Homeostasis

Greg Foot explains ADH and the regulation of water levels in the body

Homeostasis maintains optimal conditions for enzyme action throughout the body, as well as all cell functions. It is the maintenance of a constant internal environment despite changes in internal and external conditions.

In the human body, these include the control of:

  • blood glucose concentration
  • body temperature
  • water levels

The importance of homeostasis

Enzymes are proteins that catalyse (speed up) vital chemical reactions inside the body. Enzymes will only function properly under a small range of certain conditions, such as preferred pH and temperature. If any conditions are outside their specific range then the enzymes cannot function. This could cause the organism to die. Homeostasis relies on automatic control systems that include nervous responses (nervous system) or chemical responses (endocrine system). Receptors and effectors are also needed.