Adrenal glands or suprarenal glands are triangular shaped endocrine glands that are located on the top of each kidney. They directly secrete many essential hormones into the blood stream, which help carry out a number of metabolic activities.
Adrenal glands produce corticosterone and hydrocortisone hormones that help regulate the inflammatory response of the body and carry out protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Corticosterone helps maintain a healthy immune system and protects against the bacterial and viral infections.
The innermost layer of adrenal glands secretes androgens or androgenic steroids that are responsible for the development of male characteristics. These male sex hormones play a vital role in the development and healthy functioning of male sex organs.
The outermost layer of the adrenal glands produces aldosterone hormone that helps regulate the amount of sodium, magnesium and potassium passed into the urine.
The inner part of the adrenal gland secretes adrenaline in response to mental or physical stress. Adrenaline helps perform numerous functions in the body. It helps convert glycogen into glucose and relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive system. It promotes the smooth flow of blood to the muscles and the brain and increases the heart rate. Moreover, it decreases blood sugar level and causes dilation of the arteries of the kidneys, heart and muscles. Norepinephrine is another hormone that is secreted by the adrenal gland. It helps increase mental alertness, concentration level and arousal.
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