There are three important powerful substances that have control over our activities. They are enzymes, vitamins and hormones. Enzymes are responsible for the chemical reaction that occurs within the cells causing the cells to carry out their function.
Hormones are powerful chemical substances secreted inside our body by glands called endocrine glands. These glands secrete hormones directly into the blood stream and so they are called ductless glands. These glands generally secrete not more than a teaspoonful in a year. If for some reason this doesn’t happen, an active young person could turn an old man. There are eight of them that take control of the countless activities of the body. They are the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, testes and ovaries.
The most important gland is the pituitary gland situated in the brain. Though pituitary gland is just about a size of pea, it is one of the most remarkable components of the human body. It puts thyroid into activity, plays a major role in growth activity, controls the kidneys, governs the salt balance in the body and activates the adrenal, pancreas and sex glands to carry out their responsibility. It also plays a major role in birth by causing contraction of woman’s womb and also stimulating breasts to produce milk.
The next most important gland is the adrenal gland which is located on the top of kidneys. It produces more than 40 hormones directly or indirectly. It plays an important role at the time of stress. While in stress, the gland shoots out more hormones that cause increasing heart and respiration rates. The adrenal glands also produce sex hormones that help in the process of reproduction.
The thyroid gland is situated in the neck on the sides of windpipe. The gland secretes about .01 gm a day. It can either slow down or speeds up the bodily activities. If too active, it burns food into energy too fast resulting in excessive hunger, high blood pressure, heat intolerance, sweating etc. When too little, leads to infertility in young women and slowing down the normal activities.
Testes and ovaries are endocrine glands of male and female respectively which help in reproduction. When these hormones are in appropriate levels, it again leads to infertility. Pineal gland is also situated in the brain that secretes hormones which takes of sleep-wake cycle and sexual developments. Pancreas is situated beneath the stomach and produces juices that aid in digestion process. It produces important hormones like insulin and many more. Insulin controls blood sugar levels.
Thymus is situated in the chest between the breast bone and heart. It is responsible for producing T cells. These cells are very important for infants otherwise which the infants would die. It is not of much importance in adults.
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