Liver Hormones

The liver  may have been  named after the word “Live”, meaning to  be active at different stages of functionality. This starts by its role of detoxification in the body, followed by  synthesis  of proteins of the body building, blood clotting and ending in  the storage and synthesis of bile and glucose. In addition, the liver can manufacture several hormones or affect their metabolism.

Liver hormones and its function

The liver is considered a multi-product factory due to the massive impact on hormone secretion and metabolism. For example, angiotensinogen hormone is synthesised in the liver with an important role in regulating blood flow when  activated. Which occurs through the narrowing of the blood vessels, aiding in vasoconstriction. 

Furthermore, vitamin D3 is activated in the liver by the hydroxylation process. This vitamin is considered as a hormone of high value, while controlling the level of calcium in the blood which is necessary for bone strength as well as muscle contraction. The liver has a role in detoxifying  hormones such as the sex hormones whose metabolism ends by breakdown in the liver.

Additionally, the liver secretes thrombopoietin which is essential for the growth and function of  platelets  produced by the liver as well.

Finally, the liver is implicated in  growth processes through its secretion of insulin like growth factors. It is worth noting that the liver synthesises these factors, known as somatomedins , to control the use of carbohydrates by the cells which help several metabolic processes of the body cells. Such processes are important for the body growth and the integrity of its systems to adapt to its functions.1

How does the liver connected to hormonal imbalance

The liver  may work actively by controlling the metabolism of other hormones or passively by being controlled by other hormones, not including its role in  hormonal production.

On one hand, the liver mainly  acts as a scavenger  to the body's toxins, including  the regulatory role of  some drug levels such as paracetamol  and hormones, while controlling their levels  in the body. This happens by attaching them to binding proteins, synthesised in the body, that safely transport the excess  through the bile secretion and  outside the body. Surprisingly, the bile carrier medium of such proteins is also secreted by the liver and excreted through its biliary channels to the gut or stored in the gallbladder.2

On the other hand, the liver  may be affected by hormones that are secreted by other organs such as  glucagon secretion through the pancreas, as well as   adrenaline and noradrenaline secretion from the adrenal glands. It helps in dispensing the excess stored glycogen in the liver as glucose, protecting our bodies from the drop in glucose levels.3

The liver can consequently be linked to hormonal imbalance as a cause or an affected organ as the following:

  • Liver cell failure is commonly associated with bleeding due to impaired clotting as a result of lower platelet production by the bone marrow
  • Malfunction of the liver may be associated with lower calcium levels in organs such as bones, a condition known as osteomalacia (flappy bones), with subsequently more frequent bone fractures
  • The dysfunction of the liver, regarding the hormonal synthesis of angiotensinogen, may result in lower blood pressure with a subsequent loss of reflex vasoconstriction due to the renin-angiotensin system
  • A slow rate of detoxification of  sex steroid hormones, may lead to a  higher  risk of hormone  related malignancies such as oestrogen-sensitive endometrial and breast cancer4
  • Retarded growth may result from  prolonged drop in  liver functions

How can I improve my liver hormones?

The health of the liver relies on  macroscopic and microscopic structural and functional integerity. This can be reflected by showing average levels of secretory metabolites of the liver which result from its activity. For example, enzymes such as  alanine transaminase and  aspartate transaminase reflect, through their levels, any changes in the amino acid transportation mechanism of the liver, short or long term.. Moreover, the lower the level of albumin protein, that is produced by the liver for detoxifying and transporting drugs and hormones, the poorer the liver function. Furthermore, enzymes as gamma glutamyl transferases have been used for reflecting the ability of the liver for detoxifying alcohol in our body.5

As a result, keeping our liver healthy is a first line priority to maintain its secretion of hormones as well as the rest of its functions. This is maintained by avoiding irritants of the liver such as alpha toxin that is produced by fungi on badly stored wheat or avoiding  excess alcohol intake. Preserving the hygienic measures against blood born and sexually transmitted viral infections such as hepatitis B & C. Surprisingly, the regularity frequency of our food intake  and our circadian rhythm, , have proved to positively contribute to the healthiness of the liver.6 Exercise and healthy food can help in reducing the fat load in our bodies, reducing the likelihood of getting a fatty liver; which is one of the unhealthy conditions of the liver.

It is worth mentioning that the intake of exogenous chemicals such as steroids, hormones and lipid lowering medications can affect the health of the liver long term, as  it causes excess burden on the liver functions. Consequently, liver functions have to be monitored more regularly with caution, while using these compounds.


The liveris our age reservoir as a sand watch. The more caution we take in tracking and protecting its health, the better performance and the healthier life we will get. This can be highly prominent on the essential role of the liver on our hormonal (endocrine) system, either locally or generally. Subsequently, all of the body systems will perform better once we contribute to a better control of our liver functions.


  1. Cocciolillo S, Sebastiani G, Blostein M, Pantopoulos K. Chapter 18 - liver hormones. In: Litwack G, editor. Hormonal Signaling in Biology and Medicine [Internet]. Academic Press; 2020 [cited 2023 Jan 14]. p. 425–44. Available from:
  2. Genes SG. [Role of the liver in hormone metabolism and in the regulation of their content in the blood]. Arkh Patol. 1977;39(6):74–80.
  3. Exton JH, Blackmore PF, El-Refai MF, Dehaye JP, Strickland WG, Cherrington AD, et al. Mechanisms of hormonal regulation of liver metabolism. Adv Cyclic Nucleotide Res. 1981;14:491–505.
  4. Baker HW, Burger HG, de Kretser DM, Dulmanis A, Hudson B, O’Connor S, et al. A study of the endocrine manifestations of hepatic cirrhosis. Q J Med. 1976 Jan;45(177):145–78.
  5. Blann A. What is the purpose of liver function tests? Nurs Times. 2014 Feb 5;110(6):17–9.
  6. McCommis KS, Butler AA. The importance of keeping time in the liver. Endocrinology. 2021 Feb 1;162(2):bqaa230. 
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Mohamed Abulfadl

Master of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology- Faculty of Medicine, Aswan University, Egypt

Mohamed is a medical doctor with neurology and nephrology research interest. He has an experience
of working for three years as a dual specialist of diagnostic Medicine (both diagnostic imaging and
Laboratory medicine).
Additionally, he has an interest in supporting university students, either as a teaching assistant, mentor
or even invigilator since 2016.
He is currently on a PHD study on translational neuroscience in Bristol medical school in UK.

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