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Hormones

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Published on Oct 18, 2007

Many of the body's most basic functions are regulated by the endocrine system—eight different glands located throughout the body.

The endocrine system constantly and quietly does its work—secreting liquid chemical messengers called hormones. These chemicals manage muscle growth and digestion, as well as energy, reproduction, and more.

Here in the pancreas, a hormone called insulin is produced and secreted into the blood. When levels of blood glucose —or sugar— become too high, the pancreas increases production of insulin.

Chemicals in the insulin cause body cells to open up, allowing more glucose from the blood to enter cells—stabilizing the amount of glucose in the blood and maintaining adequate energy in the cells.

This is just one example of how the endocrine system regulates a number of important body functions.

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