Pancreas - Hormones Produced by the Pancreas

Your pancreas is a large elongated gland located behind your stomach. It is near the duodenum—the first part of your small intestine. The pancreas is considered as a part of the digestive system as well as the endocrine system. Its major function in digestive processes is to produce digestive enzymes, which help in breakdown of ingested food.

As part of your endocrine system, your pancreas produces important hormones that help maintain normal levels of glucose (sugar) in your blood.

Hormones produced by the pancreas include glucagon, insulin, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide.

Funtions of Pancreatic Hormones


This pancreatic hormone helps to elevate your blood sugar levels. When levels of sugar in your blood declines, your pancreas produces glucagon, which stimulates the liver to produce more glucose. As a result, your blood glucose levels return to normal.


Insulin helps to lower sugar levels in your blood. This important hormone aids in the transport of glucose into your different cells. Your pancreas in response to increasing blood glucose levels produces insulin. In addition, insulin helps in converting glucose into glycogen, which is stored in your liver for future use.


The hormone somatostatin helps stop the release of either insulin and glucagon in your blood depending on your body needs. In addition, it slows down absorption of nutrients in your small intestine.

Pancreatic polypeptide

This pancreatic hormone prevents secretion of somatostatin by your pancreas. Also, pancreatic polypeptide inhibits contraction of your gallbladder wall and secretion of digestive enzymes by your pancreas.

Page Last Revised: January 18, 2011

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