The pancreas is located behind the liver and stomach. In addition to secreting digestive enzymes, the pancreas secretes the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. The release of insulin into the blood lowers the level of blood glucose (sugar) by allowing glucose to enter the body cells, where it is metabolized. If blood glucose levels get too low, the pancreas secretes glucagon to stimulate the release of glucose from the liver.
Review Date: 1/25/2013
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Senior Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.