parenchyma

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Renal connections to the urinary system and the vessels of the hepatic parenchyma

[Remember: RenalKidney and Hepatic Liver]

The liver, like most organs, has a stroma, which is the connective tissue that provides structure, and a parenchyma, which is the functional part of the organ.

The parenchyma of the liver is highly vascularized, and hepatocytes form lobules (the filtering units) in hexagonal groups, centered around a central vein. These veins, arteries, and bile ducts (leading to and from the gall bladder -  the balloon seen in the bottom center of the image) facilitate the processing of foods and toxins from the intestines.

In general, the liver is extremely good at its job - paired with the kidneys’ ability to filter the general blood supply, we’ve evolved to process almost all environmental and ingested toxins that are presented to us in our day-to-day lives. After all, we could never have eaten raw meat and survived on dirty roots for most of our evolutionary history without that.

While some conditions, such as cirrhosis and renal failure inhibit our ability to process environmental toxins, adding “detoxification” scams to what your body has to process can actually harm, more than help. There are already established and effective medical procedures and diets for those with genuine organ troubles.

Anatome quartum renovata. Thomae Bartholini, 1684.