Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands in the adrenal cortex. The adrenal cortex (outer layers of the gland) secretes the androgen DHEA, the mineral corticoid aldosterone and glucocorticoids. The glucocorticoids are aptly named due to their effect on blood glucose levels. The adrenal medulla (middle of the gland) secretes the catecholamines epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine.
DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex. DHEA may oppose cortisol in that DHEA is an anabolic or building hormone and cortisol has a catabolic or breakdown effect on metabolism. In general, when cortisol levels are high, DHEA levels are low, and vice versa.
When cortisol is released by the adrenal gland, it stimulates gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is the metabolic process where the body creates new glucose to dump into the blood stream. This is part of the fight or flight response. Cortisol stimulates gluconeogenesis to keep elevated blood sugar levels to supply the brain and muscles with fast energy.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. It has direct effects on the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats:
• It stimulates protein breakdown to amino acids.
• It inhibits protein synthesis.
• It increases blood glucose levels.
• It inhibits the utilization of glucose by tissues.
• It facilitates lipid breakdown in adipose (fat) tissue to fatty acids. Because glucose is not being used properly in the adipose cells, fat breakdown is increased. This fat breakdown caused by cortisol is very moderate and is overridden by fat deposition in certain parts of the body, particularly the abdomen and head and chest area. Individuals with medical conditions that cause excess cortisol often experience abnormal fat deposition.
• The major factor of how cortisol affects general weight loss / gain is that cortisol can stimulate appetite and may lead to excessive eating.
Health Supplements that may help Cortisol Levels and Weight Loss