The Pancreas – The brain of the digestive system by Anni Dahms

The Pancreas – The brain of the digestive system by Anni Dahms

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The pancreas is a small, though very important, gland that is located in the upper part of the abdomen, above the navel, and extends through the posterior abdominal wall, it is about 15-16 cm long and weighs approximately 90 grams. The pancreas is a dual-function gland, having features of both endocrine and exocrine glands, it has a digestive function (producing approximately 1 liter of pancreatic juice daily) and a very important hormonal function which role in diabetes is determining.

The production of hormones in this gland takes place in the pancreatic islets called Islets of Langerhans. The hormones that are secreted here are mainly insulin and glucagon, both affecting blood sugar levels. Insulin takes up sugar from our blood, acting immediately after eating. Glucagon acts between meals releasing sugar into our bloodstream as needed. If you have pancreatic dysfunctions related to one of these hormones, you may also have dysfunctions related to the other. As your pancreas is playing a vital role in your body, you should treat it with great care and respect. In our modern western lifestyle, so vertiginous and focused on money and material goods, pancreas disorders are on the rise. The pancreas is a very sensitive organ which gets affected by both food and strong emotions. It is also very sensitive to air pollution produced by cars and industry. Difficult economic conditions, daily stress and problems in general have a negative effect on the pancreas, and we often put additional stress on our digestive system by not having a calm meal. All of us, children and adults, are very sensitive to states of mind, and disputes that may arise when families gather at lunchtime can disturb our digestion.
Unfortunately, pancreatic problems tend to be more common as we age, for example: digestive malfunctions, pancreatitis, cancer of pancreas, diabetes, low levels of sugar in our blood and disorders associated with alcohol. Pancreas diseases are considered very dangerous.
The pancreas communicates with the other glands of the body (adrenal gland, thyroid glands and glands in the brain), any of which could be held responsible for a low sugar level in our bloodstream.


Pancreatic juice has an alkaline nature due to the high concentration of bicarbonate ions. This is useful in neutralizing the acidic gastric acid, allowing an effective enzymatic action, and protecting against chemical aggressions to the duodenum. Pancreatic juice contains several digestive enzymes, the best known are: trypsin, which cleaves the protein amylase that in turn catalyses the breakdown of starch into sugars, and lipase, which catalyzes the formation of lipids (breaks down the fat).
Symptoms showing your pancreas is not working properly can be very varied: indigestion and blood sugar disequilibrium that could be caused by either a poor digestion of fats / proteins or an overload of our pancreas endocrine function, swellings more than half an hour after eating, tension over the area that corresponds to the solar plexus (slightly to the left), irregular bowel movements, oily, yellow and sticky feces, flatulence 3-4 hours after eating, etc.

The Diet

You can help your pancreas by properly chewing your food, doing so preferably in a quiet pleasant stress-free environment. Chew triggers the action of your salivary glands, allowing the production of saliva which has a detoxifying effect. The way you digest your food is very important in every aspect. If you have some extra pounds, you will realize by chewing food well enough that you will eat less and digest better, taking care of your pancreas at the same time. Saliva contains the enzyme amylase, which is responsible of degrading the rich carbohydrates. Well chewing your food, as porridge, before being swallowed, allows your digestive fluids to function adequately and provides a solid basis for a good digestion. It is very important that we have the right amount of enzymes. Pancreatic enzymes are not only to break down food in the small intestine, they are also sent directly into the bloodstream where they process protein fragments that have not being digested. Vogel, tell us in his book “Liver”, how a cancer researcher from the USA and other researchers from different countries came, parallel, to the conclusion that there is not a single cancer patient who has a proper liver and pancreas functioning. Vogel concludes that there is no cancer without altered liver and/or pancreas.

