Alcohol produces fat

Function of the liver

The liver plays an important role in the body's metabolism: substances that have been absorbed from the intestine into the bloodstream reach the liver cells through the portal vein. Depending on requirements, they are immediately used, stored, converted or dismantled there. The liver stores sugar, fat, protein building blocks (amino acids) and vitamins in its cells when they are not needed immediately. Sugar is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen and released into the blood as glucose when the blood sugar level drops. In addition, the liver cells can convert sugar into fat and proteins into sugar.

The liver produces many important proteins from the protein building blocks. So it produces z. B. the coagulation factors that make the blood clot in injuries and the C-reactive protein (CRP), which plays an important role in inflammation in the body. It also forms proteins for the transport of fats or hormones in the blood. A large part of the body's own cholesterol is also produced by the liver and used to form bile. Every day the liver produces 1 liter of bile, which makes the fats in food digestible.

The liver is also an important "detoxification organ": The metabolism regularly produces toxic substances. These convert them into harmless substances, e.g. toxic ammonia into non-toxic urea. Alcohol is also rendered harmless by the liver: it can do so every hour The enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase first converts the alcohol into a toxic intermediate stage before a second liver enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase, breaks it down to acetic acid. This second step is absent in Asians, for example, so that is possible Toxic intermediate product accumulates and leads to nausea and severe headaches. Ultimately, alcohol is converted into fat by the liver, so excessive alcohol consumption increases the fat content of the body ("beer belly").

The liver also filters hormones, old or defective cells and bacteria from the blood. It releases water-insoluble pollutants directly into the intestine via the bile, while water-soluble pollutants are released into the blood. They reach the kidneys in the bloodstream and are excreted from the body in the urine. Medicines are also "disposed of" by the liver when they have completed their task.

Cytochrome P450 is an important enzyme for breaking down toxins and drugs. Since this protein occurs in different variants with different levels of activity, harmful substances are broken down more slowly in some people and remain in the blood longer. So it happens that a certain dose of a drug can have different effects on different people.

Summary of the main functions of the liver:

formation of

  • Dextrose from z. B. glycerine, lactate / pyruvate and some amino acids
  • Ketone bodies
  • Cholesterol and the resulting bile acids
  • Proteins in the blood (albumin, coagulation factors, acute phase proteins, e.g. CRP)

Storage of

  • Dextrose (glucose) in the form of glycogen
  • fat
  • Vitamins

Production of the bile

Breakdown and detoxification of

  • damaged and old red blood cells
  • Bilirubin (breakdown product of hemoglobin)
  • Ammonia to urea
  • Steroid hormones
  • alcohol
  • Medication

Blood formation in the fetus up to the 7th month of pregnancy