Difference Between ADH and Aldosterone (With Table)

“The human body is the most complex system ever created. The more we learn about it, the more appreciation we have about what a rich system it is.” This quote is by Bill Gates and how truthful it is. The human body is indeed a very complex structure with various body parts, organs, cells, hormones and many other elements that each have their own particular tasks to complete and in use when in need. Two of these are ADH and Aldosterone hormones.

ADH vs Aldosterone 

The difference between ADH and Aldosterone is that ADH helps in retaining water in our body in kidneys. Whereas the main function of Aldosterone is that it helps hold onto both water and the level of normal sodium in our body. Aldosterone also additionally helps in the execration of potassium from the body.

ADH, or more certainly, Antidiuretic hormone, is a water-conserving hormone, in simple terms. It helps the body to reabsorb water by stimulating water channels into the membranes of kidney tubules (A tube in the kidney that contains cells that clean the blood by filtering them.) ADH and Aldosterone belong to different hormones of the body: It is a peptide hormone; they are those hormones whose molecules are of proteins or peptides. They can pass through the cell membrane.

Aldosterone, a corticosteroid hormone which is a class of steroid hormones, is released by the adrenal glands. The main function of Aldosterone is the process of the stimulation of sodium by absorbing Sodium(Na) through the kidneys and thus, resulting in regulating water and salt balances in the body. Aside from this, it also has some other roles in the process of functioning a healthy body.

Comparison Table Between ADH and Aldosterone

Parameters of ComparisonADHAldosterone
Other nameantidiuretic hormone/ Vasopressin   mineralocorticoid
Main useControl blood pressure and volume, help in retaining water in the body.Absorption of sodium to regulate water and salt in the body.
Medication Side effects Dizziness, chest pain, vomiting, feverLow heart rate, fatigue, and muscle weakness
Hormone typePeptide hormoneSteroid hormone
Secreted fromPosterior pituitary glandAdrenal glands

What is ADH?

The name “Vasopressin” translates Vaso for “related to blood vessels” and “pressin”, meaning to “squeeze something”. The main job of ADH is to keep water and food in the human body. It synthesizes in Hypothalamus and secrets from the posterior pituitary gland. No, it doesn’t hold ADH but rather acts as a storage house. It is mainly used once the blood pressure decreases or increases. If the fluid volume is high, it will go down. i.e., if the amount of salt is more in the body than water, the body will have low blood pressure, and that’s where the work of ADH starts.

It helps in the following functions:

• If a body is suffering from hypovolemia (which is not enough blood volume in the body), ADH helps in increasing the blood volume.

• It also helps in increasing the volume of blood pressure by helping the body reabsorb water at the kidneys, which will increase the blood volume, which in turn increase the blood pressure.

• When the blood is concentrated with extreme sodium, it should be diluted as it is not healthy to have this mineral in high form in the body. ADH is released, and by reabsorbing, it brings down the level of sodium to normal again.

It has a very short half-life, between 16–24 minutes.

What is Aldosterone?

Aldosterone is a steroid hormone which are those hormones that travel through the plasma membranes of target cells. The main function that Aldosterone fulfils is that it causes kidneys to get ahold of water and sodium and get rid of the potassium excreted into the urine. It is released when the blood pressure of the body gets low.

Following is the process of Aldosterone getting produced:

  1. The nephron in the kidneys secrets renin, which then travels into the liver.
  2. The Traveled renin makes way to angiotensin I.
  3. Angiotensin I travel to the lungs, where it is converted into angiotensin II.
  4. Angiotensin II, then lastly, goes to the adrenal glands that are above the kidneys to produce Aldosterone.

The main things or body functions that the Aldosterone hormone help in are: Help in retaining water in the kidney, increase sodium in the body, Decrease the level of potassium and raising the blood pressure when it is low.

The plasms half-life of Aldosterone is not more than 20 minutes.

Main Differences Between ADH and Aldosterone 

  1. ADH is a Peptide hormone, while Aldosterone is a steroid hormone.
  2. Aldosterone drags water through increased tonicity, while ADH just uses water channels.
  3. Osmolarity (the number of osmoles of a solute in a litre of solvent) doesn’t get affected by Aldosterone, but in ADH, Osmolarity changes without actually affecting osmoles.
  4. The membrane that separates the layers of cells is water-permeable in Aldosterone, while in ADH, the cells are not water permeable.
  5. The secretion of ADH hormone is from the posterior pituitary gland, as opposed to, Aldosterone which is synthesized and also secreted by the adrenal cortex.
  6. The Aldosterone hormone synthesis in the same place that secretes it: the adrenal cortex, while ADH, on the other hand, is synthesized in the hypothalamus.


It has taken many years for many smart individual minds to research and configure the anatomy and, basically, the framework of the human being. Each part, starting from a small cell to a big muscle, has uttermost logic for it to be there, and thus, these hormones are a big part as well.

Though both the organs are in the collecting duct of the kidney, both of these have separate functions and help the body to remain healthy in their own way. And both ADH and Aldosterone hormones play a huge role in balancing electrolytes and fluids in the human body.


  1. https://www.jci.org/articles/view/105900
  2. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/advan.00051.2001?HITS=10&hits=10&FIRSTINDEX=0&searchid=1018374170515_241&stored_search=&journalcode=ajpadvan&RESULTFORMAT=&titleabstract=aldosterone&maxtoshow=

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