Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963954 | Print ISBN: 9781412959087 | Online ISBN: 9781412963954 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
THE LIVER IS a critical organ for clearing the body of toxins, as well as for regulating blood sugar levels. It also is a chief organ for mobilization of fat stores in the body. Damage to the liver can consequently affect the physiology of the entire body. Although in a healthy person the liver can regenerate damaged cells and thus maintain a healthy state, in some people this regenerative capability is compromised. Research into stem cell therapy for liver damage may lead to therapeutic breakthroughs for the benefit of patients with liver damage. Liver damage can occur as a result of various insults. For example, ingesting toxins such as poisons or alcohol harms the liver. Liver inflammation can also result in liver damage, such as during In ...