Compare and contrast the mechanisms of actions of lipid soluble vs water soluble hormones.

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Hormones are small molecules that travel throughout the body and act as chemical messengers.  They are responsible for regulating body activities like growth, sexual functions, and digestion.  Hormones can vary widely in their chemical structures.  Water soluble hormones are generally amino acid and peptide based in structure and are relatively...

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Hormones are small molecules that travel throughout the body and act as chemical messengers.  They are responsible for regulating body activities like growth, sexual functions, and digestion.  Hormones can vary widely in their chemical structures.  Water soluble hormones are generally amino acid and peptide based in structure and are relatively soluble in water.  They travel freely in the bloodstream but cannot pass through nonpolar cellular membranes.  As a result, they tend to bind to receptors on the surface of the membrane which then sends a chemical signal into the cell to elicit a response.

Lipid (or fat) soluble hormones are generally steroid based in structure.  They do not dissolve in blood plasma so they usually travel through the bloodstream while bound to water soluble proteins.  But when they reach the target cell, they can diffuse through the membrane to act on an internal receptor in the cell.  That is the main difference in the mechanism of action.

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