Difference Between Liver and Kidney

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: May 05, 2022

       

Difference Between Liver and Kidney Difference Between Liver and Kidney

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Introduction

Skin, vision, circulation, energy levels, detoxification, vitamin storage, absorption, and much more all depend on the health of the liver and kidneys. As a result, if you want to live a healthy lifestyle in general, you must pay attention to your kidney and liver health.

In this article, we will see how these organs work to keep the body working and how their functions and mechanism differs from one another.

Liver vs. Kidney

The urinary and filtration systems of the body are the kidneys and liver. The kidneys are responsible for waste excretion and reabsorption of ions, glucose, and other necessary chemicals in the body, whereas the liver is in charge of detoxification and the creation of proteins and enzymes required for digesting.

Difference Between Liver and Kidney in Tabular Form

Table: Liver vs. Kidney
Parameter
Liver
Kidney
Definition
It is the body's second-biggest organ, and it is massive, glandular, and provides energy or metabolism.
It is a tiny bean-shaped organ that filters waste nitrogenous materials from the body as part of the excretory system.
System
The digestive system of the body
The urinary system of the body
Major Functions
The metabolism of lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Waste excretion and osmolality
Secretion of digestive juices
Clotting factors and bile production
Secretion of hormones, blood pressure regulation, and maintaining the pH of the body.
Storage
The liver stores glycogen, fat, ions, vitamins, and so on. 
The kidney doesn’t store anything.
Number
only one liver is present in a human body
there are two kidneys present in the body
Peritoneum
The peritoneum is where it is connected.
It is positioned behind the peritoneum.
Location
The upper right region of the abdominal cavity, immediately behind the diaphragm.
Located directly beyond the peritoneum on the posterior wall of the abdominal cavity.

What is a liver?

The liver is the human body's biggest solid organ and gland. It performs more than 500 vital functions. Detoxification, protein synthesis, and the creation of substances that aid digestion is all functions of the liver, which is classified as part of the digestive system.

Location

The liver is located beneath the diaphragm, above the stomach. The liver's largest portion is on the right side of the body, but it extends across the midline.

Structure

The liver is a stretchy and rubbery reddish-brown colored organ. It is found above and to the left of the stomach and beneath the lungs.

There are two lobes in the liver: a larger right lobe and a smaller left lobe. It is generally triangular. The falciform ligament, a band of tissue that maintains the diaphragm attached, separates the lobes.

Glisson's capsule is a fibrous tissue layer that surrounds the exterior of the liver. The peritoneum, a membrane that forms the abdominal cavity lining, further protects this capsule.

This aids in the retention of the liver and protects it from physical harm.

The liver, unlike most other organs, has two primary blood supplies. The portal vein sends nutrient-rich blood from the digestive system into the liver, whereas the hepatic artery transports oxygenated blood from the heart.

Small capillaries separate the blood arteries, each terminating in a lobule. Lobules, which are made up of millions of hepatocytes, are the functional units of the liver.

Through three hepatic veins, blood is evacuated from the liver.

Functions

  • Filtration
  • Digestion
  • Metabolism and Detoxification
  • Protein synthesis
  • Storage of vitamins and minerals

Filtration

The poisonous ammonia in the body is converted to urea in the liver. The liver's by-products are discharged into the bile or blood after it has broken down toxic compounds. Bile by-products pass via the small intestine and exit the body as stools. The liver excretes it through the urine once it is released into the bloodstream. In addition to removing alcohol from the blood, the liver is involved in the metabolism of drugs used in the treatment. 

Digestion

Bile is constantly produced by the liver. This is an enzyme that contributes to the conversion of fats into energy for your body. Bile is a necessary component that aids in digestion. Albumin is produced by your liver as well.

Albumin helps to maintain fluid in your circulatory system and keeps it from leaking into other tissues. Albumin is a simple protein that may be found in both animal and plant physiological fluids and tissues. It has several critical functions, including maintaining proper osmotic pressure, binding and transporting numerous molecules in the blood, including hormones and medicines, and neutralizing free radicals.

