This article on pancreas facts will really make you give importance to this little organ that you have long been ignoring. You will get to know exactly how important this tiny organ is that remains well-hidden between bones (ribs) and the stomach. In fact, unlike the stomach and the large intestine, pancreas is an organ, without which, survival is impossible. So, let us learn 40 interesting pancreas facts and find out why this organ is so important.
Interesting Pancreas Facts: 1-10
Naming and medical history of pancreas
1. The name ‘pancreas’ is derived from Greek and it means – All Flesh. It is a rubbery gland and has a pale color.
2. Early medical experts found it extremely difficult to understand the true function of the organ and they actually considered pancreas to be nothing more than a shock absorber.
3. The only reasons why early authors considered it as a shock absorber was its rubbery texture and its location. It was believed that this organ was responsible for protecting the stomach from getting damaged by collision with the vertebral column.
4. In mid-17th century, German anatomist, Johann Georg Wirsung, discovered that the organ is connected to the duodenum with a small duct. Wirsung named it as the ‘duct of Wirsung’ in 1642. Later however, the name was changed into pancreatic duct.
5. In 1664, Dutch anatomist Regnier de Graaf took a quill of a wild duct and inserted the same into the duct he collected from a dog. When it pulled the quill out of the duct, he noticed a clear fluid. He examined the fluid and found that it was acidic by nature.
6. Today however, we know that juice of the organ is actually alkaline in nature because of the cells that line the pancreatic duct. These cells actually secret bicarbonate ions and make the juice alkaline.
Brief of the functions of pancreas
7. The actual function of the pancreas was not discovered until the 19th century. It was later understood that the pancreatic juices were designed for two functions.
8. The secretions from the pancreases enter the duodenum as digestive juices and help with the digestion of the food we consume.
9. The pancreas also produces hormones that passes into the blood. The blood then carries these hormones to different parts of the body where they perform some of the most vital functions of the body.
10. When the juices are passed into the duodenum, it is known as exocrine secretion and when the hormones are released into the blood, it is known as endocrine secretion.