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What is the Role of the Liver during the Metabolism of Food Products?

The liver is the largest solid organ in the body as well as the largest gland. 
 

It is made up of 2 large lobes (right lobe bigger than the left lobe). Each lobe is then comprised of much smaller lobules. 
Within these lobules lies the cells of the liver, called hepatocytes. It is here that molecules are metabolised

Absorption of molecules of digestion
In the gut, protein, fats and carbohydrate are broken down into amino acids, lipids and glucose respectively. These are taken from the gut to the liver via the Portal Vein.
The liver is responsible for monitoring the levels of these molecules in the body.

E.g. Straight after a meal:

1. Storage of glucose as glycogen in the hepatocytes "glycogenesis"
2. Storage of lipids in the form of tricglycerides in the adipocytes 
3. Formation of proteins to be utlised by the skeletal muscle

In a state of hunger

1. Glygen is broken down into glucose to be used for energy "Glycogenolysis"
2. Amino acids are converted to glucose for energy during starvation "Gluconeogenesis"
3. Once all the glucose has been used up, lipids can be converted to Ketones "ketogenesis" to be utilised by the brain.

*** Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain, when glucose is depleted ketones are utilised ***

Stephanie K. A Level Human Biology tutor, Mentoring -Personal Stateme...

2 years ago

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