Pancreas and pancreatic juice

What is Pancreas?

Pancreas is an visceral organ of digestive tract located behind the stomach in abdominal cavity of human body.
It is only the gland which is having both endocrine and exocrine functions.


pancreas, location of pancreas


Pancreas is divided into Head, Body & Tail.
These three divisions of pancreas performs different functions according to their cells origin.
Head is the widest part located which lies to right side of belly near the duodenum curve.
Tail the long left portion of the pancreas lies near the spleen.


Functions of Pancreas

Head performs different functions and Tail performs different functions so it is called as both endocrine and exocrine glands.

Endocrine Part 

Endocrine part of pancreas secretes the various hormones which are as follows-
    1. Insulin
    2. Glucagon
    3. Somatostatin
    4. Pancreatic polypeptide

Endocrine part contains  ISLETS OF LANGHERHANS cells which secretes various hormones.
Endocrine components consists of only 15% by mass which secretes the hormones that regulates the blood sugar level.

Exocrine Part 

Exocrine part of pancreas secretes the various enzymes which are as follows-
    1. Amylase
    2. Elastase
    3. Chymotrypsinogen
    4. Carboxypeptidase
    5. Pancreatic Lipase
    6. Trypsinogen

Exocrine part contains ACINAR AND DUCT CELLS that secretes the various enzymes into the duodenum.
Exocrine components consists of 85% by mass and secretes enzymes rich in bicarbonates to assist in digestion.



 What is Pancreatic Juice?

  • It is an juice secreted by the pancreas which is very helpful in digestion of food  in humans.
  • About 1 to 1.5 liters pancreatic juice is secreted per day from pancreas.
  • PH of pancreatic juice is 8 to 8.3 because of presence of bicarbonates in it.
  • So it is alkaline in nature and neutralizes the acid present in the food. It contains large number of enzymes that breakdown the food  into simple form so can be easily absorbed in the duodenum(first part of small intestine).

 Composition of Pancreatic Juice

It is mainly composed of 99.5%water and 0.5% solids.
Solids are the organic and inorganic substances.

Organic substances-

 1. Enzymes

    a. Trypsin
    b. Amylase
    c. Elastase
    d. Carboxypeptidase
    e. Lipase

 2. Other organic substances

    a. Albumin
    b. Globulin


 Inorganic substances-

    a. Sodium
    b. Calcium
    c. Magnesium
    d. Potassium
    e. Chloride
     f. Bicarbonate
    g. Sulfate
    h. Phosphate

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