Metabolism and Detoxification

The liver is also involved in protein metabolism since liver cells convert amino acids in meals into energy, carbs, or lipids. This procedure produces a hazardous chemical called ammonia as a by-product.

The liver is responsible for the detoxification and elimination of toxic endogenous and external chemicals. Kupffer cells, which sit in the lobules of the liver, digest and remove cellular waste as well as any invading microorganisms.

Protein synthesis

The synthesis rates of key exported liver proteins are commonly used to assess hepatic protein production in humans. The rates of albumin and fibrinogen synthesis have been investigated more often among them. Albumin, the most common plasma protein, is nearly entirely produced by the liver. The liver produces many of the clotting components needed for blood coagulation.

Storage of vitamins and minerals

The synthesis rates of key exported liver proteins are commonly used to assess hepatic protein production in humans. The rates of albumin and fibrinogen synthesis have been investigated more often among them.

Albumin, the most common plasma protein, is nearly entirely produced by the liver. Glycogen is the body's primary source of energy.

Glycogen is a kind of sugar that is stored in the liver. When the body requires extra energy, enzymes break down glycogen and convert it to glucose. They release the glucose into the bloodstream.

Vitamins and minerals are stored in the liver for later use when the food with the vitamin and mineral deficiency is eaten. It can store four years' worth of vitamin A and B12, as well as four months' worth of vitamin D. 

Interesting facts about the liver

  • The liver is considerably heavy and it is only lighter than the skin.
  • If half of the liver is donated, its second half part regenerates naturally. This makes it incredibly useful to donate.
  • Before we are born, the liver begins to produce blood. There would be no blood and no life without the liver.
  • The liver conducts about 200 critical processes for the body at the same time.
  • The liver detoxes the hazardous substances we consume, such as alcohol and narcotics.

Liver transplant

A liver transplant is a surgical procedure that replaces a sick liver with a healthy liver from someone else. It is possible to transplant a full liver or only a piece of one.

In most circumstances, a healthy liver will come from a recently deceased organ donor.

A healthy individual may occasionally donate a portion of their liver. A family member might be a live donor. It might also be someone who isn't related to you yet shares your blood type.

People who donate a piece of their liver can keep the rest of their liver and live a normal life.

The liver is the body's sole organ capable of repairing tissue that has been lost or injured (regenerate). The donor's liver will swiftly recover to normal size after surgery. In a few weeks, the component you get as a new liver will likewise expand to its usual size.

What is a kidney?

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each approximately the size of a fist, that is connected by a tube. One on either side of your spine, they are placed right below the rib cage.

Structure

Each kidney is made up of an outer renal cortex, an inner renal medulla, and a renal pelvis. In the renal cortex, blood is filtered. The renal pyramids, which create urine, are located in the renal medulla. The renal pyramids send urine to the renal pelvis, where it is collected. The core chamber of each kidney is occupied by this funnel-shaped structure, which narrows as it spreads outward to connect the ureter. The ureter is where urine exits the renal pelvis.

Functions

The basic and most important function of the kidney is to produce urine and purify the blood by removing toxins through urine. Accumulation of toxic waste that is not required by the body, in kidneys can be hazardous to health.

Blood filtration

When the body digests the protein that we consume, it creates toxic materials. These materials are absorbed by the blood and purified by the liver. Retention of these toxins for a longer time in the body can act as a poison.

Two significant waste products that may be tested in the blood are creatinine and urea. Their amount in the blood decides how well the kidneys are working.

Removal of excess liquids

Kidneys remove excess water or fluids from the body through urine. Removal of extra water that is more than the required level is necessary. If kidneys don’t work properly, this water will be retained in the body and hence we may experience swelling.

Along with the removal of excess fluids, the kidney flushes out every last toxin in the body and makes the body healthier.

