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The Hunger Project Bolen Report
Ohm Society
Cortisone Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy Cortisone is maufactured in the outer layer of hte adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex. It is one of several end products of steroidogenesis. This process begins with cholesterol which goes through a series of reactions in the adrenal gland to produce a variety of steroid hormones. One end product of this pathway is cortisol, which is then released from the adrenal gland by ACTH signaling from the anterior pituitary, which is in turn stimulated by corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) from the hypothalamus in the brain. In the peripheral tissues cortisol is converted to cortisone by 11-beta-steroid dehydrogenase. Cortisol has much greater glucocorticoid activity than cortisone and thus cortisone is considered a relatively inactive metabolite of cortisol. However 11-beta-steroid dehydrogenase can catalyze the reverse reaction as well and thus cortisone is also the inactive precursor (storage) molecule of the active hormone cortisol. Cortisone is activated through hydrogenation of the 11-keto-group by 11-beta-steroid dehydrogenase. The active form, cortisol, is thus sometimes referred to as hydrocortisone.

Cortisol and adrenaline are the main hormones released by the body as a reaction to stress. They elevate blood pressure and prepare the body for a fight or flight response.

Cortisone is sometimes used as a drug to treat a variety of ailments. It can be administered intravenously or cutaneously. One of cortisone's effects on the body, and a potentially harmful side effect when administered clinically, is the suppression of the immune system. This explains the apparent correlation between high stress and sickness. The suppression of the immune system is important in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as severe IgE-mediated allergies. Cortisone is less important than cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for 95% of the effects of the glucocorticosteroids while cortisone is about 4 or 5%.

Cortisone was synthesized in the 1950s as soon after the synthesis of cortisone in the laboratory, it was used in large doses to treat arthritis - before the dangers of such doses became apparent, thus giving hormone therapy a black eye at its inception.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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