Hormones are tiny but powerful agents that occur naturally in the human body. So much so, they’re even used to treat cancer.
They’re chemical messengers that can impact many aspects of human health, although we usually only think of them in terms of reproduction.
The truth is, this area is the sole domain of sex hormones, which make up a small but potent portion of all known hormones.
That leaves us asking, ”what are sex hormones anyway?” Keep reading to find out.
What Are Sex Hormones Responsible For?
Hormones are present in small amounts in the human body, but they play an important role in regulating reproduction, metabolism, and development.
Of all the hormones, sex hormones are the most vital to our ongoing well-being. Naturally, they’re involved in regulating all of the above, but they also impact other areas, like:
- Body weight
- Bone health
- Mood and brain function
- Skin and hair
- Cardiovascular health
Hormones come from specialized glands, e.g., the pituitary gland, thyroid, testes, and ovaries.
Types of Sex Hormones
Scientists have identified at least 50 different hormones in the human body, including four types of sex hormones. They are:
DHEA arises in the adrenal glands. It’s instrumental in regulating neurotransmitters and stress responses. Most importantly, it serves as a reservoir for other sex hormones.
If your DHEA levels are low, this will impact the production of sex hormones, as the body converts DHEA into testosterone in men and estrogen in women.
The best known of the male sex hormones, testosterone acts throughout the body to regulate bone, muscle, fat distribution, hair growth, heart health, blood cell production, libido, and sperm production.
Women also have testosterone in smaller quantities to regulate bone health, mood, skin, fertility, and libido.
There are three types of these female sex hormones. These are estriol, estrone, and estradiol.
Estradiol is the most potent of these reproductive hormones. It regulates the menstrual cycle, triggers menopause, regulates bone, brain, heart, and metabolic health, and affects skin elasticity and mood.
Estrogen arises mainly in the ovaries, although the adrenal glands and fat cells also produce small quantities of it.
Men produce estrogen in the adrenal gland, and it plays an important role in their well-being. These symptoms of low estrogen in men highlight this fact.
Progesterone comes from the adrenal glands and the testes in men. In women, it’s produced when an ovary releases an egg, and it plays a major role in regulating menstrual cycles, and pregnancy.
This hormone also impacts mood, breast health, brain function, and sexual health.
Boost Your Hormonal Health
With more clarity on your questions about, ”what are sex hormones?”, you’re more equipped to take better care of your health. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps boost hormone production and also reduces inflammation for optimum health.
If you notice any signs of a hormone imbalance, consult your doctor for advice on how to remedy the situation. Keep browsing our website for general information on health issues.
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