pancreatic juice (pănˌkrēătˈĭk, păngˌ–) [key], secretions of the exocrine portion of the pancreas into the small intestine. The juice contains a number of important digestive enzymes, including trypsin, chymotrypsin, carboxypeptidase, lipase, and amylase. Pancreatic juice is alkaline in nature because of a high concentration of bicarbonate ions; this helps to neutralize the acidic gastric juice from the stomach. Secretion of pancreatic juice is stimulated by hormones of the duodenum, such as secretin and cholecystokinin, and by nervous impulses through the vagus nerve.
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