Pancreas

Diagram of the Human Endocrine Glands
Location of the Human Endocrine Glands

The pancreas is an important compound gland of the human body.

Some of the functions of the pancreas are as an endocrine gland - whose function is an important aspect of the endocrine system. Other important aspects of the pancreas are as an exocrine gland - secreting enzymes necessary for the digestive system. Remember that endocrine glands differ from "exocrine" glands in that exocrine glands have ducts (so may be referred to as "ducted") whereas endocrine glands do not have ducts (and so may be referred to as "ductless").

Hormones secreted by the pancreas acting as an endocrine gland:

Enzymes secreted by the pancreas acting as an exocrine gland:

  • Pancreatic juice is secreted by the pancreas and can include the following (in various concentrations - determined by hormones secreted by the duodenum):
    • Sodium bicarbonate (which neutralizes the acidity of the contents of the stomach),
      also the enzymes
    • trypsinogen,
    • chymotrypsinogen,
    • amylase,
    • lipase, and
    • maltase.

For a diagram indicating the locations within the body of each of the endocrine glands, see Endocrine Glands of the Human Body.

This may be of interest to students of courses in massage, reflexology, beauty therapies, and other first-level therapy or other health-related courses.

More about the Endocrine System

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