The Glandular System
Lesson 12, Page 1 of 9

Outline of Lesson

  1. The Two Basic Types of Glands
  2. The Endocrine System
  3. Nutrition for the Glandular System
  4. Conclusion

The Glandular System

There are two basic types of glands in the human body:

Exocrine glands [exo-, outside + crin, secrete] secrete substances through a duct or tube, usually to an outside surface. Examples are tear glands, salivary glands, and sweat glands.

Endocrine glands [endo-, within + crin, secrete] are "ductless glands" which secrete substances directly into the blood stream, which carries it to target tissues or organs where it stimulates some type of action. The substances secreted by endocrine glands are called hormones, from the Greek word meaning "to urge on" or "to set in motion." Examples of endocrine glands are the pineal, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, pancreas, adrenals and the sex glands (the ovaries and testes).

The pancreas is both an exocrine and an endocrine gland. Its exocrine function is to secrete pancreatic juice through the pancreatic duct into the small intestines where it plays an important role in the digestion of food. (This is covered in the lesson on the digestive system.) The endocrine function of the pancreas includes the secretion of insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream to help regulate blood sugar levels and carbohydrate metabolism.

In the remainder of this lesson we will be limiting our discussion to the endocrine glands.

The chemicals secreted by endocrine glands into the general circulation are called. . .

pancreatic juice

(Select the best answer and hit the "Continue" button.)