What's a hormone?

Published 05/22/2020, by ,
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A hormone is a molecule that acts as a messenger within living organisms, transmitting information from one organ to another. Humans, animals, and even plants synthesize different types of hormones.

In the human body, hormones are produced by cells called endocrine cells, which sometimes group together to form glands (i.e. mammary glands, adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, etc).

Once they're produced, hormones secrete into the bloodstream and travel to their target organ where they bind to membrane receptors. Hormones act like keys that open a lock. This symbiotic relationship between the hormone and its receptor leads to a cascade of chemical reactions within the cell that result in a physiological response.

Hormones can instruct the cell to multiply, synthesize a protein, and even self-destruct. The addition of these small cellular responses is visible throughout the body, contributing to the psychological and physiological balance of the organism.

For example, a growth hormone synthesized in the brain will bind to bone cells to stimulate the production of bone material- this is how we grow.
A hormone is capable of creating these actions, even at very low doses.

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