Definition: The largest gland of the body, lying beneath the diaphragm in the right hypochondrium and upper part of the epigastric region; it is of irregular shape and weighs from 1–2 kg, or about one fortieth the weight of the body. As an exocrine gland, it secretes bile; it initially receives most absorbed nutrients through the portal vein; it detoxifies drugs and many exogeneous substances and is also of great importance in fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism; also stores glycogen.
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