Pituitary Gland Hormones

The Location and Function of the Pituitary Gland

  • The pituitary gland is pea-sized in its structure.
  • It is located at the base of the brain and consists of two lobes., the Anterior Lobe (front part) and the Posterior Lobe (back part)
  • The location of the pituitary gland is within a bony hollow referred to as the pituitary fossa. To identify this locale even further would be to say that it sits to the rear of the nasal bridge, just under the base of the brain.
  • Known as the “Master Gland” of the body
  • The pituitary gland produces and stores many different hormones and influences other glands within the body to produce hormones as well.
  • The hypothalamus is an area of the brain that regulates the pituitary glands function. It is essentially the connection between the endocrine system and the nervous system. Upon receiving a signal from the nervous system, the hypothalamus will secrete neurohormones which have the capability of turning on and turning off pituitary hormone secretion.
pituitary gland hormones and their function

The pituitary gland hormones are as follows:

Anterior Lobe Pituitary Gland Hormones

Growth Hormone (Somatotropin)

Somatotropin stimulates the release of factors including insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) from the liver. In adults, it helps to maintain healthy muscle and improve bone mass.Somatotropin levels decrease from a maximum at 20 yo, to 40% at 40 yo, and 5% at 80 yo. This age-related decrease in growth hormone production is called the ‘somatopause’. Low levels of IGF-1 cause decreased energy / libido / memory / cognition, depressed mood, lack of positive well-being, increased anxiety, social isolation, as well as increased body fat / skin wrinkling, and decreased muscle mass / bone density / nerve growth. Supplementing with bio-identical growth hormone to optimal levels reverses these symptoms and signs of ageing, and increases IQ and brain speed.

Prolactin

It stimulates milk production in women. In males, low levels may be linked to sexual disorders

Adrenocorticotropic

Promotes the production of cortisol, which is supposed to help reduce stress, as well as maintain healthy blood pressure for heart attack prevention.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone

This hormone, (appropriately named) contributes to regulating the body’s thyroid which is very crucial in the maintenance of a healthy metabolism.

Luteinizing hormone

In women, this pituitary gland hormone is responsible for the regulation of oestrogen. In men, luteinizing hormone regulates testosterone.

Follicle-stimulating hormone

FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone is present in both males and females. It is responsible for the stimulation that releases eggs in women. In men, it ensures the proper function of sperm production.

Posterior Lobe Pituitary Gland Hormones

Oxytocin

This pituitary gland hormone causes women who are pregnant to start having contractions when the baby is ready to be delivered. It also promotes milk flow in nursing mothers and acts as a mood enhancer promoting feelings of love and empathy.

Antidiuretic hormone

Commonly referred to as vasopressin, this hormone assists in regulating the water balance in the body.

Intermediate Pituitary Gland Hormones

Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH)

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