Balancing minerals levels

Minerals like sodium play an important role in balancing the mental health of a person. Imbalance in other similar minerals may result in cardiac arrest. The kidney plays an important role in maintaining these minerals and chemicals.

Other important functions of kidneys

  • Hormones like renin, angiotensin, aldosterone, prostaglandin, etc. significantly impact maintaining salt and water levels in the blood; which in turn affects blood pressure. These hormones are created by the kidney.
  • Erythropoietin is the hormone that is responsible for RBC production. This hormone is created by the kidney. If kidneys don’t work properly then hemoglobin levels tend to go lower.
  • The kidneys convert vitamin D into its active form, which is required for calcium absorption from the diet, bone and tooth development, and bone health.

Interesting facts about the kidney

  • Two kidneys are present in the majority of people when they are born. The body loses just 25% of renal function if one of the kidneys is removed. The surviving kidney keeps the body going thanks to hypertrophy.
  • The lone kidney develops until it reaches the total weight of two in infants born with renal agenesis (i.e., one kidney).
  • The filtering units of the kidney are called nephrons, and each kidney has between one and two million of them. The nephrons in the two kidneys may span a distance of 10 miles if they are removed and arranged end-to-end.
  • Every minute, healthy kidneys filter around a half cup of blood, totaling 180 liters per day, of which only 1-2 liters form urine.

Kidney stones

Kidney stone is the most common disease observed nowadays. With improper diet habits and drinking very less water due to a fast lifestyle, favorable conditions are created to form kidney stones.

When there are more crystal-forming substances in the urine, such as calcium, oxalate, or uric acid, people experience kidney stones.

Kidney stones can be caused by a lack of fluids, excessive or insufficient activity, obesity, weight loss surgery, or excessive salt or sugar consumption. Infections and family history may have a role in certain individuals.

Kidney stones can be caused by a lack of fluids, excessive or insufficient activity, obesity, weight loss surgery, or excessive salt or sugar consumption. Infections and family history may have a role in certain individuals.

Dialysis

Dialysis is a treatment for those who have renal disease and need to have their kidneys replaced. If the kidney fails to function properly, all the toxins and waste material retain in the bloodstream making it poisonous to the body. Dialysis aids your kidneys in their function by removing waste and excess fluid from your blood. Blood is frequently sent to a cleaning machine throughout the procedure. The usual life expectancy for dialysis patients is 5-10 years; nevertheless, several patients have lived for 20 or even 30 years.

Main Differences Between Liver and Kidney in Points

  • The Liver is the second largest organ of the body that provides energy and improves metabolism. On the other hand, the kidney is a tiny bean-shaped organ that works exclusively to clean the bloodstream and keep the toxins out of the body.
  • The Liver is a part of the body’s digestive system and the liver is a part of the body’s urinary system.
  • There are two kidneys available in the body. However, a person can live with one kidney too. Only one liver is present in the human body and can regenerate making it easier to donate.
  • The liver is located in the upper right region of the abdominal cavity exactly behind the diaphragm. Kidneys are located on either side of the spinal cord in the abdominal cavity.
  • The Liver produces bile and other clotting components that help the blood stay uncloaked. The kidney produces hormones, converts Vit D into its active form, regulates blood pressure, and maintains the pH level of the body.
  • Metabolism is the prominent function of the liver. Without proper functioning of the liver, we won’t be able to digest substances like alcohol and other fast food items. Blood purification is the main function of the kidney. Without this, all the toxic substances will act like nothing lesser than a poison.
  • The liver stores glycogen, vitamins, and fats. On the contrary, the kidney does not store anything.

Conclusion

The liver and kidneys are two of the body's most important and laborious organs. They provide a variety of activities, including waste elimination, many-substance metabolism, hormone control, and correct digestion, as well as proper coagulation. Eating the right food in moderation, exercising daily, drinking a lot of fluids, avoiding toxic foods and drugs, and drinking alcohol wisely will help significantly to reduce liver and kidney-related health risks. The liver and kidneys in good condition will help you lead a healthy lifestyle in the long run

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