>>What it is: A large, wedge-shaped organ in your upper-right abdomen, behind your ribs.
>>What it does:
Filters out harmful chemicals, builds digestive fluid and stores vitamins and minerals.
>>Why you need to know about it: Alcoholism and hepatitis (a viral infection through blood, sex or unsanitary conditions) can damage it. Hepatitis B (one of six forms) hits African Americans four times more than whites, and blacks have the highest rates of chronic hepatitis C.
>>How to keep it healthy:
Get vaccinated against hep A and hep B (there is no vaccination yet for hep C). Practice safer sex. Limit your alcohol intake. Don’t mix medications without your doctor’s OK. If you inject drugs, never share needles.