Probably you already know what steroids are. And probably you already know that there are different types of steroids. But you may have a question, what is the function of steroids in the human body? In this article, we will tell about the effects of all the major steroids in the body.
Testosterone — Anabolic Steroid
Let’s explore the action of testosterone with its androgenic properties. This hormone makes a boy a man. During puberty, the hormonal levels change leading to the occurrence of secondary sex features and development of testes and penis. In addition, should be grateful to testosterone for stimulating the growth of musculature, decreasing fat percentage and maintaining the optimum strength of bones. Test is a natural anabolic, as it triggers the formation and renewal of muscle tissues. It makes a man sturdy and hardy.
A vital criterion of health is the absence of protruding belly (abdominal obesity). T hormone and fat deposits are interrelated. This hormone activates the burning of fat stores (due to the production of healthy cholesterol). If the level of the hormone falls, the fat immediately begins to accumulate (primarily in the belly area).
Another function of the hormone is to make sure that male health is good (the substance ensures normal sexual appetite, erection and semen quality). That’s why at 25-30 a man is hypersexual — in fact, at this age his body produces the maximum amount of testosterone, after which the hormone production begins to decline.
The Role of Corticosteroids in the Body
The functions of corticosteroids (read more in corticosteroids definition) are as follows:
- anti-inflammatory properties without affecting the infectious origin and pathogenic organisms;
- the ability to influence all types of metabolism: water-electrolyte, fat, protein and carb;
- they fight allergy;
- they influence the heart and vessels, help to regulate arterial pressure;
- stimulation of the formation of blood platelets, fragments of megakaryocytes and red blood cells;
- they oppress sex hormones’ synthesis, reduce sensitivity to steroids, which are made by the thyroid.
What is the Function of Estrogens?
The presence of an increased amount of estrogen (steroid substance) in the female body determines the development of the female type. It prepares the body for bearing a fetus. In women of childbearing age, it regulates menstrual cycle. Estrogen is divided into three types: estriol, estradiol, estrone.
- Estriol (oestriol) levels are usually low in the female body, this hormone increases during pregnancy. The process of its synthesis is intricate. Fetal adrenal glands produce dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), which is transported to the liver and turns into 16a-hydroxy-DHEAS. 16α-Hydroxydehydroepiandrosterone is in turn moved to placenta and then converted into oestriol. Cohen SL (University of Toronto, 1985) hypothesized that large estriol quantities are produced during human pregnancy to ensure a quiescent womb during prelabour.
- Estradiol (oestradiol) is produced in the ovaries. It enhances intellection, modulates bone density, regulates lipid levels. The hormone supports adequate bone growth, has neuroprotective effects, improves bloodstream in the coronary arteries. Estradiol helps women look younger and more spirited, prevents skin aging and weight gain. Its levels decline after menopause. Scientists at Yale University (Tamas L. Horvath, Qian Gao, Gabor Mezei and others) have found that estradiol curbs appetite similar to leptin, therefore when it decreases, appetite strengthens and it is difficult for women to control their appetite and weight.
- Estrone (oestrone) is synthesized mainly from the gonads. Elevated plasma estrone rates are strongly associated with the risk of developing breast cancer. The risk group includes women with excessive weight, decreased thyroid function, consuming strong drinks, excessive amount of sugar, and birth control pills. Low estrone, according to Antonio de Padua Mansur, Tereza Cristina B. F. Silva et al. (University of São Paulo, 2012) is connected with increased all-cause mortality in females with coronary artery disease (CAD) or high risk for CAD.
While its importance is normally attributed to females, estrogens in males plays a significant role. In particular, it is essential for modulating sex drive, erectile function, and formation of spermatozoa. As stated by Guneet Kaur Jasuja, Thomas G. Travison et al. (Bedford VA Medical Center, Boston University, 2013) although estrone is a weaker estrogenic hormone than estradiol in some bioassays, its circulating content in males is bigger than those of estradiol.
Cholesterol — the Base to Build Steroids
Sterols (steroid alcohols) are the platform for the human body to create steroid hormones. Found in almost every cell, cholesterol is the most abundant sterol in animal plasmatic (cytoplasmic) membranes and the human body. In the proper concentration, this lipophilic molecule provides many vital processes. It maintains the shape and functioning of cell membranes, and increases strength, regulates permeability. It plays a role for intracellular transportation and regulates the activity of enzymes that greatly expedite biochemical reactions. Cholesterol also takes part in the synthesis of sex hormones. In addition, it is a constituent of bile salt, which is needed for digestion of fat-soluble vitamins (Trevor Huff, Ishwarlal Jialal, Creighton University and California Northstate University, 2017).
However, a high level of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, LDL) is associated with a risk of cardiovascular diseases. LDL is a very important part of the hypercholesterolemic process, however, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) also participate in it.