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Pancreas And Insulin

Your pancreas is one of the organs of your digestive system. It lies in your abdomen, behind your stomach. It is a long thin structure with 2 main functions: producing digestive enzymes to break down food; and producing the hormones insulin and glucagon to control sugar levels in your body. Production of digestive enzymes The pancreas produces secretions necessary for you to digest food. The enzymes in these secretions allow your body to digest protein, fat and starch from your food. The enzymes are produced in the acinar cells which make up most of the pancreas. From the acinar cells the enzymes flow down various channels into the pancreatic duct and then out into the duodenum. The secretions are alkaline to balance the acidic juices and partially digested food coming into the duodenum from the stomach. Production of hormones to control blood sugar levels A small proportion (1-2 per cent) of the pancreas is made up of other types of cells called islets of Langerhans. These cells sit in tiny groups, like small islands, scattered throughout the tissue of the pancreas. The islets of Langerhans contain alpha cells which secrete glucagon and beta cells which secrete insulin. Insulin an Continue reading >>

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