Foods that strengthen

Beware of poor and refined foods. You can drink a few glasses of Molkosan diluted during the day to improve your digestion and get the most of your food´s nutritional properties, this helps regulate the function of the pancreas. Eat plenty of salads and vegetables, preferably raw, as, for example, celery, artichokes and all kinds of bitter veggies. In the list of ‘the best 10’ are also: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and onions, which have a preventive action in pancreatic cancer. Limit your intake of foods containing sugar, white flour and coffee, and also of all beverages containing caffeine and stimulants. Drink plenty of water between meals. If you need to use sweeteners, use Stevia which sweetens like sugar. Stevia is natural and comes from the Stevia plant that does not contain chemicals. You can buy Stevia as a sweetener in tablets for cooking and baking. Limit your intake of meat. Brown rice is nutritious and tasty and gives a good feeling of lasting satiety, add rice to your meals 2 or 3 times a week, you can dress it with garlic, thyme and other herbs, also tomato if you like it. Sauerkraut also has a good effect on the pancreas. Blueberries contain many healthy elements, including a large number of minerals, stimulating and regenerating the pancreas, both in its internal and external areas of functioning. Take foods with a high content of zinc like oysters, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, etc. Include also millet and buckwheat in your meals.
Take papaya frequently, every day if possible. Papaya ensures a good digestion of proteins. If you are one of those people that need food rich in protein to feel satisfied you should know that it is very recommendable to cook them well enough. Symptoms of not properly digesting proteins can be: feeling swollen, burping about 15 minutes after a meal rich in proteins and feeling tired after eating. All this disappears shortly after the intake of papaya. It is also a proved anthelmintic. When I was in Mexico, I found a store stock-café right away, there I could enjoy my morning coffee everyday while watching the comings and goings of the local population. I could see the same workers coming daily to take a papaya drink. I did the same, of course. The drink had a very nice taste and made me feel wonderfully, from that moment on it became part of my morning ritual.


  • You can begin with a good vitamin and mineral supplement of easy absorption such as Spektro, Omnimin, or Mivitotal, and also Omega 3 in an easily absorbable form.
  • If you can´t get fresh papaya where you live, it is recommended to take it pure in capsules or mixed with other enzymes in an enzymatic complex.
  • Many people will benefit enormously from Vita Biosa, which is a mix of healthy bacteria and other microorganisms that fight harmful bacteria and break down chemicals, it makes the intestinal mucosa healthier and dense, boosting the release of antioxidants to support all the functions of our body. I know many successful stories on this product. Other examples of probiotics are OmniVegan Biotic Balanceand Multidophilus from Solaray.
  • Lecithin, in powder or capsules, is beneficial to the pancreas. It helps us concentrate, gets cholesterol more fluid, has a soothing effect on the nervous system and contains vitamins and minerals. Lecithin powder can be sprinkled over breakfast every morning, it tastes good and slightly sweet.
  • Chromium is a mineral essential to life, necessary to control blood glucose levels and properly tolerate the intake of sugars. Refined sugars drain our chrome. If you eat sweets or other products containing refined sugars, it is a good idea to take supplements with chrome during 2 or 3 months.
  • B3, also known as niacin acts on the metabolism of sugars and carbohydrates, and can help reduce blood cholesterol levels. Beware of excessive doses and prolonged use, it can cause liver damage. Remember B3 can´t be taken alone, for it to work correctly you need to take it together with a B vitamin complex like for instance Biosym´s Multi-B Active or Solaray´s Mega B stress, etc.
  • Vitamin C as supplement is to be taken daily, between 500-1000 mg per day.
  • Milk thistle which active ingredient is Silymarin, either in a liquid form, as a tea or in the form of capsules, is a great help for the liver and pancreas.
  • Supplements of magnesium and calcium act as glucose stabilizers.


If you smoke, stop or reduce smoking significantly, also avoid being a passive smoker. Several studies show a clear relationship between smokers´ health problems and pancreas problems.
Be careful not to take unnecessary medication as, for example, sleeping pills during an excessively long time, or headache pills as soon as you feel the slightest discomfort. Chemical preparations are a burden on your liver and pancreas.
Breathe correctly through the nose. There are different levels of breathing which can be practiced in a therapeutic way. There are therapists that say correct breathing gymnastics is an extraordinary mean to a wonderful health, and the best thing… it is still free. When you breathe properly and deeply, you live and feel in a more conscious way.
Be sure to have enough rest, sleep and quiet moments, getting stronger to easily overcome every adversity, worry or disappointment you could face throughout your life.
As it has been shown after Chinese Medicine records, Chinese people have known for a very long time that each of the twelve principal organs has its special period of activity of 2 hours once a day. Therefore, if certain symptoms occur at specific hours of the day, then they could be related to one of the disorders of the organ that is in its period of activity at that moment. It may be useful to keep this in mind in order to find out where a certain ailment comes from. Pancreatic activity period is between 9 and 11 in the morning.
Be sure to have happy people and happy friends around you. Joy is a great health agent. Enjoy the nature and the beauty that surrounds you. We have many beautiful flowers and plants… Enjoy the singing of the birds and smile when your pet is playing funny tricks, encourage every funny game.

For Louise Hay the pancreas represents the sweetness of life. We can help our pancreas with a pattern of positive thinking that says: my life is lovely. Say it aloud to yourself, many times a day.

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