This review explains the main effects exerted by sex steroids and other hormones on the adolescent brain. During the transition from puberty to adolescence, these hormones participate in the organizational phenomena that structurally shape some brain circuits. In adulthood, this will propitiate some specific behavior as responses to the hormones now activating those neural circuits. Adolescence is, then, a critical "organizational window" for the brain to develop adequately, since steroid hormones perform important functions at this stage. For this reason, the adolescent years are very important for future behaviors in human beings. Changes that occur or fail to occur during adolescence will determine behaviors for the rest of one's lifetime. Consequently, understanding the link between adolescent behavior and brain development as influenced by sex steroids and other hormones and compounds is very important in order to interpret various psycho-affective pathologies.Lay Summary: The effect of steroid hormones on the development of the adolescent brain, and therefore, on adolescent behavior, is noticeable. This review presents their main activational and organizational effects. During the transition from puberty to adolescence, organizational phenomena triggered by steroids structurally affect the remodeling of brain circuits. Later in adulthood, these changes will be reflected in behavioral responses to such hormones. Adolescence can then be seen as a fundamental "organizational window" during which sex steroids and other hormones and compounds play relevant roles. The understanding of the relationship between adolescent behavior and the way hormones influence brain development help understand some psychological disorders.
Two types of cervical mucus are recognized, oestrogenic and gestagenic. These are constituted by different subtypes, and their characteristics change depending on variations in the hormonal levels and on the existence of several pathologies. Our aim was to identify the ultrastructure and crystallization characteristics of the cervical mucus in women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome, and to compare these characteristics with those of normal control women. Cervical mucus samples were taken from 10 women, 4 control group women (with normal ovulatory menstrual cycles) and 6 suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (2 with ovulatory and 4 with anovulatory cycles). This mucus was characterized according to its ultrastructure and crystallization. The type of mucus obtained was related to the levels of oestradiol and progesterone present when the samples were taken. As regards mucus ultrastructure, differences were found between the control women and those with polycystic ovary syndrome and anovulatory menstrual cycles. Such variations were evident in the type of mesh and the average diameter of the mucus pores. Mucus crystallization in control women showed the usual oestrogenic disposition: fern-like (L, P2), rectilinear (S) or a hexagonal structure (P6). On the other hand, in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, indefinite mucus crystallizations were found, as well as crystallization patches resembling oestrogenic and gestagenic-like mucus. This study shows that the ultrastructure and crystallization characteristics of the cervical mucus in polycystic ovary syndrome women are different from those of control women. The latter would be dependent on their levels of oestradiol and progesterone.
M.E. Cortés, P. Vigil, and G. Montenegro. 2011. The medicinal value of honey: a review on its benefits to human health, with a special focus on its effects on glycemic regulation. Cien. Inv. Agr. 38(2): 303-317. Honey, a natural substance produced by honeybees, is composed of a complex mixture of carbohydrates, water, and a small amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and phenolic compounds. Fructose, glucose and maltose are among the various types of sugars present in honey. Used for millennia as both food and medicine, honey has been associated with improved antioxidant capacity, modulation of the immune system, antimicrobial activities, influence on lipid values (through antihypercholesterolemic effects) and regulation of glycemic responses, among other benefits. The aim of this article was to review the effects of natural honey intake on human health, with particular reference to its influence on glycemic regulation. Several studies have focused on the potential use of honey as a nutritional supplement for healthy individuals and for those with impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes, and their related comorbidities. Such investigations have found that, compared to glucose and sucrose, the consumption of honey decreases glycemic levels and blood lipids in healthy, diabetic and hyperlipidemic individuals. Moreover, long periods of honey intake seem to reduce fasting glucose levels in humans, suggesting that honey consumption influences plasma glucose regulation, mainly through a normo-or hypoglycemic effect. Therefore, honey may be proposed as a nutritional dietary supplement for healthy individuals and for those suffering from alterations in glycemic regulation.
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