The pancreas lies behind the stomach and has two distinct roles. As an endocrine gland it makes the hormones insulin and glucagon to control glucose sugar levels. When blood sugar levels rise, pancreatic beta cells release insulin which causes fat and muscle cells to absorb excess sugar. As an exocrine gland, the pancreas produces powerful juices packed with enzymes for digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Each day 1.5 litres of pancreatic juice flow into the small intestine.