American Academy of Health and Fitness
FITNESS SPECIALTY CERTIFICATIONS AND CONTINUING EDUCATION HOME STUDY PROGRAMS
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IN THIS SECTION
Integumentary (Skin) System
Skeletal System
Muscular System
Nervous System
Endocrine System
Cardiovascular System
Lymphatic (Immune) System
Respiratory System
Digestive System
Urinary System
Reproductive System


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Endocrine System

This system’s major function is to direct long-term changes in the activities of other organ systems through the production of hormones.

Overall, the endocrine system shows relatively few functional changes with age. The most dramatic exception, however, is the decline in the concentration of reproductive hormones. In addition, age-related changes in other tissues affect their abilities to respond to hormonal stimulation. As a result, most tissues become less responsive to circulating hormones, even though many hormone concentrations remain normal.

Because levels of some important hormones decrease with age, restoring low hormone levels might seem like a safe and logical way to help reverse some of the effects of aging. However, any resulting improvement in functional status might be gained at the expense of reduced longevity. For example, increased metabolism, which often results from hormone administration, can lead to tissue damage because of free radical generation. Therefore, hormonal supplementation is usually limited but might be a viable method of correcting documented low hormone levels or relieving symptoms caused by low levels.

Based on recent studies, exercise can have a positive effect on hormone levels. The effects exercise has, however, appears to depend on the type, frequency and duration of the exercises that are being done.

 

Fun fact:

Levels of pregnenolone, which is a hormone derived from cholesterol, decreases with age. In rodents, pregnenolone is the most potent memory enhancer known. In humans, it has been shown to improve sleep and to enhance productivity but not to affect mood, strength, cognition, or overall function. Currently, no evidence supports the use of pregnenolone in the elderly.

 
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