The movement of materials within the body is governed by secretion and excretion. Both are essential for maintaining body’s homeostasis.

The major difference between secretion and excretion is that excretion involves the removal of waste material which is not of any further use to living organisms.

Secretion is an active process while excretion can be considered passive. While saliva, hormones and enzymes, as well as tears, sweat, carbon dioxide and urine are expelled from an animal’s body, so are tears, sweat, carbon dioxide and urine.

What is Secretion?

Secretion refers to the process of substances being produced and released from cells, glands or organs. Secretary products are substances such as hormones, enzymes and saliva. Endocrine glands secrete hormones, while the stomach’s gastric glands secrete enzymes. To transport hormones to their intended sites of action, hormones are released into the blood. Enzymes and hormones regulate biochemical processes. Saliva provides moisture, lubrication and protection.

What is Excretion?

Excretion refers to the process of removing metabolic waste products such as urea or carbon dioxide from the body. Excretion is a process that balances inorganic ions ions with water, and maintains an acid-base equilibrium. It helps to regulate osmotic pressure. The main purpose of excretion, therefore, is to maintain homeostasis within an organism’s internal environment.

Protozoans such as Amoeba release their wastes through diffusion. Higher multicellular organisms, on the other hand, have specialized organs that allow for excretion. The major excretory organs of vertebrates are the kidneys, which keep water balance and excrete urine. The excretion of human waste includes the skin, liver, and lungs. Along with sweat, a small amount of urea and water are also excreted from skin. The liver excretes cholesterol, bile and other substances. Carbon dioxide is removed by the lungs, which are a byproduct of cellular respiratory. The major type of sweat glands found in the human body is the Eccrine sweat glands. Let’s check below what is the difference between secretion and excretion.

Difference Between Secretion and Excretion

  • Secretion refers to the internal movement of materials, such as hormone secretion and mucosal secretion.
  • Excretion refers to the process of removing waste from the body.
  • Secretion can be an active process
  • Excretion can be a passive process
  • The body’s metabolism is influenced by the secreted substances
  • They are disposed of from the body as they are not used anymore.
  • Secretion is a process that involves the digestive, endocrine, and salivary glands as well as liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
  • The process of excretion involves the skin, lungs, tear ducts, and rectum.

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