Question Video: Determining If the Liver Is an Endocrine Gland | Nagwa Question Video: Determining If the Liver Is an Endocrine Gland | Nagwa

Question Video: Determining If the Liver Is an Endocrine Gland Science • Third Year of Preparatory School

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True or false: the liver is a major endocrine gland and produces multiple hormones, including insulin.

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Video Transcript

True or False: The liver is a major endocrine gland and produces multiple hormones, including insulin.

When we eat food, especially food that is rich in carbohydrates like bread for example, these carbohydrates are broken down in our digestive system into simple sugars like glucose. Glucose is absorbed from the digestive tract and into the bloodstream where it dissolves in the blood, which can transport it all around the body to the cells that need it, for example, muscle cells.

When blood glucose levels are high, an endocrine gland called the pancreas produces and releases a hormone called insulin, which travels through the bloodstream. Insulin targets all sorts of cells in the body including our muscle cells and allow them to take up the glucose that they need for cellular respiration. Glucose that is not used by the cells is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. This can provide an energy source that elucidate when no food is available.

As the body utilizes or stores glucose, the levels of glucose decrease in the blood. When blood glucose levels are low, for example, during a period of fasting, the pancreas produces and releases a different hormone called glucagon. Glucagon instructs the liver to break down glycogen to release glucose. Glucose can then enter the bloodstream and return it to a normal blood glucose level. In this way, the actions of insulin and glucagon can balance the levels of blood glucose.

Although the liver is involved in the regulation of blood glucose levels by storing glycogen, it does not produce insulin. It is the pancreas that can produce and secrete both insulin and glucagon in response to high or low blood glucose levels. The statement is therefore false.

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