Control of blood glucose concentration by pancreas and insulin

Regulating blood glucose

Glucose is needed by cells for respiration. It is important that the concentration of glucose in the blood is maintained at a constant level and controlled carefully. Insulin is a hormone - produced by a gland called the pancreas - that regulates glucose concentrations in the blood.

If the blood glucose concentration is too high, the pancreas produces the hormone insulin, which causes glucose to move from the blood into the cells. Insulin targets liver and muscle cells, causing them to take up excess glucose and convert it to glycogen for storage. The glucose can then be used at a later date when the body needs it.

Action of insulin

Low glucoseHigh glucose
Effect on pancreasInsulin not secreted into the bloodInsulin secreted into the blood
Effect on liverDoes not convert glucose into glycogenConverts glucose into glycogen