Difference Between Secretion vs Excretion

Difference Between Secretion vs Excretion

If you do not eat for a while, you tend to get hungry. The question is, why do you feel those pangs in your belly? You get hungry because your stomach is empty. The food that you ate the last time is long gone, broken down into soluble nutrients and moved to various parts of the body. The remnant, which is a waste, is then passed out to make way for new food materials.

In this post, we will focus on the activity of waste being passed out of the human body, specifically the difference between secretion and excretion. Let us point out that food waste is not the only byproduct of the body. There are a bunch of others, which are equally referred to as far as this post is concerned.

Definition of Secretion

Secretion is defined as the procedure of mobilizing organic materials from one point to another inside the body. It involves the transportation of these agents from one location to another without necessarily ejecting them from the body.

So, what are some of the substances that go through this process in the body? First, we have hormones, which are defined as signaling molecules produced by glands. There are about 50 of them in the human body, and they all perform different functions.

Another one is the enzymes, proteins that act as biological catalysts. 1,300 of them have been discovered in the human body with varying functions. Others include saliva, sweat, tears, etc.

The numbers in the paragraph above will give you an idea of how complex the human body is. These secreted substances facilitate and regulate compound biochemical processes amidst other functions in the body. Note that these materials can be either internal or external depending on some factors.

Definition of Excretion

Excretion is defined as the procedure of removing organic waste products from the body to avoid toxicity. Notice how this process is more about removing the entire material from the body as opposed to the secretion vs excretion comparison where the former is more about moving the said material from one place to another.

You may already know that every cell in the human body performs designated biochemical reactions to survive. At the end of these reactions, byproducts are made and need to be moved completely out of the body or they may constitute health complications.

Excretion in humans usually takes place through organs like the skin, kidney, urinary bladder, ureter, urethra, intestines, lungs, liver, and so on.

Here are some facts about the human excretory system:

  • The bladder can hold more than 400 ml of urine. That is close to half a liter.
  • A functional kidney filters the blood 400 times in 24 hours

Main Differences Between Secretion vs Excretion

This section is a tabular summary showing the difference between excretion and secretion with regards to their definitions, the nature of substances released, the nature of the operation, and so on.

Basis of Comparison SecretionExcretion
Definition The procedure of mobilizing organic materials from one point to another inside the bodyThe procedure of removing organic waste products from the body to avoid toxicity
Other meaningVital suppliesUnwanted byproducts
Nature of procedurePassiveActive
Substances Saliva, enzymes, hormonesCarbon dioxide, tears, sweat, urine, and feces
Location in the bodyGallbladder, liver, pancreas, and the salivary, endocrine, and digestive glandsTear duct, skin, lungs, rectum
Functions of substancesInvolved in the metabolic process of the bodyNot useful to the body and is completely removed to avoid complications

Difference Between Secretion and Excretion: Conclusion

So, you get hungry because of the metabolic processes that take place inside your body, part of which we have explained above in the excretion vs secretion comparison. Eating healthy would not just refill your stomach, it would also provide the nutrients necessary for these metabolic processes.

In conclusion, note that a person’s lifestyle affects both of these processes, either negatively or positively. Drinking a lot of water, working out regularly, doing regular blood pressure checks, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, drinking little or no alcohol, etc. are some of the things you can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle and ensure a smooth metabolic process.