Pancreas Functions - Beta Cells Secrete Insulin - Alpha Cells (Glucagon) - Pancreas Regulates Glucose Levels in Bloodstream

Carbs in Food
Glycemic Index GI of Carbs
Glycemic Load of Carbs
GI Diet - Low GI Diet

Information About Carbs | Carbohydrates Guide | Low Carb Diets

The Pancreas: Insulin, Glucagon

What is the Pancreas?

The pancreas is a small gland (weighing less than 8oz) located close to the stomach. The pancreas has two main functions. It contains clusters of cells (islets of Langerhans) that secrete the pancreatic endocrine hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream in order to regulate blood glucose levels. In addition, the pancreas plays an important role in food digestion, secreting enzymes that break down fat, starch and proteins in the small intestine (duodenum).

How the Pancreas Regulates Blood Glucose

The pancreas contains thousands of clusters of cells (islets of Langerhans) - divided into two types, beta cells and alpha cells that secrete the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. When glucose levels in the bloodstream rise - eg. after eating - the pancreatic beta cells secrete insulin. The insulin stimulates cells in the body to grab the passing glucose, leading to a fall in blood glucose levels. The insulin also instructs the liver to grab glucose and convert it into the glucose-reserve known as glycogen. Conversely, when glucose levels in the bloodstream fall below a set point, alpha cells in the pancreas release the hormone glucagon which tells the liver to re-convert glycogen back to glucose and release it into the bloodstream. These two pancreatic hormones, insulin and glucagon, help to maintain blood glucose levels within healthy parameters. See also Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

Digestive Function of the Pancreas

The pancreas, liver and gallbladder all cooperate in the process of digestion, by secreting digestive juices that break down food molecules into substances that may be utilised (nutrients), or discarded, by the body.

The liver produces a green-colored juice (bile) made from waste products in the blood. Although manufactured in the liver, the bile is stored in the gall-bladder. The pancreas produces a potent digestive enzyme called pancreatic juice.

When food passes into the duodenum from the stomach, the duodenal lining secretes hormones that instruct the gallbladder and pancreas to start releasing their digestive juices in order to convert food into useable material.

General Advice For Diabetics
Diabetes Information
Diabetes Symptoms
Diabetes Test
Diabetes Treatment
Diabetes Management
Diabetes Health Problems
Diabetes and Weight Loss
Gestational Diabetes
Pre-Diabetes Guide
Hyperglycemia - High Blood Glucose
Hypoglycemia - Low Blood Glucose
Diabetic Diet Advice
Diabetes, Carbs and Diet
Diabetes Health on Low Carb Diet
Obesity Information
Diabesity, Diabetes and Obesity

Hormone to Lower Blood Glucose
Insulin Information
Insulin Hormone & Blood Glucose
Hyperinsulimia - High Insulin Levels
Insulin and Glucose For Brain
Insulin and Obesity
Insulin Development
Types of Insulin
Synthetic Insulin: Animal/Human
Long Acting Insulin
Intermediate Acting Insulin
Rapid Acting Insulin
Short Acting Insulin
Insulin Resistance
Insulin Resistance, Obesity, Carbs
Insulin Resistance Syndrome

Carbs and Glycemic Response
Carbohydrates Information
Complex Carbs Guide
Facts About Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Digestion of Carbs
Blood Glucose Levels
Glucose into Energy
Blood Glucose Monitor/Meter
Glycemic Index Food Chart
Glycemic Index - How Measured?
What Affects Glycemic Value?
Glycemic Value of a Meal
Health Effects of High GI Carbs
Glycemic Index Food Pyramid
GI Diet Recipes

Glycemic Index (GI)
GI Values in Carbohydrates
GI Value For Beans
GI Value For Bread
GI Value For Cereal
GI Value For Dairy Food
GI Value For Drinks
GI Value For Fruit
GI Value For Meat/Fish
GI Value For Nuts
GI Value For Snacks
GI Value For Starchy Carbs
GI Value For Sugar
GI Value For Vegetables
GI Value For Whole Grains


Carbs-Information.com provides general information about the glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), low GI diets, GI values for all food groups, health problems of high blood glucose including metabolic disorders such as pre-diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinism as well as type 1 and type 2 diabetes. But no information is intended as a substitute for medical advice. Copyright 2003-2018.