Glossary

pancreas

The pancreas is 12 to 18 cm long and lies in a horizontal position in the upper abdomen below the stomach. It produces a digestive juice with digestive enzymes in it, which is released into a duct inside the pancreas. This duct then leads into the intestine. There the enzymes help to break down fat, for example. The pancreas also contains the islets of Langerhans with different cells that produce hormones for the metabolism. Unlike the enzymes, the hormones are not released into the intestine, but into the blood. Alpha cells produce Glucagon, beta cells produce insulin and delta cells somatostatin. These are the three most important hormones for regulating glucose metabolism.