Cholesterol Is the Precursor to All Steroid Hormones

September 2, 2005

by Chris Masterjohn

Synthesis of Steroid Hormones From Cholesterol

Cholesterol is the precursor to all steroid hormones, including:

  • Glucocorticoids (blood sugar regulation)
  • Mineralcorticoids (mineral balance and blood pressure regulation)
  • Sex Hormones (many functions)

Cholesterol is the precursor to a hormone called pregnenolone, which has important functions itself, but is also the precursor to all other steroid hormones.

Pregnenolone is converted to progesterone, a sex hormone, which in turn is converted into cortisol, which regulates inflammation and blood sugar, aldosterone, which regulates mineral balance and blood pressure, or testosterone, a type of sex hormone referred to as an androgen, which regulates libido, muscle mass, and plays other roles.

In females, and to a lesser degree in males, testosterone is further modified, undergoing conversion to estradiol, a different type of sex hormone called an estrogen.

You can peruse the references, share this article, or leave a comment below.

Read more about the author, Chris Masterjohn, PhD, here.

References

Harvey et al., Biochemistry: 3rd Edition, Baltimore: Lippincott, 2005, pp. 235-238.

Comments were enabled on June 17, 2013.

comments powered by Disqus
This information is not to be construed as advice.
Please consult a qualified health professional.
Click here for more information.