Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is predominantly produced in the adrenal gland. It is widely known as the body’s stress hormone, as it is released in response to low blood sugar and stress.
Cortisol can influence nearly every organ system. It helps to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis (synthesis of ‘new’ glucose), and is involved in the metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. It also suppresses the immune system and inflammatory response, helps control blood pressure, is involved in memory formation, aids in the sleep-wake cycle, and decreases bone formation.