Steroid hormones are involved in the regulation of metabolism and some physiological functions of the body. A number of synthetic hormones, for example, prednisolone, are superior to their natural counterparts in their effect on the body. The group of steroids includes the steroid alcohol cholesterol contained in the human body, as well as bile acids - compounds that have a carboxyl group in the side chain, for example, cholic acid.
Steroidogenesis in humans
Steroids also include cardiac glycosides - plant substances (from foxglove, strophanthus, lily of the valley) that regulate heart activity. In glycosides, the steroid moiety is linked by a glycosidic bond to an oligosaccharide.
Steroidogenesis is a biological process in which steroids are formed from cholesterol and converted to other steroids. The pathways of steroidogenesis differ from species to species; the pathway of human steroidogenesis is shown in the figure.
Steroidogenesis products include:
estrogens and progesterone