The pancreas is a glandular organ in the digestive system and endocrine system of vertebrates. In humans, it is located in the abdominal cavity behind the stomach. It is an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide which circulate in the blood. The pancreas is also a digestive organ, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that assist digestion and absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. These enzymes help to further break down the carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids in the chyme.
Optimal range: 25 - 115 U/L
Our bodies use amylase for the digestion of carbohydrates. Primarily the pancreas produces it, and unusual levels of amylase in the blood may point to a problem with the pancreas or the gynecological organs in women. An amylase test is often done along with a lipase test to assess pancreatic health.
Optimal range: 23 - 160 U/L
Lipase is an enzyme produced by the pancreas and is used for digestion. Therefore, abnormal lipase levels are usually indicative of a pancreatic disorder. A healthcare professional may order a lipase test to diagnose or monitor such a condition.