SEE ALSO Adrenal Gland ; Amino Acid ; Blood Sugar Regulation ; Endocrine System ; Female Reproductive System ; Homeostasis ; Hypothalamus ; Male Reproductive System ; Nucleotides ; Pancreas ; Pituitary Gland ; Thyroid Gland ; Transcription
Female ovaries are two almond shaped glands on each side of the uterus. They have three main functions; (i) Containing immature ova (eggs), (ii) The secretion of oestrogen, and (ii) the secretion of progesterone. Ostrogen is secreted by the adrenal cortex as well as the ovaries, and is present in the blood of all females from puberty through to the menopause. oestrogen acts on the structure of the reproductive organs, especially during the menstrual cycle. This induces and maintains female secondary sexual characteristics. Progesterone works on the uterus to prepare it for the implantation of a fertilised ovum (egg). It causes the development of the breasts, and is essential for the complete development of the maternal proportion of the placenta.
Erythropoietin (EPO): A 165 amino acid glycoprotein hormone (glycoproteins consist of several sugar molecules linked with a protein molecule). EPO stimulates erythrocyte (red blood cell) production in the bone marrow, boosting the blood's ability to carry oxygen. Studies have shown that significant amounts of EPO resist digestion and survive to reach receptors in the intestinal tract. One raw milk-drinking athlete was wrongly accused of blood-doping, so there's at least anecdotal evidence of EPO's activity in our systems!