Definition of Pancreatic juices
Pancreatic juices: Fluids made by the pancreas that contain digestive enzymes.
The pancreas is a spongy, tube-shaped organ about 6 inches long. It is located in the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach. The head of the pancreas is on the right side of the abdomen. It is connected to the duodenum, the upper end of the small intestine. The narrow end of the pancreas, called the tail, extends to the left side of the body.
The pancreas makes pancreatic juices and hormones. The pancreatic juices contain enzymes that help digest food in the small intestine.
Insulin is among the hormones made by the pancreas. It controls the amount of sugar in the blood. Both enzymes and hormones are needed to keep the body working right.
As pancreatic juices are made, they flow into the main pancreatic duct. This duct joins the common bile duct, which connects the pancreas to the liver and the gallbladder. The common bile duct, which carries bile (a fluid that helps digest fat), connects to the small intestine by an opening called ampulla in the duodenum near the stomach.
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012