Hormones are an integral part of our health and wellness, no matter what our age or gender might be. Since so few of us really know what they do or even what some of them are called, we found this article from health-savvy The Chalkboard so important and informative. Continue reading for a biology lesson that you’ll actually enjoy … and won’t be tested on. 

From The Chalkboard:

They’re not just a system that goes crazy when you’re pregnant or that is depleted when you reach a certain age. We all have functioning hormones – a vital and complex system kept in balance by some of the most basic tenets of good health.

This list is from Dr. Sara Gottfried‘s new book The Hormone Reset Diet. Here, Dr. Sara outlines each of the twelve metabolic hormones, how they function, and which aspects of our health they affect.

1. ESTROGEN
A group of hormones produced primarily in the ovaries to promote female characteristics such as menstruation, breast growth, and hip growth. Other sources of estrogen include adrenal glands and fat cells. Estrogen grows your hips and breasts; regulates menstruation; builds uterine lining to prepare for pregnancy; and keeps women lubricated, from joints to vagina.

2. INSULIN
Drives glucose into cells as fuel and deposits fat. Chronically high insulin increases estrogen (specifically estrone) and increases cells’ resistance to insulin.

3. LEPTIN
Regulates appetite, satiety, and adiponectin, which adjusts how you burn fat.

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4. CORTISOL
The main stress hormone and a member of the glucocorticoid family. Governs blood sugar, blood pressure, and immune function. Cortisol is produced in your adrenal glands under most conditions, stressful or otherwise.

5. THYROID
Essential to the smooth operation of hormone pathways. Adequate thyroid hormone is necessary to make pregnenolone from cholesterol, and then to further refine it into progesterone. Affects your metabolism and energy, weight, mood.

6. GROWTH HORMONE
Helps burn fat and gain lean muscle. Determines how much fat is deposited on your belly.

7. TESTOSTERONE
One of the sex hormones belonging to the androgen family. Although it is often thought of as the male hormone, women need to have some testosterone in their bodies as well. The difference between men and women lies in quantity of testosterone (men produce much higher quantities). It’s a hormone of vitality and self-confidence. Producing too much is the main reason for female infertility in this country. It’s also involved in sex drive; producing too little is linked to low libido in women and men.

8. ADIPONECTIN
Secreted by fat cells and adjusts how you burn fat.

9. GHRELIN
Raises appetite in order to initiate eating. Acts in counterpart to leptin. Produced in stomach cells.

What remaining three hormones should you know? Jump over to the Chalkboard to find out, here!

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Image via Megan Converse


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