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Steroids are organic chemicals with a particular molecular configuration in which its four rings are joined systematically. Steroids are synthesized specifically in many different cells from cycloartenol in plants and from sterols called lanosterol in fungi and animal cells. Its four fused rings are composed of sixteen carbon atoms as the main core structure. However, the functional groups of different steroids differ significantly to suit a specific function. Some of the functional groups include hydroxyl, methyl, and esters. Steroids are found in plants, fungi, animals. Examples of steroids include sterols, which have a hydroxyl group as its functional group (Diczfalusy, U. et al, 2010, 13). Other steroids include sex hormones like testosterone and estradiol, dietary lipids like cholesterol and drugs like the dexamethasone. Steroids can be classified into the following categories according to their functions in the body: sex hormones, vitamins, corticosteroids, and neurosteroids.
Emphatically, the main function of steroids and their metabolites in the body of a living cell is that of chemical signaling, especially the steroid hormones. In fact, phospholipids and the steroids are the major components of the cell membrane. Some like cholesterol are specialized in decreasing the fluidity of the membrane. They at the time, like lipids, act as energy stores. Unfortunately, they a…
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