Ozempic, Semaglutide, the Pancreas and JUICES!

The Pancreas and JUICES!

When researching the Pancreas, the phrase “juices” was written in repeatedly and at some point you either start to gag or giggle. I’m choosing to giggle.

In regards to health, hormones, & digestion, etc, we think of the stomach, gallbladder, intestines, but we rarely think of the pancreas. I’ll admit it wasn’t an organ on my radar until Ozempic and Semaglutide (and Mounjaro) became a thing.

So, down the rabbit hole I went because, well, if I’m going to support women in my gym, I need to understand what the fudge these meds are and how they affect the body, which primarily targets…THE PANCREAS!!!

Pancreas job number 1:

The first role of the pancreas is to secrete digestive enzymes in the form of juices to aide in breaking down the foods we eat so the minerals, vitamins, amino acids, proteins, sugar, etc, etc, can be absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to the cells, organs, and tissues in need of said nutrients.

Kinda not how we traditionally think of food buuuuut we should #whywehavedisease ….but I digress

These enzymes include trypsin and chymotrypsin to digest proteins; amylase for the digestion of carbohydrates; and lipase to break down fats.

How does the Pancreas do this?

The Pancreas is comprised of two different types of tissue. 85% is Exocrine of acinar and duct tissue with 2% being Endocrine called the islets of Langerhans…where the names came from Idk but yea, here we are.

  • Acinar cells synthesize, store, and secrete digestive enzymes such as lipase, protease, and amylase into the duodenum. (see above)
  • Ductal cells secrete NaHCO3 and water, which neutralizes the acidic pH of food, and helps carry the digestive enzymes into the duodenum < basically a tube connecting the Pancreas to the Stomach.

The PROBLEM starts when…

there is an inadequate amount of enzymes being released which leads to malabsorption of nutrients. Which as you know, cells and organs are LIVING parts of our bodies. When nutrients aren’t being properly broken down, they can’t be absorbed, cells and organs break down…DISEASE!

Why does this happen?

So many reasons but the top I tend to see are:

  • malnutrition: Not eating sufficient nutrient dense foods causing a lack of nutrient availability
  • malnutrition: consuming too many inflammatory foods which forces the body out of homeostasis and into an immune state, decreasing the Pancreas ability to properly function (and gut as a whole)
  • GI or dysfunctional gut: lack of enzymatic production due to poor absorption post secretion mis-sending signals between the gut, brain and pancreas
  • GI or dysfunctional gut: insulin sensitivity due to endocrine issues <—adrenals (stress) and overburdened liver/detox pathways

How do we fix this?

To fix this, we have to understand the other half of how the Pancreas works…the Endocrine side. I promise, I will send this other side of the story. For now, take a moment to reflect on your Pancreas…this corn looking organ near your tummy and the 4 ways listed above that can affect it’s function. Where do YOU stand?

Hit reply and tell me your thoughts!