufficient amounts, the body stores the glucose and converts it to glycogen; and when there is a scarcity and a requirement then the glycogen is converted back to glucose to be used up by the body.

I hope this makes things more clear for you ma'am. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you further.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan (16 hours later)
I am not asking about the excess glucose in the general blood supply. I am asking about the glucose portion of absorbed nutrients . It has not got any extra insulin as yet because it has gone straight from the small intestine to the liver. The liver turns some into triglycerides and does the rest go into the general blood supply at this stage? There would only be a small amount of insulin available because it goes past the pancreas only after it has left the liver and joined the main blood supply. The liver must some how decide how much to put into the general blood supply.
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Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Absorption till mitochondria. the pathway

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again ma'am.

Yes, you are right. The rest goes back into the blood stream to the heart, then the lungs, the capillaries and then to various cells of the body and is finally diffused into the cytoplasm, where it is broken down by the process of diffusion and reaches its final destination which is the mitochondria.

This is generally what happens to the absorbed glucose and is the complete pathway. It is a little technical and difficult for a lay person to understand, which is why I thought you were asking about the simpler question and answered that in my previous response. I hope this helps provide you with the information you have been looking for. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Shoaib Khan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 9409 Questions

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What is the function of liver?

Brief Answer: Stored as emergency supply for energy Detailed Answer: Hello ma'am and welcome. Thank you for writing to us. I have gone through your query with diligence and would like you to know that I am here to help. The glucose that is in excess and is not used up by the body is stored in the liver and the muscles in the form of glycogen. This is like a storage of energy during the time of a crisis. Two hormones called glucagon and insulin help with regulation of the blood glucose levels. When the body has glucose in sufficient amounts, the body stores the glucose and converts it to glycogen; and when there is a scarcity and a requirement then the glycogen is converted back to glucose to be used up by the body. I hope this makes things more clear for you ma'am. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you further. Best wishes.