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
When talking about the action of testosterone, we must first start with its androgenic functions. It is this hormone that makes a man a man. During puberty, a boy’s hormonal level rises and the formation of male’s secondary sexual characteristics begins, as well as the development of the main reproductive organs is provided. In addition, a man is likely grateful to testosterone for stimulating the growth of muscle mass, burning fat and maintaining the optimum strength of bones. In fact, the hormone is a natural anabolic, as it triggers the formation and renewal of muscle structures. That is, it makes a man strong and hardy.
An important criterion of health is the absence of large fat deposits on the stomach. The fact is that testosterone and fat are interrelated. It is this hormone that 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 at its height (that is, the hormone provides normal libido, erection and semen). That’s why at the age of 25-30 a man is in the stage of hypersexuality – 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 (which we wrote about in the article devoted to corticosteroids definition) are as follows:
- anti-inflammatory effect without affecting the infectious origin and pathogens;
- the ability to influence all forms of metabolism: water-electrolyte, lipid, protein and carbohydrate; anti-allergic effect;
- effects on the cardiovascular system, an increase in the sensitivity of the walls of blood vessels and cardiac muscles to adrenomimetic and epinephrine, the effect on blood pressure;
- stimulation of the formation of blood platelets, fragments of megakaryocytes and red blood cells;
- the ability to suppress the production of sex hormones, as well as reduce the sensitivity of organs and tissues to steroids, which are produced by the thyroid gland.
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 is responsible for the menstrual cycle, raising the level of the thyroid hormone, the activity of the cardiovascular system. Estrogen is divided into three types: estriol, estradiol, estrone.
- Estriol protects the breast tissue, reduces the feeling of heat, helps to maintain bone density and dryness of the vaginal mucosa and urethra, increases the amount of “good” cholesterol and reduces the amount of “bad” cholesterol. It rises during pregnancy.
- Estradiol, produced in the ovaries, maintains bone density and lipid balance, and enhances thinking, concentration, and mood. It protects the cardiovascular system and reduces the viscosity of the blood. Its deficiency triggers breast cancer due to estrone increase, osteoporosis, heart disease, and dementia. Estradiol helps you look younger and energetic, prevents skin aging and weight gain. Its production is reduced during menopause. Scientists at Yale University have found that estradiol suppresses appetite similar to leptin, therefore when it decreases, appetite strengthens and it is difficult for women to control their appetite and weight.
- Estrone is estrogen, which is produced in the liver, adrenal glands, adipose tissue in menopause. An elevated plasma estrone level is strongly associated with the risk of developing breast cancer. The risk group includes women with obesity, decreased thyroid function, consuming alcohol, excessive amount of sugar, and birth control pills.
While its importance is normally attributed to females, estrogen in males plays a significant role. In particular, it is essential for modulating sex drive, erectile function, and formation of spermatozoa.
Cholesterol – the base to build steroids
Sterols are the platform for the human body to create steroid hormones. Found in almost every cell, cholesterol is the most abundant sterol in the body. In the proper concentration, cholesterol provides many vital processes. It maintains the shape and functioning of cell membranes, and increases strength, regulates permeability. It provides transportation of useful and harmful elements and regulation of the activity of enzymes that greatly accelerate biochemical reactions. Also, cholesterol takes part in the synthesis of sex hormones. However, a high level of bad cholesterol is associated with a risk of cardiovascular diseases.