“How is life? Depends on the ‘liver’…..

With advent of time, allopathy found cure for most of the diseases. However, there has been no treatment for hepatitis or liver dysfunction illnesses. Do you know why?

Dr. Vivek Nalgirkar

1/16/20230 min read

With advent of time, allopathy found cure for most of the diseases. However, there has been no treatment for hepatitis or liver dysfunction illnesses. Do you know why?

Allopathy worked on this assumption that anything consumed orally (nutrients, drugs, etc) has to first go to the liver. Only when liver modifies it and makes it suitable for cellular use that it will be useful for the body. Then, if liver itself is dysfunctional, how can any tablet be useful in treating the disease?

Functioning of organ systems is intricately linked to each other.

There are organ systems in the body; they all work toward a single goal – to maintain homeostasis, for the sake of survival of the being Nervous system and endocrine system regulate the functioning of all these organ systems.

All the organ systems depend on one another for their proper functioning. For instance, nervous system (ANS) controls the heart function; heart, in turn, provides blood flow (for energy production) in the nervous system. Kidney initiates renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis for regulation of blood volume and BP; blood pressure maintains a proper perfusion pressure required for kidney function. Even the nervous system and endocrine system has several meeting points (e.g., hypothalamus, neuroendocrine axis, etc), and are reciprocally helpful to each other.

That being said, one organ that is absolutely critical for a healthy functioning of the body is – LIVER. There is this phrase ~ “How’s life? Depends on the ‘live’r……!”

The philosophical angle

The sentence has a philosophical connotation to it. How a person lives his/her life would depend on how he/she lives (liver is the one who lives). If you have a positive outlook toward life, with no scope for negative emotions (such as, anger, jealousy, hatred, etc), you will lead a very healthy life.

The Physiological importance of liver

As already mentioned, every system depends on other system or systems for its functioning. However, ALL the systems need liver for their survival and functioning. Let’s see some of the important examples ~

  1. Energy metabolism: Unless the liver modifies the consumed nutrients, they can not be utilized by cells. Thus, cell/tissues/organ systems/entire body, they all depend on the liver. As mentioned previously, even the medicines consumed orally have a hepatic “first pass”. Only when liver modifies them, they or their metabolites will have a desired effect. Thus, either in health or in disease, one has to ‘look up to’ liver.

  2. Excretory function: There are many other channels for excretion of the unwanted materials, most important being kidneys. The liver too performs excretory function, particularly important in the context of toxins, exogenous substances, bilirubin and such materials.

  3. Synthesis of plasma proteins: Though, in literature, less attention is given to this function, this is the most important job by the liver, in my opinion. Liver synthesizes albumin; and albumin is the transport protein for a variety of hormones and other substances. Unless this function is alright, no other body system can work properly. Nervous system has neurotransmitters which act via their receptors. Unless liver synthesizes proteins, there would be no receptors and thus no action of the nervous system. There are numerous other functions which can be read in Physiology, biochemistry, or relevent books.

Liver is a work-horse ; working 24 X 7 X 365: (note these points) -

Other body systems do get some breather in their day- to-day routine functioning. For instance, nervous system, musculoskeletal system will have some ‘rest’ during sleep. If we are not eating foodstuffs, digestive system can have some rest. LIVER NEVER GETS TO REST PEACEFULLY. Even when a person is asleep, liver will continue to have hepatic glucose output, if required.

Tremendous reserves:-

Even when 90% of the liver is damaged, the person wouldn’t know about it, and he/she can continue with life’s daily routine. That’s because the remaining 10% of the liver tissue will be ‘capable enough’ to perform the functions needed by the body.

Many organs are in pairs, e.g., lungs, kidneys, eyes, ears, etc. If one is damaged, the other can compensate and the survival can continue. Liver is single.

Thus, how true it is to say – “How’s life? Depends on the liver….!”