List of Hormones and their Functions

Hormones are the chemical messengers of the body.

They regulate the body’s physiology based on the signals from the brain.

They transfer the signal directly on to the respective organ or system for the changes to happen.

So they are like the messengers carrying a message from the brain to the other organs.

They are produced by the secretory cells of specific glands.

These glands are of different types which synthesize and secrete the concerned hormone.

But they do not release them into the blood. Instead, the blood flows through these glands and carry away.

So they are termed endocrine glands.

Most of the hormones are named after the gland from which they are secreted.
These are then carried by blood into target tissues where they show their effect.

They regulate most of the body’s physiology and functions.List of hormones

They bring such changes by acting at the level of genetic material or protein formation machinery of the cell.

These hormones if deficient or in excess can lead to hormonal disorders.

These can have a deleterious effect on health and physiology.

So how many hormones are there in the human body?

Below is the comprehensive list along with their functions.

List of Hormones and their Functions in the human body

Hormone Function Endocrine Gland secreting
Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) Stimulates thyroid gland to synthesize T3 & T4 hormones Hypothalamus (HYP)
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) Stimulates cortex of adrenal gland to secrete gluco and mineralo corticoids (HYP)
Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) Stimulates formation of growth hormone, (HYP)
Growth hormone inhibitory hormone (GHIH) (somatostatin) Inhibits release of growth hormone, TSH, insulin (HYP)
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) or leutinising hormone releasing hormone. Controls release of FSH, LH (HYP)
Dopamine or prolactin-inhibiting factor (PIF) Inhibits prolactin secretion. (HYP)
Growth hormone Stimulates growth of the body Anterior pituitary (AP)
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) Releases T3 & T4 (AP)
Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) Stimulates adrenal cortex to produce (AP)
Prolactin Stimulates milk formation (AP)
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) Stimulates to form sperms in males and Ova in females. (AP)
Luteinizing hormone (LH) Formation of ova in females & production of testosterone (AP)
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) (also called vasopressin) Limit water expulsion by kidney. It also constricts blood vessels and rise blood pressure Posterior pituitary
Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) Regulates body metabolism and heat Thyroid
Calcitonin Reduces blood calcium. by enhanced deposition in bone, decrease in intestinal absorption and expulsion by kidney. Thyroid
Cortisol Increases blood sugar levels and suppresses immune system Adrenal cortex
Aldosterone Adrenal cortex
Norepinephrine, epinephrine Adrenal medulla
Insulin (β cells) Helps absorb glucose from blood to tissue and also release from liver Pancreas
Glucagon (α cells) Helps absorb glucose into liver to form glyocgen Pancreas
Parathyroid hormone (PTH Parathyroid
Testosterone Builds muscles, give muscline character and also stimulate formation of sperms Testes
Estrogens Development of female reproductive system. Ovaries & Placenta
Progesterone Menstruation, Aids zygote implantation, Lactation & sexual drive Ovaries & Placenta
Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) Placenta
Human somatomammotropin Placenta
Renin Helps maintain blood volume and there by blood pressure Kidney
1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol Rises Blood calcium levels kidney/nephron
Erythropoietin Stimulates formation of red blood cells. Kidney
Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) Balance of water, sodium, potassium and fat in body Heart muscle
Gastrin To secrete gastric juice Stomach
Secretin Water levels and water balance in body Small intestine/duodenum
Cholecystokinin (CCK) Stimulates fat and protein digestion in intestine.
Leptin Regulates energy balance. Inhibits hunger if needed adipose cells
Ghrelin Stimulates hunger Gastro intestine

From the above list, the ones secreted by the hypothalamus, anterior, and posterior pituitary are formed in the brain.

While the remaining hormones are formed outside the brain, once released they are carried on by blood to different regions.

The hormones on reaching the corresponding regions elicit their response.

It is quite impressive to note that the ones released from the brain also regulate the secretion of other hormones.

So it indicates that their secretion is controlled by the brain and indirectly all the other hormones too. Thus the whole body physiology seems to be under the control of the brain.

Any emotional disturbance to the brain can lead to an alteration in the secretion of these hormones. Thus we can see that during emotional changes we experience hormonal imbalance too.

18 thoughts on “List of Hormones and their Functions”

  1. No hormone is responsible for rape or murder. We only have adrenalie which is responsible for anger fight.

  2. @Shweta! Its not about hormones alone. Because same set of hormones are in every one. But the mental upbringing, social view and external influences on a person are the causes. Hence you can notice good person getting violent due to frequent mind bashing.

  3. Glands are a specialised type of cell or a group of cells. Hormones are what are released from the glands, they control how your body functions

  4. Allergic reaction or hormonal problem?? Dry eye and dry nasal passages..
    Please advise at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

  5. The lack of what hormone would cause nasal mucus and dry eye? Or is this an allergy/allergic reaction to an outside source? I was told by my gynecologist that my estrogen and progesterone was low. Please advise. Thank you.

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