Hormones

The importance of hormone in the proper functioning of a human body is immense. They control the functions of organs and influence their growth, reproduction and sexual characteristics.

Moreover, hormones also affect the way a human body stores and use energy and regulate the volume of fluids as well as the level of sugar and salt in blood. Thus, a small amount of hormone can trigger a significant response in the human body.

What are Hormones?

Hormones are various chemicals released within a human body that regulate and control the activities of multiple organs. The introduction of hormones to the blood takes places via endocrine glands.

What Is the Function of Hormones?

Hormones act as a messenger which are released into the blood. Blood transmits them to various organs and tissues of the human body. After reaching a target site, hormones bind to the receptors. Once this process is complete, hormones then transmit the message which causes an organ or tissue to perform a specific action.

What are The Properties of Hormones?

The significant properties of hormones are –

  1. They have a low molecular weight; thus, they can easily pass through capillaries.

  2. Hormones always act in low concentration.

  3. They are soluble in water so that they can be transported via blood.

  4. The importance of hormone is that they are non-antigenic. They are organic catalysts. Hormones act as coenzymes of other enzymes in a human body.

  5. Hormones, in their first action, cause a limited number of reactions and do not influence any metabolic activities of a cell directly.

  6. A significant characteristic of hormones is that, after their function is over, they are readily destroyed, excreted or inactivated.

  7. Hormonal activities are not hereditary.

What Are Hormones Made Of?

Hormones are made of a diverse range of chemicals, but they are classified in three classes –

  1. Eicosanoids

  2. Amino acid/protein derivatives (amines, proteins, and peptides)

  3. Steroids

How Many Types of Hormones are There in a Human Body?

Even though there are several types of hormones in a human body, they are primarily classified into three categories based on their chemical structure. These are –

  1. Lipid-Derived Hormones

Lipid-derived hormones primarily derive from cholesterol, and they share a similarity in terms of their structure. Steroid hormones are the primary lipid hormones in a human body, and chemically they are either ketones or alcohols. Examples of steroid hormones are cortisol and aldosterone. 

  1. Amino Acid-Derived Hormones

These classes of hormones originates from amino acids, tyrosine and tryptophan. Example of such hormones is norepinephrine and epinephrine. The medulla section of the adrenal glands produces theses. Moreover, the pineal gland in the brain synthesises melatonin, which controls the sleep cycle.

  1. Peptide Hormones

The structure of the peptide hormone is similar to that of the polypeptide chain (chain of amino acids). A popular example of peptide hormone is insulin produced by the pancreas. 

Name of hormones and their functions

Here is a list of some important hormones and their functions –

  • Insulin: Produce by the pancreas, this hormone helps the human body to synthesise glucose from food intake for energy. Additionally, it controls the blood sugar level in a human body.

  • Cortisol: It is a steroid hormone synthesised in the cortex of adrenal glands. Furthermore, this hormone is also called stress-hormone as it helps the human body to deal with any pressure. 

  • Melatonin: The pineal gland in a human brain produces this hormone. It primarily controls the sleep cycle.

  • Progesterone: This female hormone is responsible for embryogenesis, menstrual cycle, and pregnancy. It is produced in the corpus luteum section of the ovary. 

The importance of hormone in human body is that it helps the body to function properly. This article aims to provide a comprehensive take on this chapter of biology. Furthermore, students can download the Vedantu app to access other chapters of biology.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is meant by hormones? Why hormones are called chemical messengers?

Hormones are chemical substances released by various endocrine glands to regulate the functions of various organs of a human body. Additionally, hormones are called chemical messengers because they convey the signal which causes an organ or tissue to perform a definite action.

2. Where are hormones made in the human body?

Hormones are made in different endocrine glands within a human body. Some of the prominent glands are hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, pineal, pancreas, adrenal, etc. After synthesising, these hormones are released in the blood.

3. How many types of hormones exists in a human body?

Human body carries Several types of hormones. However, they are classified into three main groups as per their chemical structure. These are lipid-derived hormones, amino acid-derived hormones, and peptide hormones.