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Why is aldosterone such an important hormone?

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Solution Summary

Th solution includes a discussion of the importance of aldosterone in maintaining the fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.

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Aldosterone is a hormone, part of the mineralocorticoids, that is secreted by the adrenal glands situated on top of the kidneys. Its function is to increase the renal retention of sodium and the excretion of potassium, thus regulating electrolyte and water balance. The key words on the definition are sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+).

It all starts with a delicate balance between the amount of Na+ and K+ that exists in the fluid that surrounds the cell, the cell itself and the blood. Most of the sodium is found in the blood and the fluids around the cells. The potassium is found mostly inside the cells. Aldosterone, this is important for two basic reasons: the role of Na+ in volume control and the role of Na+ and K+ in muscle and nerve functions.

1)Sodium helps keep a normal blood volume.
This translates into an adequate blood volume able to carry efficiently nutrients to the cell (like lipids and sugars supply necessary energy source and basic elements for ...

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