Wow, Your Liver Looks So Young!

I’ve had the good fortune to work with the same nurse, Bernadette, for 25 years. While I have joked with some patients, that in a few more years she will figure it all out, in fact, she has been terrific from day one. A few years ago, Bernadette enthusiastically told me that her physician had told her that she had the colon of a teenager; this sounds like a good thing.

I was thinking about this comment about younger body parts after reading a recent article from The Washington Post (6/6/22): Your liver is younger than you think

Key points/excerpts:

  • “Research in the journal Cell Systems reveals that humans’ livers are forever young, clocking in at less than three years old despite their hosts’ biological age…”
  • “Researchers studied the livers of 33 adults who were between ages 20 and 84 when they died…When the scientists dated the cells, they found an average age of about three years regardless of the age of the person who generated the cells. The hepatocytes “show continuous and lifelong turnover, allowing the liver to remain a young organ,” they write.”
  • “Ninety-five percent of the cells with two complete sets of chromosomes turned over within a year, but up to 12 percent of a cell subtype that have more than one pair of chromosomes can survive up to a decade.”
  • “Our bodies produce about 700 million hepatocytes each day — not bad for a three-pound organ.”

My take: The liver is amazing and can stay young even when in older bodies.

Related blog post: Why the Liver is the King of Internal Organs