Alter Your Health

#341 | MM - Help Your Pancreas Juggle its Tasks

September 26, 2022 Episode 341
Alter Your Health
#341 | MM - Help Your Pancreas Juggle its Tasks
Show Notes

How often have you paused to consider how amazing your pancreas is?

It's one of those organs that's just a work horse, showing up each and every day to do its job and keep your body in balance.

The pancreas plays a central role in two essential functions - DIGESTION and METABOLISM.

In fact, your pancreas is kind of like two organs in one. It has an EXOCRINE portion which is responsible for manufacturing and secreting digestive enzymes into the intestines to promote heathy digestion. It also has an ENDOCRINE portion which secretes hormones like insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream to regulate blood sugar levels.

You could therefore say that the pancreas is part of the digestive system as well as the endocrine system.

In a nutshell...

  • Endocrine Pancreas is just 1-2% of pancreas cells organized into islets
    • "alpha cells" secrete glucagon to raise blood sugar
    • "beta cells" secrete insulin to lower blood sugar
    • "delta cells" secrete somatostatin suppress both glucagon and insulin
  • Exocrine Pancreas is 98-99% of the pancreas that releases enzymes into small intestines
    • Trypsin breaks down proteins into amino acids
    • Lipase breaks down fats into fatty acids
    • Amylase breaks down starch and glycogen into glucose
    • Nucleases break down DNA and RNA

In today's episode we cover the most important nutritional and lifestyle considerations to support a healthy and balanced pancreas - both the digestive function and the endocrine/blood sugar balancing function.

Join us live each Monday at 12 PT / 3 ET on the Alter Health YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/alterhealth

Some highlights from today's episode on the PANCREAS...

  • Digestive enzymes are created and secreted only when the parasympathetic branch of the ANS is active in the "rest and digest" state
  • Animal products (high fat/protein) and processed foods require more pancreatic enzyme production to break down and digest in the intestines than natural and unprocessed plant-based foods
  • Reasons to consider taking digestive bitters vs digestive enzymes to promote healthy break down and absorption of food
  • The two most important things to regulate blood sugar effortlessly - eating whole plant foods and staying sensitive to stress
  • The difference between managing blood sugar with a low carb diet vs reversing insulin resistance with a wfpb diet naturally low in fat

For more on blood sugar regulation and reversing insulin resistance, check out these episodes:

https://podcast.alter.health/68
https://podcast.alter.health/72
https://podcast.alter.health/174
https://podcast.alter.health/201
https://podcast.alter.health/229


Links to some more good stuff

- Get the Alter Health weekly WFPB Meal Guides: https://www.alter.health/meal-guides
- Cleanse with Us during the next Alter Health Cleanse: https://www.alter.health/cleanse
- Work with us in the Thrive on Plants program: https://www.alter.health/thrive-on-plants
- ATTN Health Practitioners! Learn more and apply to the Plant Based Mind Body Practitioner Program: https://www.alter.health/pbmb-practitioner

Peace and Love.