Cortisol is a stress hormone put out by our adrenal glands. Many people who are hooked on stimulants may also have high Cortisol levels. Stimulants like coffee produce 2 other stress hormones called epinephrine and norepinephrine. Epinephrine works hand and hand to trigger for more production of Cortisol.
Cortisol is a key marker of over-training. Do you wonder why you see so many people in the gym who workout out hard and get no growth? Cortisol may be the culprit. Too much Cortisol is caused by bad stress.
Cortisol can increase fat while breaking down muscle. Cortisol increases Insulin’s ability to produce more of a fat accumulating hormone called Leptin. Overweight people have high amounts of Leptin. There are many studies showing that stress increases fat around the belly area. Cortisol in smaller doses can work in concert with epinephrine and norepinephrine to speed up the amount of glycogen forced out of the liver to be burnt as energy. These 2 results show that there is a chemical difference between good and bad stress.
Too much Cortisol breaks down muscle for energy and inhibits collagen production and decreases amino acid uptake into muscles. Cortisol can break down collagen in skin ten times faster than any other type of protein. Collagen protein also makes up our connective tissue.
Cortisol acts as a pro-inflammatory hormone to balance potassium and sodium to bring pH back to normal. Supplementation of Magnesium to further balance electrolytes lowers Cortisol. When the body is too acidic many immune system enzymes do not activate. Cortisol can shut down parts of our immune system but can be protective against toxins from bad bacteria.
Cortisol counter acts Nitric Oxide by helping constrict blood vessels in our arms and legs. Cortisol is part of our fight or flight protection system.
Cortisol is produced to counter allergy symptom causing histamine. Cortisol helps control rheumatoid arthritis by regulating potassium.
Cortisol is not a bad hormone but only acts bad when it gets out of balance because of too much bad stress in our lives. Too much stress leads to being a flabby pencil-neck.
Taking 600 mg of phosphatidylserine (PS) can lower the muscle damaging hormone cortisol by increasing the testosterone to cortisol ratio. The researchers suggest that phosphatidylserine is effective combating exercise-induced stress.
The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008, 5:11doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-11
“The findings suggest that PS is an effective supplement for combating exercise-induced stress and preventing the physiological deterioration that can accompany too much exercise. PS supplementation promotes a desired hormonal status for athletes by blunting increases in cortisol levels.”
The stress hormone cortisol causes pre-mature aging of the immune system. Cortisol shortens a protective cap called telomere that allows the cells to keep dividing. The shorter the telomere, the shorter the cell’s lifespan will be. Telomeres shorten every time a cell divides the telomere shortens, acting like a clock for each cell.
The reason cancer cells are so strong is because their telomeres don’t shorten enough during cell division. A healthy cell lives a proper and preset time. An unhealthy cell either lives too short, not allowing the body to replace it time, or too long, allowing uncontrolled growth.