Almost everyone knows that there are two kidneys and
that they are of vital importance, but most people do
not know that there are two small pieces of tissue,
weighing only 5-6 grams each, on top of both kidneys
that are also of vital importance.
When we examine these glands, called
the adrenal glands, each one is two separate laboratories.
The first of these is the external part of the adrenal
gland (the adrenal cortex), which produces three different
hormones; the second is the internal part of the adrenal
gland (the adrenal medulla), which produces two different
hormones. The hormones produced by these glands are
so important that the secretion of too much or too little
of them results in death.22
The Fight or Flight System
Some people owe their lives to a miraculous hormone
called adrenaline: when these people are in danger,
this fluid makes them stronger, more agile, faster and
more attentive. It even doubles their physical capacities
as if they had drunk a very powerful potion to give
them strength. For example, a pilot notices a mechanical
failure in his plane while flying. After a mechanical
failure, which threatened to bring down his plane, a
heroic pilot lands safely at the airport, saving the
lives of hundreds of passengers. But there is a very
important point that journalists usually fail to add:
what saved the lives of the pilot and the passengers
was that marvelous fluid mentioned above.
Adrenaline is secreted immediately in the body
of a pilot whose airplane malfunctions. This fluid
sends more sugar and blood to the brain, making
the pilot more attentive. His blood pressure and
heartbeat increase, making him more alert. These
are only a few of the changes that adrenaline
causes in the pilot's body.
The fluid sent an alarm to the pilot's brain cells,
causing more blood and sugar to be sent to his brain
and made him more alert. At the same time, it increased
his heartbeat and blood pressure, enabling him to move
faster and be more attentive. His respiratory system
capacity increased so that he could utilize more oxygen
(and more blood could flow to his brain and muscle cells).
His muscles and limbs became more intensely focused
and the increase in the level of sugar in his blood
gave him the extra energy that he required.
Adrenaline (epinephrine) is produced and stored in
the adrenal medulla-the inner portion of the adrenal
glands. Everyone has this hormone in him all his life;
you have it in you right now. If it is needed, the adrenal
glands will produce it so that you may become stronger,
faster, and much more alert. If you are in some danger,
you will be given about twice your normal strength to
enable you to fight against the source of the danger
(or to run away) to save your life.
Although such an important hormone,
the concentration of adrenaline in the bloodstream is
surprisingly small compared to the work it does. It
has been calculated, for example, that if the amount
of blood in our bodies were compared to a lake 100 meters
in diameter and two meters deep, the adrenaline in our
blood would be the equivalent of one teaspoon of fluid
poured into the lake.23
In the adrenal glands there are two separate laboratories
that produce very important hormones. The first
is the adrenal cortex; the other is the adrenal
medulla. The hormones produced in these laboratories
are essential for human life.
The powerful effect of a small amount of this fluid
on the human body is the result of wonderful design.
When we look at the functional system of an adrenaline
hormone, we more clearly understand the perfection of
The physical requirements of a normal person will certainly
not be the same as that of a person in danger. Consider
the needs of a person who is confronted by a dangerous
situation: he must run fast, his muscles must work more
quickly, his blood pressure must rise, and his heart
must beat more quickly. So, he will be able to run faster,
escape more quickly or fight more strongly against the
danger. How does all this happen?
When the danger occurs, an alarm button is pushed in
the body, and the brain sends a lightening-fast command
to the adrenal glands. The cells in the interior section
of the adrenal gland then go into alarm mode and secrete
adrenaline hormone to deal with the emergency. The adrenaline
molecules mix with the blood and disperse throughout
the various areas of the body.
Adrenaline molecules have a special
function in the veins and arteries that ensures the
vital organs receive a greater supply of blood at the
times of danger, and to do this, they dilate the blood
vessels going to the heart, brain and muscles. The cells
surrounding the vessels obey the adrenaline and supply
the extra blood required by the heart. In this way,
the extra blood needed by the brain, muscles and heart
The adrenal cortex plays an important role in
reducing stress on the body. When the body is
under severe stress, the hypothalamus sends a
command to the pituitary gland to secrete ACTH
(adrenocorticotropic hormone). ACTH, on the other
hand, stimulates the adrenal cortex, causing the
production of corticosteroids. These corticosteroids
ensure the production of glucose from molecules
such as proteins, which contain no carbohydrates.
As a result, the body receives extra energy and
stress is reduced.
While dilating the blood vessels going
to the heart, brain and muscles, adrenaline constricts
the vessels that supply the liver and the skin to ensure
extra support needed by the body. There is another reason
for the reduced amount of blood pumped to the skin:
in the likely case of a wound, the amount of blood loss
would be reduced. The reason for paleness observed in
the skin in times of excessive excitement is because
less blood is pumped to the skin then.25
An error never occurs that dilates the vessels going
to the heart (or the brain) that constricts vessels
going to the liver (or skin); the adrenaline molecule
knows what it must do. A microscopically small hormone
adjusts the diameter of the hundreds of blood vessels
in your body where the blood is to be directed.
In times of danger, the body goes into a state
of alarm by means of a link between the brain
and the adrenal glands.
For every organ in the body, the action of adrenaline
is different; when the adrenaline molecule goes to the
blood vessels, it causes them to dilate; when it goes
to the heart, it quickens the contraction of the heart
cells. This makes the heart beat faster and supplies
the extra strength that the muscles need.
When the adrenaline molecule reaches the muscle cells,
the muscles can contract with much more strength. The
adrenaline molecules that go to the liver command the
cells located there to mix more sugar with the blood.
This causes the amount of sugar in the blood to increase
and supplies the extra fuel needed by the muscles.
This activity of the adrenaline hormone in the body
requires a great amount of intelligence, knowledge and
skill. This tiny molecule knows what it must do and
when; when the body does not need it, the alarm mode
is never set into operation. Apart from this, it knows
very well to which cells it must go, and what kind of
command it must give to them. Moreover, this shows that
it is well acquainted with the cells, with the organs
and their functions, and it never makes an error as
to when the body must be taken out of this emergency
If it made such an error, the body would be irreparably
damaged. But these little molecules function with a
keen awareness of their responsibility. How is it possible
for an unconscious, lifeless fluid, without a brain,
eyes or knowledge, and composed of a certain combination
of atoms too small for the eye to see to act in such
an intelligent, organized, and timely way?
As we can see in the picture, when the woman sees
the snake, she becomes afraid and an alarm button
in her body is pushed. Her brain sends a lightening-fast
command to her adrenal glands. The cells in the
inner part of the adrenal glands go into a state
of alarm and secrete adrenaline for the emergency.
The adrenaline molecules mix with the blood and
are distributed to various parts of the body.
The body is then enabled to react appropriately
to the danger. For example, the woman's heart
beats faster, and the sugar in her blood increases,
giving her muscles added strength and she is able
to escape the danger.
This clearly shows that every molecule in our bodies
is created by God and that, throughout our lives, every
moment's activity is controlled by God's power, will
and command. After knowing how the body works in detail,
no one with intelligence can claim that living things,
cells, hormones, molecules or atoms are the purposeless
works of chance. God's power, strength and sublimely
intelligent knowledge, witnessed to by creation, are
manifested in every place and at every moment. As the
What is in the heavens and in the Earth
belongs to God. God encompasses all things. (Qur'an,
Selahattin Kologlu, Endokrinoloji Temel ve Klinik (Basic
and Clinical Endocrinology), p. 533
23 Invitation To Biology, p. 467
24 Eldra Pearl Solomon, Introduction to Human Anatomy
and Physiology, WBSaunders, 1992, p. 140
25 Biyoloji 2 (Biology 2),