Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What are hormones

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To understand which hormones affect gynecomastia, and how they do it, you need to know what hormones are, themselves, and what is their principle of action. Surely many people who read my blog, are aware of hormones, but I'm sure there are those who have only heard the word, but know nothing about the specific functions of hormones, and how they work. If you're the latter, it is strongly recommended you continue reading! More advanced information on this issue, will have to wait for my next article, where we talk about what we are interested in hormones, and how they are associated with gynecomastia, or so-called "man boobs".

What are Hormones

Hormones are biologically active substances. They are synthesized by the endocrine glands, and influence the organism strongly. Once synthesized, the hormones enter the blood stream, and thus, spread throughout the body.

Physiological functions of hormones:

--- Along with the nervous system, they provide adequate reactions of organs and systems, to changing environmental conditions, ie provide a process of adaptation, for the organism.
--- Provide overall growth, development and reproduction of the organism.
--- Provide balance of the internal environment of the body.

HOW hormones work

Certain hormones act only on cells of well-defined tissues or organs, that have receptors, for these hormones. The system of effect is something like a key and lock mechanism. The hormone is the key and the receptor is the lock. Only certain key (hormone), may trigger a lock (receptor). Essential for hormones is that, small amounts of them, can cause enormous physiological effects via so-called cascade effects. This is when a hormone activates an enzyme molecule, the latter is then able to activate thousands of new enzyme molecules, which activate more. This cascading effect allows the hormones, to rapidly alter the course of many biochemical processes in the body.

Some hormones act at the cell nucleus, being associated with chromosomes, and activate certain genes. Others can not penetrate the cell membrane, but the effects are carried through intermediary molecules.

How to regulate the synthesis of hormones

Hormone levels in the blood, are regulated by the principle of negative feedback. It works like this: When a hormone has completed its physiological function the gland producing receives a command to reduce secretion. And vice versa - when the concentration of the hormone in the blood is low, the negative feedback to the gland, is a signal to increase secretion.

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