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Hormones play a critical role in the healthy functioning of the human body. They regulate organ functioning and have an impact on their development, reproduction, and sexual traits. Hormones are a group of substances produced by the human body that regulate and govern the activity of several organs. Hormones can be controlled by glands and organs, a negative feedback system, or other hormones.
Hormones are chemical compounds that operate as messenger molecules in the bloodstream. Hormones transport chemical information from the glands where they are created to cells throughout the human body. These chemical messengers aid in the activation and deactivation of cellular processes that regulate stress, hunger, growth, sleep cycles, blood sugar, sex drive, and sexual function.
Hormones play a critical role in the healthy functioning of the human body. They regulate organ functioning and have an impact on their development, reproduction, and sexual traits.
Furthermore, hormones influence how the human body stores and utilizes energy, as well as the number of fluids and the level of sugar and salt in the blood. As a result, even a modest quantity of hormones can cause a substantial response in the human body.
Hormones are a group of substances produced by the human body that regulate and govern the activity of several organs. Hormones are introduced into the bloodstream via the endocrine glands.
Hormones are made up of a wide variety of substances, however, they are divided into three types –
- Protein/amino acid derivatives (amines, proteins, and peptides)
Functions of Hormones
Hormones function as messengers that are released into the bloodstream. Blood transports them to the human body’s numerous organs and tissues. Hormones connect to receptors once they reach their target spot. Once this process is complete, hormones send a message to an organ or tissue, causing it to execute a certain activity.
Hormones perform the following vital functions:
- Mood and cognitive function regulation
- Development and growth
- Food digestion
- Keeping the body temperature stable
- Managing Thirst and Hunger
- initiation and maintenance of sexual development and reproduction
Hormones can be controlled by glands and organs, a negative feedback system, or other hormones. Tropic hormones are hormones that control the release of other hormones and are released by the anterior pituitary gland in the brain.
Hormones’ Chemical Structure
Hormones can be classed chemically as proteins or steroids. Except for sex hormones and those from the adrenal cortex, all hormones in the human body are proteins or protein derivatives.
Properties of Hormones
Hormones have the following important properties:
- Because of their low molecular weight, they may readily travel through capillaries.
- Hormones usually have a modest concentration of action.
- Hormones are important since they are non-antigenic. They function as organic catalysts. Hormones function in the human body as coenzymes for other enzymes.
- Hormones are notable for their ability to be eliminated, expelled, or inactivated once their role has been completed.
- Because they are water-soluble, they may be carried via the blood.
- Hormonal activity is not inherited.
- Hormones, in their first activity, induce a restricted number of responses and have no direct impact on a cell’s metabolic processes.
Types of Hormones in the Human Body
Despite the fact that there are many different types of hormones in the human body, they are usually divided into three groups based on their chemical makeup. These are the –
Hormones Derived from Lipids
Lipid-derived hormones are predominantly produced from cholesterol, and their structures are similar. Steroid hormones are the most important lipid hormones in the human body, and they are either ketones or alcohols chemically. Examples of steroid hormones include Cortisol and aldosterone.
Hormones Derived from Amino Acids
These hormones are derived from tryptophan, amino acids, and tyrosine. Hormones such as norepinephrine and epinephrine are examples. These are produced by the medulla section of the adrenal glands. Furthermore, the pineal gland in the brain produces melatonin, which regulates the sleep cycle.
The peptide hormone’s structure is similar to that of the polypeptide chain (chain of amino acids). Insulin, which is generated by the pancreas, is a well-known example of a peptide hormone.
The pancreas’ primary role is to keep blood sugar levels stable. It is a big gland that is found behind the stomach. It is responsible for the production of insulin, glucagon, and other hormones. Diabetes develops when the pancreas does not create enough insulin or when the body does not effectively utilize insulin (called insulin resistance).
Examples of Hormones
- Beta cells in the pancreas produce the hormone Insulin. When insulin is released into the bloodstream, it helps control how the body’s cells use glucose (a form of sugar) for energy.
- Androgens are in charge of male sex characteristics. The sex hormone generated by the testicles, testosterone, is an androgen.
- Estrogens are a class of hormones that regulate female sexual development. They are predominantly generated by the ovaries, with minor contributions from the adrenal glands.
- The thyroid gland secretes two major hormones into the bloodstream: thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Thyroid hormones stimulate all cells in the body and regulate biological processes including growth, reproduction, development, and metabolism.
How Do Hormones Function?
When a hormone diffuses outside of a capillary, it can operate on a target cell - a cell containing corresponding receptors. Hormonal activity is classified into two categories. Asteroid hormone has the ability to pass the target cell's cell membrane. It binds to a receptor protein inside the nucleus, which either activates or inhibits the cell's genetic activity. Protein hormones are unable to enter the target cell. It binds to the cell's membrane and activates a receptor, which then releases a messenger within the cell.
Where do hormones come from in the human body?
Around 50 distinct hormones are produced and circulated in the human body. Endocrine cells, the majority of which are found in glands, create a vast range of these chemical compounds. Hormones are produced by many endocrine glands in the human body. The hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, pineal, pancreatic, adrenal, and other major glands are listed here. These hormones are released into the bloodstream once they have been synthesized. Hormones are secreted into bodily fluids such as blood by various tissues. The hormones then travel far from where they were created until they reach cells that recognize the chemical as a command.