Steroid hormones help control metabolism, inflammation, immune functions, salt and water balance, development of sexual characteristics, and the ability to withstand illness and injury. The term “steroid” describes both hormones naturally produced by the human body and artificially-manufactured medications that mimic the action of a naturally occurring steroid. This site provides a library of information on recent research on the use of various steroid hormones and hormone precursors for various health conditions.
Steroid hormones are often classified as either corticosteroid (typically expressed by the human adrenal cortex, hence the name “cortico”) or sex steroid (typically expressed by the human gonads or placenta). Within these two broad categories are five types according to the receptors to which they bind: glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids (the two types of corticosteroids) and androgens, estrogens, and progestogens (the three types of sex steroids).
Vitamin D and its derivatives are a sixth, closely-related hormone system with its own homologous receptors. Vitamin D receptors have some of the characteristics of true steroids as receptor ligands.