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Hormone Longevity?

  1. Mar 14, 2017 #1
    I had a hard time finding an answer to this one:

    Do hormones that are created by the body get to stick around much in the body?

    What I mean by this is, are they just "one-use" items or do they last longer in the body and can be useful long-term too?

    For example, if we get angry, once we calm down, are those adrenaline molecules flushed out of our system in different ways, or do they get broken down (or not), reintegrated into the body and somehow get used again later when needed?

    In essence, what is a typical hormone longevity?

    I hope I made sense with this one. Many thanks for any thoughts!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2017 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Here is a simplified version of how hormones react with receptor sites:
    http://arbl.cvmbs.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/moaction/surface.html [Broken]

    Answer to your question - the hormone is on a one way path after it contacts a cell. It never leaves. Also. There are a lot of transport molecules like lipoproteins and eiconosoids that drag things around in the blood stream. They act like taxi cabs. The liver processes these unused packets of hormones after a short while.

    So the best model would be what is termed a half-life, which is fairly short. Hormones do not float around aimlessly for long.

    Plus, there are feedback mechanisms - once some process is initiated, its activity 'gets noticed' and some other antagonistic hormone may start to be produced. This turns off the original production and may actually reverse what was started.

    Lookup glycogen and insulin control of blood glucose levels for a model of feedback loops.

    Even less detail:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  4. Mar 14, 2017 #3
    Super helpful, thanks Jim!
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