The pancreas is a gland with internal and external secretion. This gland is about 15 cm long and its shape resembles the letter “J”, whose wide end is called “the head”, the middle part is called “the body”, and the narrowest part of the gland is called “the tail”.
The pancreas is located behind the stomach, deep in the abdomen, and lies in front of the spine. It looks like a thin horizontally laid peer.
This organ has two important functions in the human body:
- produces and secretes digestive juices needed for digestion
- produces and secretes hormones (insulin and glucagon), responsible for regulating blood sugar level. These hormones help the body store and use energy obtained from food
Juices that help in food digestion are produced in exocrine pancreas cells (cells with external secretion), while hormones such as insulin and glucagon are produced in endocrine pancreatic cells (cells with internal secretion).