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Cortisol is a steroid hormone classed as a glucocorticoid and produced by the adrenal gland. Cortisol is oftentimes referred to as the ‘stress hormone’, due to its involvement in increasing blood sugar levels and blood pressure (in response to stress).

Cortisol also stimulates liver glycogen formation, decreases the rate of glucose utilization and reduces protein reserves in body cells – except the gastrointestinal tract and the liver.

Cortisol is also responsible for making fatty acids for metabolic use. In synthetic form cortisol is known as hydrocortisone and is used to treat inflammation and allergies.

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