A hormone is simply an emission of an endocrine gland that blood transmits to the tissue where it has an effect. There are various types of hormones in the human body with three main divisions entailing amino acid, steroid, and peptide. This paper analyzes an example of each of the different type of hormones in humans.
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Insulin is a hormone that falls under peptide generated by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin has 51 amino acids; the molecule has a molecular weight of 5808 Da (Benedict et al., 2010). The hormone is a dimer of an A-chain and a B-chain both linked by the disulfide bonds.
The structure of the human insulin is remarkably close to the one of porcine insulin in pigs. After stronger cells have produced insulin, the body stores it as a unit of six insulin molecules called ‘the hexamer’. The latter is usually inactive while the monomer is the active form (Massaro, 2004).
Insulin serves several functions in the human body with the main one being its ability to help “cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle” (Melloul, Marshak, & Cerasi, 2002). The body then accumulates glycogen in the muscles and liver for future use. Insulin also stops the body from consumption of fat as an energy supply. The body only uses fat as a source of energy when it lacks insulin or when the levels are low hindering uptake of glucose. The hormone also controls different body systems and regulates the intake of amino acids by the body cells. In addition, insulin is crucial in controlling the levels of sugar in the blood (Benedict et al. 2010). When the sugar level is high, a condition called ‘diabetes,” insulin regulates the amount of sugar.
The other name of this hormone is P4, and it is a steroid hormone of the female body. It falls under a category of hormones referred to as progestogens. The source of this hormone is the corpus luteum in the ovaries and the adrenal gland. On the other hand, the placenta produces progesterone during pregnancy, in higher quantities (Herson, Koerner, & Hurn, 2009). It contains four interrelated cyclic hydrocarbons. It is hydrophobic just like any other steroid hormone. The hormone has ketone, two methyl branches, and oxygenated groups.
Progesterone corrects hormonal balances by stopping estrogen from becoming injurious to the human body. This is crucial because when the amount of progesterone is lower than estrogen in the body, a person may experience symptoms of estrogen dominance (Cekic, Sayeed, & Stein, 2009). The hormone is also the primary hormone in fertility and pregnancy. It helps the fertilized eggs, the embryo, and the fetus survive (Herson, Koerner, & Hurn, 2009). It also arouses the development of breast tissue. Additionally, during pregnancy, progesterone prevents the uterus from contracting and moving impulsively. It also prevents the shedding of the uterine lining (Cekic, Sayeed, & Stein, 2009). For this reason, a drop in the level of the hormone results in miscarriage during pregnancy.
Progesterone is a vastly potent antagonist of the mineralocorticoid receptor by stopping its activation through firm binding to the receptor. The hormone applies its main activity through the progesterone receptor (Herson, Koerner, & Hurn, 2009). According to Ing and Tornesi (1997, p. 1205), “estrogen normally up regulates the expression of progesterone receptors through estrogen receptors.”
Adrenaline is a neurotransmitter and an amino acid hormone, and its other name is epinephrine. Adrenal glands at the top of the kidney produce adrenaline (Ehrlich, & Schroeder, 2000). The production of adrenaline amplifies during when a person is excited or under stress. The hormone has a nickname of the “fight for fight” response hormone because of its fast response to any changes in the body.
Adrenaline contains one benzene ring, three hydroxyl groups, one atom of nitrogen, and one trigonal pyramidal methyl group, all of which bond together (Massaro, 2004). Adrenaline composes of hydrogen (7.5%), carbon (59%), oxygen (7.7%), and nitrogen (26.2%).
Adrenaline raises the amount of sugar in the body by stimulating the liver to change glycogen it has stored and form glucose. The hormone also makes the fatty tissue release fat into the blood. Most of its activities result in increased heart rate (Ehrlich, & Schroeder, 2000). Adrenaline also boosts the flow of blood to the muscles while decreasing its flow to the intestines and skin. Medical practitioners use adrenaline to cure cardiac arrest and other cardiac dysrhythmias leading to reduced or no cardiac output. On the other hand, they use the hormone to treat anaphylaxis because of its vasoconstrictive effects. In victims of asthma, doctors use adrenaline as a bronchodilator if β2 agonists are ineffective (Ehrlich, & Schroeder, 2000). Traditionally, doctors have used adrenaline in the management of croup through the active form.
Adrenaline works by joining to a number of adrenaline receptors since it is a nonselective agonist. When the hormone binds itself in these receptors, it stimulates several metabolic adjustments (Massaro, 2004). This situation happens according to the major subtypes of the hormone including α1, α2, β1, β2, and β3 (Massaro, 2004).
Different hormones play different roles in the functioning of the human body. In addition, the hormones may work to regulate the amount of other harmful hormones in the body, such as estrogen. Insulin, progesterone, and adrenaline are extremely beneficial hormones because they help the bodies perform various key functions. The medical uses of the hormones are increasing due to continued research in the field.
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