The Glandular System
Lesson 12, Page 5 of 9

The correct answer is E (Both A and D.) The prefix "hyper-" means "above or excessive" and the prefix "hypo-" means "below or under."

Parathyroid Glands

Located on the back of the thyroid gland are four tiny parathyroid glands. Hormones from the parathyroid glands help control calcium and phosphorous levels in the body. The parathyroid glands are necessary for proper bone development. When we don't get enough calcium in the diet, the parathyroid secretes a hormone that takes calcium from the bones so that it will be available in the blood for the important functions of nerve conduction and muscle contraction.

Thymus Gland

The thymus gland is situated behind the sternum in the center of the chest. It is especially important before puberty for its role in the developing immune system. White blood cells are activated by the thymus and thus develop into "T" cells. The thymus also secretes hormones that stimulate and strengthen the immune system. After puberty the thymus gland shrinks and may even atrophy. Vitamins C, E, and B6 are important for the thymus, as are antioxidants and the minerals zinc and selenium.

Adrenal Glands

There are two adrenal glands, one sitting atop each kidney. The adrenals secrete about 50 different hormones including adrenaline and cortisone. The hormones from the adrenal glands control energy output and help us deal with stress. They also produce sex hormones in small amounts—important for later years when the sex glands decrease or cease their production. The adrenals need vitamins A, C and B-complex. In fact, the adrenal glands have the highest concentration of vitamin C in the body. Licorice root has been used by herbalists for many years for adrenal support. Low energy can result if the adrenal glands do not receive the nutrition they need.


As previously mentioned, the pancreas is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. It secretes insulin which helps glucose move from the blood into the cells where it is needed for energy. The pancreas also secretes glucagon when the blood sugar is low to stimulate the liver to release glucose, stored in the liver as glycogen, into the bloodstream. (For more on the Pancreas, see our lesson on Weight Management.)


The gonads refer to the ovaries in females and the testes in males. Both produce the same hormones but in different amounts. These hormones are responsible for sexual characteristics and include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

Which of the following produce sex hormones?

A. the adrenals
B. the gonads
C. the ovaries
D. the testes
E. All of the above.
F. B, C and D only.