The most significant pressures the liver has to deal with come from man-made chemicals such as petrol, preservatives, pollutants, pesticides, cigarette smoke, recreational drugs and medication. Almost everything we eat, breathe in or put into our body has to be detoxified by the liver.

The liver has various ways of ways of dealing with toxins, such as breaking them down into safer substances, eliminating them through bile or repackaging them into a safer form. As a last resort the liver will even store toxins itself to protect the rest of the body.

The liver filters toxins through the sinusoid channels, which are lined with immune cells called Kupffer cells. These engulf the toxin, digest it and excrete it. This process is called phagocytosis.

As most chemicals are relatively new it will be thousands of years before our body properly adapts to them. If the liver cannot figure out what to do with them it simply stores them, often in fat tissue. This is process is potentially damaging to the fabric of the liver.

If you are living with hepatitis C it is a good idea to watch what you eat and be careful what unnecessary strain you put your liver under.

It might be a good idea to take a look at these pages if you are living with hepatitis C and want to look after your liver: