What are prostaglandins?

Prostaglandin is a hormone-like substance that releases unsaturated fatty acids from cells. Prostaglandins are involved in contraction and relaxation of smooth muscles, blood pressure control, modulation of inflammation. 

Prostaglandins support the function of platelets that are required for the clotting of blood. It also plays a vital role in protecting the stomach lining from the adverse effects of acid. It is produced within the cells of the body by the enzyme cyclooxygenase (Cox). Prostaglandins are involved in the regulation of female reproductive system such as ovulation control, menstrual cycle, induction of labour and control of postpartum haemorrhage.

In cases of abortion, prostaglandins are used to get a quick expansion of the cervix and reduce the flow of the uteroplacental blood. However, research says that in some cases, the role of prostaglandins in bringing about control in postpartum haemorrhage is of no importance. Prostaglandins have an essential role in many normal body functions, where cells are stimulated. It is involved in maintaining the normal function of the heart, renal, pulmonary and gastrointestinal systems.

Prostaglandins can modify pulmonary circulation in the lungs. They are also instrumental in decreasing secretion of gastric juice in the gastrointestinal tract.  Prostaglandin is produced in almost all cells of the body and is derived from a chemical named arachidonic acid. It also helps the body to deal with any injury or disease. For example, prostaglandins control the areas of tissue damage or infection prevents blood clots and induces to a quicker recovery. In short, prostaglandins are beneficial for the body to heal from any inflammation or pain.



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