Primate Pancreas

The pancreas is a glandular organ that secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine by way of the pancreatic duct. Also containing specialized groups of cells called the islets of Langerhans, the pancreas produces the hormones -- insulin and glucagon. Secreted directly into the bloodstream, these hormones work together to maintain proper sugar or glucose levels in the blood. Insulin lowers the blood sugar level and increases the levels of carbohydrates stored in the liver. In contrast, glucagon releases the stored sugar from the liver into the bloodstream.

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