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Human Digestive System – Digestive Glands

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Digestive glands are a important component of the human digestive system, responsible for producing and secreting various substances that aid in the process of digestion. These digestive glands play a important role in breaking down complex food into simpler molecules that can be absorbed and utilized by the body. Digestive glands include various glands like Salivary Gland, Gastric Gland, Liver, Pancreas, and Intestinal Glands. Human digestive glands work together to ensure the proper breakdown and absorption of nutrients from ingested food.

Digestive Glands

Different glands play a significant role in digestion, such glands are known as Digestive Glands. Digestive glands secrete some enzymes and juices that are known as digestive juices. Digestive juices help in the digestion of food by breaking the complex food into small food particles. Many digestive glands are present in the cell lining of the stomach which secrete the juices and enzymes directly into the stomach. Whereas some glands add pours their secretion into the alimentary canal via ducts. Different types of Digestive glands are present in Human Digestive System, those are: Salivary Gland, Live, Pancreas, and Intestinal Gland.

Types of Digestive Gland

Following are the different types of digestive glands present in the human digestive system are:

Salivary Glands

Three sets of major salivary organs (parotid, submandibular, and sublingual organs) and various more modest ones discharge spit into the oral depression, where it is blended in with food during chewing. Saliva contains water, bodily fluid, and catalyst amylase. Salivary Gland secrets amylase enzyme which helps in the breaking of starch. Elements of saliva incorporate the accompanying:

  • It has a purifying activity on the teeth.
  • It saturates and greases up food during chewing and gulping.
  • It breaks down specific particles with the goal that food can be tasted.
  • It starts the compound assimilation of starches through the activity of amylase, which separates polysaccharides into disaccharides

Gastric Glands 

Gastric organs are generally exocrine glands and are completely situated underneath the gastric pits inside the gastric mucosa — the mucous layer of the stomach. The gastric mucosa is hollowed with incalculable gastric pits which each house 3-5 gastric glands. The cells of the exocrine organs are foveolar (bodily fluid), boss cells, and parietal cells. The other kind of gastric organ is the pyloric organ which is an endocrine organ that secretes the chemical gastrin delivered by its G cells. The pyloric organs are situated in the antrum of the pylorus. They emit gastrin delivered by their G cells.


The largest digestive gland is the liver. Bile from the liver emitted into the small digestive tract likewise assumes a significant part in processing fat and a few nutrients. The liver plays a significant role in the proper functioning of the digestive system. A normal healthy liver weighs around 1.6 kg. The liver secretes bile juice which helps in the proper digestion of complex food particles. Creation of bile, which assists carry with away squandering and separating fats in the small digestive tract during absorption. The following are some functions of the liver:

  • Produce specific proteins for blood plasma
  • Produce cholesterol and unique proteins to assist with bringing fats through the body
  • Change of overabundance glucose into glycogen for capacity (glycogen can later be switched back over completely to glucose for energy) and to adjust and make glucose depending on the situation
  • Handling of hemoglobin for utilization of its iron substance (the liver stores iron)
  • Change of noxious smelling salts to urea (urea is a final result of protein digestion and is discharged in the pee)
  • Helps in the detoxification of blood from drugs and other harmful substances


Pancreas is one of the digestive glands present behind the stomach. The pancreas gland is yellowish in color. The pancreas secretes stomach-related chemicals into the duodenum that separate protein, fats, and sugars. The pancreas additionally makes insulin, passing it straightforwardly into the circulatory system. Insulin is the main chemical in your body for utilizing sugar. 

The pancreas makes normal juices called pancreatic compounds to separate food sources. Pancreatic juices are alkaline in nature, and each day 500-800ml juices are secreted. These juices travel through your pancreas by means of channels. Every day, your pancreas makes around 8 ounces of stomach-related juice loaded up with compounds.

Intestinal Glands

The small intestine’s inner layer fold into small microscopic glands, known as the intestinal gland. Broadly 2 types of intestinal glands those are:

  1. Brunner’s Gland: Burner glands are present in the submucosal layer of the duodenum. These secrete alkaline intestinal juice which helps the inner cell layer from digestion.
  2. Crypts of Liberkuhn: Crypts of Liberkuhn are tubular structures present in the small intestine between the villi. These tubular glands secrete slightly alkaline mucus and some digestive enzymes.

FAQs on Digestive Glands

Q1: What is the largest digestive gland in the body?


The liver is the largest digestive gland in the body.

Q2: What is the smallest gland?


The pineal gland is the smallest gland in humans.

Question 3: Which gland secrets acid in the stomach?


Parietal cells secrete acidic HCl in the stomach.

Q4: What are the three gastric glands?


Gastric glands are of three types. Those are:

  • Pyloric
  • Cardiac
  • Fundus
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Last Updated : 05 Jul, 2023
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