Prostaglandins - Not Hormones, But Better!

Compound cells are produced by almost all organs in the body. These compounds cells are called prostaglandins, which are to some extent similar to hormones however with some key differences. 

You might wonder about the actual purpose of prostaglandins in spite of so many enzymes and hormones already running in the blood, so here they are-

  • They are responsible for triggering inflammation and blood clotting in response to any illness and injury. 
  • The uniqueness of prostaglandins come from the fact that they don't travel to the bloodstream like any other enzyme or hormone, but they are released by tissues at specific sites of the body, especially when they are needed.
  • Prostaglandins are filled with the benefits and many functions they can contribute towards reducing and ongoing pain, and disease when produced in excess or when the levels are not high enough. 

Understanding Prostaglandins As Its Function

The levels of prostaglandins in the body are usually affected by 

  • nutritional deficiencies 
  • genetic defects 
  • environmental stress and 
  • hormonal imbalances leaving 

The sedentary lifestyle and adapting to the well established nutritional diets with some exercise can contribute towards a healthy or prostaglandin production. This diet may include an anti-inflammatory diet, with high fiber, vitamin and mineral supplements to control inflammatory responses, managing stress by frequent episodes of exercise and treating hormonal imbalances that constitute of estrogen dominance in women particularly. 

Liquid compounds known as eicosanoids are known as prostaglandins. Although they are similar to hormones in a lot of ways, they are not always produced by the blood to control any activity or behavior of a person. The most important functions of prostaglandins include 

  • controlling inflammation 
  • uterus contraction during menstruation and birth in women 

Other functions of prostaglandins include the following

  • Repairing damaged blood vessels 
  • Regulating body temperature 
  • Regulating functions of the female reproductive system during ovulation, labor, and menstruation 
  • Blood clotting causing pain and fever 
  • Removal of blood clots when they are no longer needed 
  • Promoting inflammation in tissues that have been damaged or infected in order to encourage healing 
  • Control the flow of blood in blood vessels walls so that they are able to contract and narrow and prevent the loss of blood 
  • Dilating the blood vessels when the blood needs to flow 
  • The respiratory system requires prostaglandins in order to regulate and relax the muscles of the stomach and the lungs

Types Of Prostaglandins In The Body

The human body is composed of 4 bioactive prostaglandins that include a 

  • Prostaglandin PGe2 
  • prostacyclin 
  • prostaglandin pgf2 alpha and 
  • Prostaglandin D2

The compound responsible for the production of prostaglandins in the body includes fatty acid called arachidonic acid. It gets converted into H2 and known as a precursor of all the four active prostaglandins in the body. The four different bioactive prostaglandins have four different functions and in some cases, opposite functions as well. For example, 1 prostaglandin may stimulate the formation of clots and the other one may help in narrowing the blood vessels and prevent excess bleeding. 

 Also Read: Fighting Melanoma - Here’s What You Should Know

Role Of Prostaglandin In  Inflammation

It is very important to understand the role of prostaglandins when it comes to injury, stress or any other situation that the body is challenged with.  Inflammation can be both good and bad, depending on the contacts. For example, chronic inflammation is termed problematic because it contributes towards health problems related to the: 

  • heart 
  • neurological diseases 

Acute inflammation is known to be life-saving and a part of the healing process when the body is injured. 

  • The primary function of prostaglandin is to maintain homeostasis in the body. When a body requires an inflammatory response, the level and production of prostaglandins change accordingly and sometimes dramatically. It is always low in production in tissues and is not inflamed but the levels increase during acute inflammatory responses. 
  • Higher production of prostaglandins helps the recruitment of leukocytes and the infiltration of immune cells which are otherwise not possible in the presence of all the enzymes and hormones running in the bloodstream

A number of health conditions required the production of prostaglandins because they are the ones able to control processes, that release inflammatory responses. They are largely responsible for regulating blood flow and also play a role in the formation of blood clots. 

They cause fever when the body needs to respond towards an infection and therefore the person is able to understand that the body requires immediate treatment. 

These are considered normal reactions to illnesses, injury, and infection. 

  • not by any normal means but the body produces prostaglandins because of a chemical reaction that takes place of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase. 
  • Two types of cyclooxygenase namely the cyclooxygenase 1 and cyclooxygenase 2 is considered when prostaglandins are produced 
  • cyclooxygenase 2 is required to increase inflammation at certain sites and is activated in order to make extra prostaglandins

Pros And Cons Of Prostaglandin Production

The process may include the above functions and as well as the following:

  • treatment of impotence in men and also improve the sperm function 
  • helps in repairing damaged tissues 
  • one of the primary compounds of the body in during labor by causing relaxation of the cervical smooth muscles which facilitate dilation 
  • responsible for regulating the production of mucus 
  • prostaglandins help cure glaucoma 
  • prostaglandins help in controlling postpartum hemorrhage 
  • reduce gut bacteria by impacting the release of inflammatory compounds

The cons may include

  • Allergies and autoimmune reactions 
  • causes fever and swelling and redness 
  • also responsible for developing cancer when chronically produced in excess 
  • largely responsible for interfering with the normal healing process of the body if the levels are too high 
  • responsible for causing PMS syndromes 
  • PMDD symptoms and strong menstrual cramps 
  • results in diarrhea when released in high amounts 
  • bone fragility and low bone mass

Control The Production Of Prostaglandin

Prostaglandins are compounds that can be controlled and produced in the moderate amount required by the body. You can try to avoid pain triggering foods that include 

  • added sugar 
  • conventional dairy products 
  • Poor quality meats and 
  • processed meat 
  • caffeine 
  • do not over-consume Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids 

This is because they are one of the primary sources of prostaglandin production. Try to eat high fiber foods and include 

  • cruciferous vegetables 
  • legumes beans nuts and 
  • whole grains 
  • increase the intake of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices
  • turmeric, cinnamon, parsley, and Ginger 
  • try to consume  green tea, and green coffee to regulate 
  •  zinc supplements or even the natural sources which may include chicken, chickpeas, meats, cashews, lamb, pumpkin, seeds, and even yogurt 
  • magnesium supplements can help using the muscle cramps that contribute towards menstrual cramps and a lot of pain during labor bromelain supplements are derived from

When your body starts experiencing poor pituitary function and low thyroid function and leads to painful periods, diarrhea, and autoimmune disease, migraines, and eczema, these are indications of prostaglandin issues. They require immediate treatment and do not delay consulting a doctor.  

Tags: Prostaglandin hormone, Prostaglandins inflammation, Prostaglandins function