JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human pancreas, artwork. Cells in the pancreas secrete digestive juices and the hormones insulin and glucagon, which regulate blood sugar levels. The pancreas lies in the abdomen, below and behind the stomach (not seen). Its head (lower left) lies against the duodenum, the start of the small intestine (far left) that loops round to far right. The common bile duct (green) runs past an artery (red, coeliac trunk of the abdominal aorta) and the portal vein (blue) of the liver. Two intestinal blood vessels are at lower centre: the superior mesenteric artery (red) and the superior mesenteric vein (blue). The pancreas is 15-20 centimetres in length and up to 2.5cm thick.
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