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pancreatic juice(păn'krēăt`ĭk, păng'–), secretions of the exocrine portion of the pancreaspancreas
, glandular organ that secretes digestive enzymes and hormones. In humans, the pancreas is a yellowish organ about 7 in. (17.8 cm) long and 1.5 in. (3.8 cm) wide. It lies beneath the stomach and is connected to the small intestine at the duodenum (see digestive system).
..... Click the link for more information. into the small intestine. The juice contains a number of important digestive enzymesenzyme,
biological catalyst. The term enzyme comes from zymosis, the Greek word for fermentation, a process accomplished by yeast cells and long known to the brewing industry, which occupied the attention of many 19th-century chemists.
..... Click the link for more information. , including trypsintrypsin,
enzyme that acts to degrade protein; it is often referred to as a proteolytic enzyme, or proteinase. Trypsin is one of the three principal digestive proteinases, the other two being pepsin and chymotrypsin.
..... Click the link for more information. , chymotrypsinchymotrypsin
, proteolytic, or protein-digesting, enzyme active in the mammalian intestinal tract. It catalyzes the hydrolysis of proteins, degrading them into smaller molecules called peptides. Peptides are further split into free amino acids.
..... Click the link for more information. , carboxypeptidase, lipaselipase
, any enzyme capable of degrading lipid molecules. The bulk of dietary lipids are a class called triacylglycerols and are attacked by lipases to yield simple fatty acids and glycerol, molecules which can permeate the membranes of the stomach and small intestine for use by
..... Click the link for more information. , and amylaseamylase
, enzyme having physiological, commercial, and historical significance, also called diastase. It is found in both plants and animals. Amylase was purified (1835) from malt by Anselme Payen and Jean Persoz.
..... Click the link for more information. . Pancreatic juice is alkaline in nature because of a high concentration of bicarbonate ions; this helps to neutralize the acidic gastric juicegastric juice,
thin, strongly acidic (pH varying from 1 to 3), almost colorless liquid secreted by the glands in the lining of the stomach. Its essential constituents are the digestive enzymes pepsin and rennin (see rennet), hydrochloric acid, and mucus.
..... Click the link for more information. from the stomach. Secretion of pancreatic juice is stimulated by hormones of the duodenum, such as secretin and cholecystokinin, and by nervous impulses through the vagus nerve.
a complex digestive juice secreted by the acinar cells of the pancreas and discharged into the duodenum.
The pancreatic juice is a clear, colorless liquid, alkaline in reaction (pH 8.3–8.6). Its specific gravity is 1.007–1.009. Among the enzymes it contains are trypsin, chymotrypsin, and carboxypeptidase, enzymes which split up proteins; lipase, which splits fats; and amylase and lactase, which break down carbohydrates. Pancreatic juice also contains proteins (mainly globulins), creatinine, urea, uric acid, and some trace elements. The average amount discharged in a healthy person in 24 hours is 1.5–2 liters. The secretion and discharge of the pancreatic juice is regulated by humoral and neural means. Other regulatory agents are secretin—a hormone produced by the acid stomach contents in the mucosa of the small intestine—and the secretory fibers of the vagus and sympathetic nerves. Physiological stimulators of pancreatic-juice flow are hydrochloric and some other acids, bile, and food.