Can You Live Without A Liver? – Here Is A Surprise Answer!

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The liver is one of the most important organs of the body, which serves as a toxic filter. All the foods, beverages we consume every day contain some sort of unhealthy or even toxic chemicals. Those substances pass through the liver, and it helps break down, accumulate, eliminate the chemical compositions. That process supports further digestion and absorption.

Hence, the liver is one of the vital organs in our body. However, due to diverse reasons, it might suffer from numerous diseases. Sometimes those illnesses are so serious that we have to eliminate our liver.  Some of you might ask what if we have the liver problem and we have to eliminate it? Can we live without a liver?

This post will answer that question thoroughly. So, keep reading until the end of my post today, I am sure that you won’t be disappointed.

What is liver?

Firstly, for those who don’t know well about the liver, I will shortly explain. The liver is the most significant glandular organ in the human body, which is approximately three pounds in weight. Its size increases over time, every five years it can expand up to five centimeters, and at the age of 15, it reaches the size of an adult’s liver.  

This organ comprises of two significant lobes located on the right side of the abdomen, below the diaphragm. Those portions include eight different segments, which have numerous of lobules. Then they are linked with the hepatic duct, which transfers bile to the gallbladder and duodenum.


How does it operate?

The two primary sources providing blood to the liver are hepatic artery and hepatic portal vein. The former one carries oxygenated blood, while the later one transfers nutrient-rich blood.

The blood after passing through the stomach, come to the liver. The task of the liver is to balances chemical levels in the blood and generate bile. To prepare for further digestion and absorption, at this stage, bile contributes to split up the fats. 

What are the main liver functions? 

Scientists have proved many functions of the liver. Following is the seven significant tasks:


#1. Detoxify harmful substances

The foods, drugs, the water we consume every day contains various toxins. The first use of liver is to clear the drugs and other dangerous substances in our blood. Every minute the liver must filter 1.5 quarts to ensure that our body is toxin-free of blood. An efficient liver can convert those harmful materials into friendly products and transfers them to the bile or urine. Moreover, as proved by the University of Nottingham, the enzymes embraced in the liver can support the metabolic process.

#2. Process Nutrient

The liver can synthesize, accumulate and provide nutrients for body’s tissues. Those helpful substances are released into the blood flow and pass through the body and offer cells with nutrition. According to the study of the University of Nottingham, the liver can accumulate, synthesize and liberate nutrients into the blood flow, which feeds the whole body's cells and organs.

#3. Produce Cholesterol

Cholesterol is the main material contributing to making hormones, Vitamin D and bile. Statistic from the Harvard Health Blog shows that every day the liver produces approximately 1 gram of cholesterol 

#4. Synthesize Protein

The Liver research center of Brown University states that the life can produce a certain amount of Proteins that are important for clotting blood and transferring nutrients. Moreover, those Proteins contribute to the operation of the immune system.

#5. Produce Bile

The liver is in charge of making bile. Bile is crucial since it supports breaking down fats; digesting, and also removing toxin substances.


#6. Store nutrients and regulate Blood Sugar

The liver can store certain fats, Vitamin such as B12, A, B and K and also iron. Additionally, the liver can support the body to balance the sugar in the blood at an acceptable level.

Possible reasons that you have to remove the liver

Since toxics-filter is quite a heavy task, the are plenty of reasons leading to the removal of that organ. Here are some potential ones:

  • Liver masses.
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC): is a primary malignancy happening in the patient who experiences liver cirrhosis in a long time. It is the reason of the primary liver cancer. Patients with the Hepatitis type B and type C are likely to suffer from HCC afterward.
  • Metastatic malignancies of the liver: when the liver is affected by cancer cell from other infected organs.

  • Cirrhosis of the liver: the main reason leading to this disease is when patients abusing alcohol in a long run.

Can you live without a liver?

After understanding the liver and its functions, as well as possible causes of liver diseases, you might wonder if we can live without a liver. Here is the answer. No, completely not!

There are some organs that out body can live without such as a kidney, a gallbladder, and an appendix. However, we cannot live if we do not have a proper liver. As I listed and explained in the above section, the liver plays crucial roles in our body such as detoxification, nutrient process, bile productions, blood sugar regulation and so on. Its functions are indispensable so that we can survive if we obliterate it.

However, the good news is that it is possible to maintain life if the liver is eliminated or diseased up to 75%. The body can perfectly operate if the liver lessens 25% of its original dimension. Additional, the liver can self-generate its cells if a part of it is removed. Over a specified period, it can grow back and recover.

Therefore, you can live with a transplant liver. On the other hand, it is possible to be a donor the living liver since it can grow back by itself after certain months. Given normal circumstances, both the giver and the receiver can have their organs fully recover after about one year. That is incredible!


You cannot live without a liver since it vital role in the human's body organ system. However, we can live appropriately with 25 percent of our liver if the other part is missing. Additionally, due to its unique feature that it can regenerate its cells after one year, there are many cases that people can become a living liver donor.

If you found my post helpful, please lets me know in the comment below!


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