Pancreas is a small fish like organ that is present in the abdomen just behind the stomach. Though the pancreases are small, they have a lot of functions that are important for the body. When they do not function optimally, it can cause various severe problems and disease conditions in the person. So what does the pancreas do that it is so important, may be a common question that may come to the minds of people.
The pancreas has an endocrine as well as exocrine function. It releases digestive juices in the stomach. These digestive juices help to breakdown the food. If the food is not broken down, then it will not be absorbed for the body’s use. The food is broken down into simpler substances with the digestive juices secreted by the pancreas. This makes it easier for various nutrients to be absorbed for the use by the body.
The most common enzymes that are released by the pancreas include Trypsin and chymotrypsin. These two digestive juices are very important for the system because they help to digest proteins. Proteins are a very important part of the diet and are also necessary for the regular functioning of the body. High intake of protein is also recommended by many diets to reduce weight. When a person consumes a lot of proteins, only when the pancreas works properly by secreting the various enzymes, will the protein digestion occur.
Pancreas also secretes another enzyme called as the Amylase. This is an important enzyme because it helps to break down and digest the carbohydrates in the food that is consumed. Carbohydrates are complex substances and provide energy for the body. People are able to do their work because of the various sugars that are got by breaking down the carbohydrates and the important function of breaking the carbohydrates is done by the enzyme amylase.
Other than the enzymes already mentioned there is another enzyme and this is the enzyme lipase. This enzyme as the name indicates is associated with the fat in the body. Lipase helps to break the fat that is consumed, as part of the food, into various fatty acids and also cholesterol. This is also important because if the lipase was not present, then the fat will all be excreted and not absorbed. The fat too is very important for the body because they are used at times when there is decreased intake of food and the fat that is stored in the body provide all the energy.