Steroid hormone secreted in the adrenal cortex that targets adipose (fat), muscle tissue and the liver. Also known as hydrocortisone, cortisol is one of several glucocorticoids. It stimulates the transfer of amino acids from muscles to the liver and fatty acids from adipose cells to the liver. The fatty acids and amino acids released are used in gluconeogenesis (synthesis of glucose from sources besides carbohydrates).

Glucocorticoids also have anti-inflammatory action which has resulted in widespread clinical applications.

cortisol: in humans and other mammals the main glucocorticoid hormone produced by the adrenal cortices; also known as hydrocortisone. It is essential to the maintenance of life. It is available in synthetic form.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

One of the survival hormones your body releases when under stress. Cortisol likes to break down muscle tissue which is a very Bad Thing. It's been shown that people with high stress lifestyles have above average levels of cortisol (which might help explain the numerous health problems associated with stress.) Another excellent way to release cortisol is to overtrain in the gym, applying stress to your body in excess of your ability to adapt to it.

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