Hormones are chemical messengers that manage processes in an organism.
Tissues of human and animal bodies secrete hormones into fluids to travel until they reach specific cells and attach to the right receptors, which play a role of gatekeepers. A hormone can have many roles.
Environmental hormones, or hormone mimics, or endocrine disruptors, are the growing number of chemicals that the body may mistake for hormones.
Some plants, fungi, and bacteria have compounds that resemble human hormones well enough that it allows them to attach to some receptors, which would keep the body's genuine hormones from connecting to the cell and transferring the message. Pesticides and chemicals used in plastics can do this as well.
The human body makes about 50 different hormones, which orchestrate cells in the the body.
Most known hormones, their function area, production place, and some characteristics:
- Adrenaline (stress), by adrenal glands above the kidneys;
- Ghrelin (hunger), mostly in the stomach - low energy signals;
- Insulin (metabolic) - helps the body move sugar;
- Leptin (satiety), by fat cells - "enough to eat" signals or whether the energy should be burned or stored as fat.
- Melatonin (sleep ), by the brain’s pineal gland;
- Thyroxine (growth), by the thyroid;
- Estrogen (sex);
- Testosterone (sex), by the testes in males, by the ovaries and adrenal glands in females - tells the male body to develop masculine characteristics, such as facial and body hair, a deep voice and muscle strength; in female body promotes such traits as axillary and pubic hair growth, regulate sexual desire, vaginal lubrication, mood, and muscle development;