The Pancreas

The pancreas consists mainly of exocrine glands that secrete enzymes to aid in the digestion of food in the small intestine. the main enzymes produced are lipases, peptidases and amylases for fats, proteins and carbohydrates respectively. These are released into the duodenum via the duodenal ampulla, the same place that bile from the liver drains into.
Pancreatic exocrine secretion is hormonally regulated, and the same hormone that encourages secretion (cholesystokinin) also encourages discharge of the gall bladder's store of bile. As bile is essentially an emulsifying agent, it makes fats water soluble and gives the pancreatic enzymes lots of surface area to work on.
structurally, the pancreas has four sections; head, neck, body and tail; the tail stretches back to just in front of the spleen.

go back to the last page go to the next page