Pancreas functions

What is pancreas?

Digestion is by far one of the most complex processes within the human system. There are several organs involved and certain enzymes as well as chemicals are produce to complete the process. If there is one organ that plays an important role in the digestive system it is the pancreas.

This organ aids in the digestion of food particles through releasing enzymes. There are two hormones created by the pancreas that aids in the regulation of the level of blood sugar, these are the glucagon and insulin.

The Location Of Pancreas

To be precise, pancreas is found within the upper portion of the abdomen. It is situated right behind where the stomach and the guts are. There is a connection between the duodenum and the pancreas. The connection is done through a duct of which is used in order to let the enzymes pass right through a person’s intestines.

Functions Of Pancreas

Pancreas like any other organ in the digestive system does have its own functions as well. To sum it all, there are only two major functions of the pancreas.

One is to produce digestive enzymes. What the enzymes do is to aid in the digestion of food. What are enzymes? These are chemicals produce by the pancreas in order to speed up the digestive process of the body.

Two is to produce hormones. The hormones being produced are the glucagon and insulin. These are needed in order to regulate a person’s metabolism. What are hormones? These are chemicals which will be released right through the blood-stream. What they do is to serve as messengers of which do affect the tissues and cells of the body.

Pancreas – The Enzymes And Hormones

Approximately, 90% of a person’s pancreas is used in order to produce digestive enzymes. It is the acinar cells that are responsible in producing such enzymes. What do these enzymes do? They aid in the making of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins a lot smaller. Also, it is the acinar cells which produces liquid in order that the pancreatic enzymes will have the right condition to work on. Such liquid is termed as the pancreatic juice.

There are at least three enzymes produce by the pancreas:

Pancreatic lipase. This enzyme aids in the digestion of fat.

Pancreatic amylase. This enzyme aids in the digestion of carbohydrates.

Pancreatic proteases. This enzyme aids in the digestion of proteins.

Only 5% of a person’s pancreas is used in order to make hormones which enable to regulate the metabolism. The following are the hormones produce:

Gastrin. This hormone helps in the digestion within the stomach.

Somatostatin. This hormone aids in the release control of the hormones of the body.

Glucagon. This hormone works hand in hand with insulin in order to make the level of blood sugar in balance.

Insulin. This hormone aids in the regulation of the sugar level within the blood.

How It Works

When there is food intake, the body sends an electrical signal to the pancreas through the use of nerves. The signal will make the pancreas to be stimulated and then add more enzymes right towards pancreatic juice. Then, the acinar cells (responsible to produce enzymes) will respond to such signal through increasing the level of enzymes being produced. These enzymes will leave and pass through the tubes (tiny ducts). The ducts will drain the produced enzymes right towards the duodenum.

During the production of the enzymes, they are in their inactive form. This is so not to include the pancreas to be digested. But when these enzymes go straight to the intestines, they are now activated. The breaking down of food begins.

There are hormones that the pancreas releases. These are the glucagon and insulin which aid in the regulation of the sugar level found on the blood as well as on the cells of the body. Insulin aids in taking the glucose straight from the blood then all the way to the cells. Glucagon helps in stimulating the cells found in the liver to let go of glucose when it’s on low level.

However, when the glucose is bit higher, insulin is then released. This aids in moving glucose towards the cells. In return, it will lower down the glucose level found on the bloodstream at the same time lowering the level of blood sugar. Pancreas releases glucagon in order to aid in the release of glucose. But if the blood sugar level is a way beyond normal, there will be no releasing of glucagon. In order to balance out the system, insulin may be released.