Digestive glands are the glands which have ducts that secrete digestive substances necessary for digestion in the digestive tract. For example salivary glands, liver , pancreas
Various glands associated with the alimentary canal serve the process of digestion of food. They are as follows
These glands are of three types
Salivary glands secrete saliva containing enzymes for salivary amylase (ptyalin) .
- Saliva hydrolyzes starch into maltose and dextrin with the enzyme present in it called amylase.
- For solid food particle saliva acts like a solvent which helps for swallowing.
- It also helps to protect the teeth against bacteria.
Gastric glands are found in the Wall of the stomach.
- This gland releases digestive juices containing HCL, Pepsin, mucus extra.
- Hydrochloric acid secreted by gastric glands kills the bacteria ingested with food.
- The acidic PH facilitates the action of pepsin enzymes which act on proteins present in the food.
- High acidic pH of HCL prevents the digestion of starch in the stomach.
- It also prepare the ingested food for further processing in the small intestine.
- The mucus protects the lining of the stomach from the action of hydrochloric acid produced under normal conditions.
Liver is the largest gland of the body which secretes bile juice.
- Liver produces bile which helps in excretion and metabolism of fats .
- Bile juice secreted by the liver acts on large fat molecules to form smaller globules.
- It increases the efficiency of enzyme action that is emulsification.
- Liver converts excess glucose into glycogen which can be later converted to glucose for energy.
- It clears the drugs and other poisonous substances .
The walls of the small intestine contains numerous glands that secretes intestinal juice.
- The intestinal glands secrets amylolytic, proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes.
Pancreas is connected to the small intestine through its main duct called the pancreatic duct. It secretes pancreatic juices with many enzymes.
- Pancreatic juice secreted by pancreas contains enzymes like amylase,protease, trypsin and lipase which breaks down sugar , fats and starches.
- Pancreas also makes hormones which helps in digestive system
- Hormones secreted by pancreas travel through the blood and help to regulate blood sugar levels, appetite, and stimulate stomach acids.