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The Pancreas and Digestion

The Pancreas and Digestion


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23.2 MB (1.5 MB compressed)

4059 x 2000 pixels

34.3 x 17.0 cm ⏐ 13.5 x 6.7 in (300dpi)

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Medical visualization showing a sectioned pancreas and duodenum (left) as well as a zoomed in image of the pancreas' hormone releasing cells (right). The pancreas helps to digest food by secreting digestive juices, and also secretes the hormones insulin and glucagon. During digestion, the stomach slowly empties food into the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum. Pancreatic digestive juices, along with bile from the liver and juices from the duodenum itself, pour into the duodenum to help break down the food. Insulin and glucagon have opposite effects on your body. When the level of glucose in the blood is high, insulin signals certain cells, including muscle, fat, and liver cells, to take glucose in. When glucose is low, glucagon signals the cells to release it. In this way, insulin and glucagon keep your glucose level in a healthy range.

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