The liver is the largest solid organ in the body, and is actually an gland. The liver has a wide variety of critical functions such as manufacturing proteins and metabolizing fats and carbohydrates. The liver also eliminates harmful biochemical waste products from the body (alcohol, drugs, toxins). The liver secretes bile that aids in digestion. Examples of diseases of the liver include cirrhosis, hepatitis, cancer, and fatty liver. Symptoms of liver disease include bleeding, easy bruising, edema, fatigue, and jaundice.
The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. People may not know that the liver is also the largest gland in the body. The liver is actually two different types of gland. It is a
secretory gland because it has a specialized structure that is designed to allow it to make and secrete bile into the bile ducts. It also is an
endocrine gland since it makes and secretes chemicals directly into the
blood that have effects on other organs in the body. Bile is a fluid that both
aids in digestion and absorption of fats as well as carries waste products into
There are all sorts of glands in the body that make and secrete substances, including the pancreas (digestive enzymes), thyroid and other endocrine glands (hormones), gastric glands in the stomach (acid), and
lymph glands or nodes (lymph).