3

votes

Positive effects of cortisol?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I was just reading that cortisol is anti-depressive and it lowers inflammation. Previously, id only read alot of negative things about it.

IDK if thats true, but i wondered what the positive effects of cortisol are?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 26, 2012
at 07:28 AM

Jamie, if you do not mind sharing - how do you restrict iodine and restore copper? I am consuming sea weed - is that bad? Should I just stop?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 26, 2012
at 02:11 AM

^ Thats an interesting study. Although personally, my last thryoid test had elevated t4, lowers TSH and t3 in the normal range, and I was experiencing hyperT symptoms, so I dont think that applies to me. Thankfully restricting iodine and restoring copper seems to have balanced it out symptoms wise. Will have to see what the next blood test is though.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on August 24, 2012
at 08:01 PM

This question has some good info: http://paleohacks.com/questions/74818/when-are-high-levels-of-cortisol-appropriate#axzz24UmvExh0

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:12 PM

Almost everything in your body has both positive and negative effects. This is why it is silly to vilify a hormone/macronutrient etc. Too much or too little, or if something is acute vs chronic, is more important. Chronic levels of stress produces too much cortisol, which is not a good thing. Cortisol itself, is not a bad thing, and is what helps us get up in the morning, kick ass in a fight, run away from a threat, etc.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 23, 2012
at 02:17 PM

I don't know of any studies that specifically looked into that. My hypothesis would be that higher carbohydrate intake would lower cortisol levels associated with stress response cortisol (i.e. working out, poor sleep, etc). If you have sufficient blood sugar levels in your body there would be less need for corisol to kick start gluconeogenesis, and thus your hypothalamus would down regulate the cortisol response. I would also hypothesize that cortisol reaction to perceived stress would see no difference regardless of macronutreint levels as the body does not know what it will need.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 23, 2012
at 01:07 PM

BTW do you, or anyone else, know if low carb (not very low carb, say 80-100 grams carbs a day), would increase cortisol to the point of producing those negative effects long term? (Yes this is why I asked the initial question, as had heard vague things regarding increased cortisol, and I wanted to learn more about what it does)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 23, 2012
at 01:03 PM

^ That was pretty informative. Cheers.

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2 Answers

5
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 23, 2012
at 12:14 PM

Cortisol's primary function is to super-charge gluconeogenesis and create large amounts of blood sugar available for immediate use of energy, this is the "fight or flight" feeling. And, evolutionary an obvious advantage. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and regularted by the hypothalamus -- which is why we only need to perceive stress (i.e. a Bear walking towards us) for the body to kick start. However, actual stress (i.e. weight lifting) also causes cortisol release.

An off shoot of the rush of energy are: Release of Endorphins (which is why some might consider it anti-depressive, but it's only a short term response); and lower inflammation as the body returns to homeostatis and replenish the glycogen stores (this is the reason weight lifting reduces inflammation). In addition to what you mentioned, cortisol has been linked to better insulin sensitivity, so if you release cortisol during a HIIT or Weight session your body drains the glycogen supplies and then kicks into high gear the fat burning without effecting insulin response. This is the reason we have seen that weight lifting and HIIT burn more fat per minute than cardio exercises although cardio can be continued longer and can burn more fat per exercise if done properly (i.e. integral vs maximal efforts)

However, those "benefits" are short lived, endorphins last a few hours, reduced inflammation typically 24-48 hours max. So I would be hesitant to consider it a treatment for depression or inflammation.

Negative effects of cortisol come from long term, consistent release of crotisol (i.e. from lack of sleep/ stressful job/ injury) can lead to proteolysis (breaking down of muscle tissues), chronic inflammation (if the body does not release the cortisol the inflammation never goes away), and decreased bone density.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 23, 2012
at 01:03 PM

^ That was pretty informative. Cheers.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 23, 2012
at 01:07 PM

BTW do you, or anyone else, know if low carb (not very low carb, say 80-100 grams carbs a day), would increase cortisol to the point of producing those negative effects long term? (Yes this is why I asked the initial question, as had heard vague things regarding increased cortisol, and I wanted to learn more about what it does)

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 23, 2012
at 02:17 PM

I don't know of any studies that specifically looked into that. My hypothesis would be that higher carbohydrate intake would lower cortisol levels associated with stress response cortisol (i.e. working out, poor sleep, etc). If you have sufficient blood sugar levels in your body there would be less need for corisol to kick start gluconeogenesis, and thus your hypothalamus would down regulate the cortisol response. I would also hypothesize that cortisol reaction to perceived stress would see no difference regardless of macronutreint levels as the body does not know what it will need.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 23, 2012
at 02:18 PM

Jamie, I have posted it earlier and I am going to repost it just for you:

http://drcate.com/going-low-carb-too-fast-may-trigger-thyroid-troubles-and-hormone-imbalance/

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 26, 2012
at 02:11 AM

^ Thats an interesting study. Although personally, my last thryoid test had elevated t4, lowers TSH and t3 in the normal range, and I was experiencing hyperT symptoms, so I dont think that applies to me. Thankfully restricting iodine and restoring copper seems to have balanced it out symptoms wise. Will have to see what the next blood test is though.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 26, 2012
at 07:28 AM

Jamie, if you do not mind sharing - how do you restrict iodine and restore copper? I am consuming sea weed - is that bad? Should I just stop?

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