The Pancreas

The pancreas is a lobulated gland 12-15 cm in length. This pinky-grey gland lies between the posterior abdominal wall of the duodenum and the spleen. It has a head, body and tail. The pancreatic duct lies within the whole length of the pancreas, terminating at the common bile duct where it meets the pancreatic duct at the hepatopancreatic duct. The pancreas produces up to one and a half litres of pancreatic juices each day; these assist further digestion of foods.

The pancreas has a twofold function: digestion and an endocrine function. The latter is the production of insulin and glucagon, which are required to regulate the levels of sugar in the body. Glucagon stimulates the conversion of glycogen to glucose.

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