The mucosal lining of the stomach secretes intrinsic factor which is required for the absorption of vitamin B12 in the ileum. Vitamin B12 is released from the ingested proteins through the action of pepsin and is stored in the liver. The failure to produce intrinsic factor causes pernicious anaemia.
The liver is the largest gland in the human body and it is vital to life; death is inevitable without a liver. The liver is situated on the right side, opposite the stomach.
The liver weighs between 1.3 and 1.5 kg depending on age and sex. The liver is a very vascular organ which is made up of left and right lobes. It is found under the diaphragm, filling most of the right hypochondrium. If the liver becomes damaged by trauma it bleeds as a result of its profuse blood supply. A double supply of blood goes to the liver from the hepatic artery. From the portal vein, the liver is supplied with deoxygenated blood and the following nutrients:
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