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ADH vs. Aldosterone: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on October 12, 2023
ADH (antidiuretic hormone) regulates water reabsorption in kidneys; Aldosterone controls sodium and potassium balance.

Key Differences

ADH, also known as vasopressin, and Aldosterone are both hormones that play crucial roles in the body's fluid and electrolyte balance. However, their primary functions and modes of action differ significantly.
ADH primarily influences the amount of water reabsorbed by the kidneys, helping regulate the body's overall water balance. When ADH levels rise, more water is reabsorbed, concentrating the urine and maintaining hydration.
Aldosterone, on the other hand, chiefly affects the reabsorption of sodium and the excretion of potassium in the kidneys. This not only regulates electrolyte balance but also indirectly affects water retention, since where sodium goes, water often follows.
ADH's secretion is primarily triggered by increased blood osmolarity or low blood volume, signaling the body to conserve water. In contrast, Aldosterone is mainly secreted in response to low blood sodium or high blood potassium levels.
In essence, while both ADH and Aldosterone are pivotal for maintaining the body's fluid and electrolyte homeostasis, ADH focuses on water conservation, whereas Aldosterone emphasizes sodium-potassium balance.

Comparison Chart

Primary Function

Regulates water reabsorption
Controls sodium-potassium balance


Posterior pituitary
Adrenal cortex

Trigger for Release

Increased blood osmolarity, low blood volume
Low blood sodium, high blood potassium

Effect on Kidneys

Increases water reabsorption
Increases sodium reabsorption, potassium excretion

Overall Role

Maintains body's water balance
Maintains electrolyte and volume homeostasis

ADH and Aldosterone Definitions


ADH acts on the kidneys' collecting ducts.
In response to ADH, kidneys reabsorb more water back into the bloodstream.


Aldosterone plays a role in maintaining blood volume and pressure.
By influencing sodium retention, Aldosterone can indirectly affect blood volume and pressure.


ADH is a hormone that promotes water retention in the body.
High levels of ADH lead to decreased urine production.


Aldosterone affects sodium and potassium levels in urine.
High Aldosterone levels promote sodium reabsorption and potassium excretion.


ADH is released by the posterior pituitary gland.
The synthesis and release of ADH occur in the brain.


Aldosterone is produced in the adrenal cortex.
The adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, produce Aldosterone.


ADH plays a role in osmoregulation.
ADH secretion increases when blood becomes too concentrated.


Aldosterone's release is influenced by the renin-angiotensin system.
Low blood pressure can trigger the renin-angiotensin system, leading to Aldosterone secretion.


ADH's levels can influence blood pressure.
Elevated ADH can lead to increased blood pressure due to water retention.


Aldosterone is a steroid hormone that regulates electrolytes.
Aldosterone helps maintain sodium and potassium balance in the body.


Hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitressin) and also by nerve endings in the hypothalamus; affects blood pressure by stimulating capillary muscles and reduces urine flow by affecting reabsorption of water by kidney tubules


A steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal cortex and regulates salt balance, blood volume, and blood pressure in the body.


(steroid hormone) A mineralocorticoid hormone, secreted by the adrenal cortex, that regulates the balance of sodium and potassium in the body.


A corticosteroid hormone that is secreted by the cortex of the adrenal gland; regulates salt (sodium and potassium) and water balance


Where is Aldosterone produced?

Aldosterone is produced in the adrenal cortex.

Is Aldosterone a steroid hormone?

Yes, Aldosterone is a type of steroid hormone.

What triggers the secretion of Aldosterone?

Low blood sodium or high blood potassium levels mainly trigger Aldosterone secretion.

Which gland secretes ADH?

The posterior pituitary gland secretes ADH.

How does Aldosterone influence blood volume?

Aldosterone promotes sodium reabsorption, which indirectly affects blood volume due to water following sodium.

Can dehydration affect ADH levels?

Yes, dehydration can lead to increased ADH secretion to conserve water.

What does ADH primarily regulate?

ADH primarily regulates water reabsorption in the kidneys.

Can ADH affect blood pressure?

Yes, elevated ADH can lead to increased blood pressure due to water retention.

Do both ADH and Aldosterone act on the kidneys?

Yes, both hormones act on the kidneys but influence different aspects of renal function.

How are ADH and Aldosterone related to the body's homeostasis?

Both hormones play crucial roles in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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