ABPI - Resources for Schools

"This is a subject that gets covered once a year in my class. The ideas of using stories and animation was a great way in for younger children." (Comment on Where Do Medicines Come From)

- Teacher

Hormones and their effects

Age range 14-16 Age range 16-19

What are hormones?

Hormones are chemical substances in the body. They are made by endocrine glands which pass the hormones directly into the bloodstream. They are carried around the body in the blood and, in this way, hormones can cause changes at some distance from the gland where they were made.


What do hormones do?

A woman with a blank face holds two faces, one happy and one sad
Good day? Bad day? Hormones can make the difference.

Many processes in the body are coordinated by hormones which regulate and balance the working of organs and cells.

Some hormones have long term effects, for example, the hormones that control how we grow and the changes that happen at puberty. Other hormones have shorter term effects.

Too much, or too little, of a hormone can cause illness. Synthetic hormones, developed bydjf pharmaceutical companies, have resulted in a great improvement in the quality of life of patients suffering from many of these illnesses.

Using this e-source

There are a number of interactive features in this e-source:

  • A glossary of terms: any word with a glossary entry is highlighted like this.
  • Quick questions: at the end of a page/section, there is a set of quick questions to test your understanding of the scientific ideas.
  • Animations: most of the animations can be expanded to full screen size, ideal for showing on an interactive whiteboard. The animations will play all the way through or can be viewed one section at a time.
  • Downloads: Teachers can download individual diagrams, animations and other content from the Resource Library area of the website. Terms and Conditions apply.

If you are printing from an Internet Explorer (IE) browser, please go to 'print preview' and adjust the preferred print zoom level to 85% . This will ensure that all content on the ABPI modules will print out correctly.

A chemical messenger produced by a particular gland or cells of the endocrine system. Hormones are transported throughout the body in the blood stream but they produce a response only in specific target cells.
Endocrine gland
A type of gland which secretes a hormone which passes directly into the blood stream rather than into the blood via a tube or duct.
A group of cells which produce and secrete a particular substance. Many glands pass their secretions into a tube or duct, whereas endocrine glands secrete hormones directly into the blood.
A structure with a particular function which is made up of different tissues.
The basic unit from which all living organisms are built up, consisting of a cell membrane surrounding cytoplasm and a nucleus.
The time of gradual development of the secondary sexual characteristics and sexual maturity.
A list of often difficult or specialised words with their definitions