Liver Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Lindsy Frazer

Dr. Frazer has taught several college level Science courses and has a master's degree in Human Biology and a PhD in Library and Information Science.

Did you know one of your organs can regrow itself? That's right--your liver can regenerate, or regrow itself. Learn more about the liver, where it is in the body, and the amazing things it does to keep you healthy.

What Is the Liver?

What is reddish-brown, weighs three pounds and is the size of a football? If you guessed your liver, you're right!

When we think about important organs in our bodies, we often think about the brain or heart. While your brain and heart are certainly essential, your liver is also an important and hardworking organ. In fact, the liver does many different jobs, including cleaning your blood, helping you digest food and storing energy.

More About Your Liver?

Your liver sits just under your rib cage in the upper right part of your stomach, and it has two main parts called lobes. The right lobe is larger than the left lobe, so the liver looks like a lopsided triangle!

Your liver sits under your rib cage on the right side of your body.
Liver diagram

The liver is a very unique part of your body. It's not only the second-largest organ in your body (the skin is considered an organ and is the largest), but the liver also has the amazing ability to regenerate, or regrow itself. That's right--if liver tissue is damaged, a liver can regrow itself from as little as 25% of its original size. Another amazing fact about the liver is that it's made of 96% water!

What Does the Liver Do?

The liver does many important things, but its four main jobs are: cleaning your blood, storing energy, making bile and balancing cholesterol levels. Let's discuss these more below.

Cleans Blood

Your normal body functions sometimes produce toxins, substances that act like poison in the body. For example, when you eat something, your body breaks it down into nutrients, and toxins are also made during this process. The liver cleans your blood by removing these harmful toxins. In this way, the liver acts like a garbage collector, making sure your blood stays clean.

One important job of the liver is cleaning your blood by removing harmful toxins.
Liver filtering toxins

Stores Energy

The liver also acts like a warehouse for energy. When you eat something with carbohydrates, like fruit or bread, your body breaks down the carbs into a sugar called glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy for all of the cells in your body and is stored in the liver. Glucose that is being stored in the liver for later use is called glycogen. When your body needs extra energy, like during gym class or if you forget to eat breakfast, the liver releases the glucose.

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