Adrenal Gland

Adrenal Gland

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Credit: ANATOMICAL TRAVELOGUE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Adrenal gland, made up of two separate glands, the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla, which serve two different endocrine functions. The outer portion, the adrenal cortex, is responsible for the synthesis of three different hormones: aldosterone maintains healthy sodium levels and helps to maintain blood volume and blood pressure; cortisol controls the bodys use of fat, protein, carbohydrates and minerals; gonado-coricoids are sex hormones, which influence sperm production in men and menstruation in women. The inner portion of the adrenal gland, the adrenal medulla, is responsible for the synthesis of epinephrine and norepinephrine. Epinephrine stimulates carbohydrate metabolism and norepinephrine raises heart rate and blood pressure.

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