The pancreas is about 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) long, oblong and flat. This abdominal organ can be found behind the stomach and is surrounded by other organs such as the liver, spleen, and small intestines.
Functions Of The Pancreas
Found in the pancreas are exocrine glands that produce enzymes needed for digestion. These enzymes include lipase to break down fats, trypsin, and chymotrypsin to digest proteins, amylase for the digestion of carbohydrates, and nucleases to break down nucleic acids. These enzymes also help the body reduce inflammation caused by allergens, infections, injury, trauma, and toxins.
The endocrine component of the pancreas consists of islets that create and release important hormones directly into the bloodstream. Two of the main pancreatic hormones are glucagon, which acts to raise blood sugar and insulin, which acts to lower blood sugar. The proper blood sugar level is necessary for the functioning of the different organs in the body.
Diseases Of The Pancreas
Pancreatic Cancer – Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the most common form of pancreatic cancer. It is an exocrine tumor arising from the cells lining the pancreatic duct.
Pancreatitis – an inflammation of the pancreas that happens when pancreatic enzyme secretions build up and begin to digest the organ itself.
Precursors to Pancreatic Cancer – certain pancreatic lesions such as Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms (IPMNs) and Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PanIN) are considered precursors to pancreatic cancer.
Foods That Help The Pancreas System
Garlic stimulates the pancreas to produce adequate levels of insulin and significantly reduce the amount of sugar in the blood. Add garlic into some of your foods or you may also eat one to two slightly crushed cloves of garlic each day to help you with your pancreas problems.
Research has found that cherries have antioxidants and are rich in perillyl alcohol (or POH) which have been linked to the reduced risk of pancreatic cancer.
This traditional Chinese medicine is a perfect treatment for various problems with the pancreas. It has anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce swelling and pain associated with pancreatitis.
Cabbage is packed with vitamin B6 vitamin C, folate, and other nutrients that can help protect against pancreatic cancer. Plus, it also produces glucosinolates when it is chopped, sliced, or chewed.
Red Reishi Mushrooms
Red Reishi mushrooms have similar benefits of garlic for pancreatic health. For thousands of years, it has been used in China to reduce inflammation and restore balance inside the body.
Spinach contains high amounts of vitamin B and iron which are both essential for the good functioning of the pancreas.
According to a study, three servings of low fat or fat-free yogurt containing active cultures can help protect the pancreas and digestive system, ease digestion, and reduce your overall risk of pancreatic cancer.