The second largest gland in the body is the liver. The liver is a large, reddish-brown organ that sits on the right side of the abdomen, just below the rib cage. It weighs about 3 pounds and measures about 8 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 3 inches thick.
The liver has many important functions, including:
- filtering toxins out of the blood
- producing bile to help digest fats
- storing glycogen (a form of sugar) to maintain blood sugar levels between meals
- manufacturing proteins that are essential for blood clotting and other functions
- breaking down hormones
Because of its many important functions, the liver is sometimes referred to as "the chemical factory of the body."