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  Adrenocortical steroids
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Adrenocortical steroids

Adrenocortical steroids are also known as corticosteroids or adrenocorticosteroids.

This group of steroid hormones is produced by the adrenal glands and acts as anti-inflammatory agents. Adrenocortical steroids share similar chemical structures but they fulfill different physiologic effects. This group of steroid hormones is further divided into two groups – glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. The hormones cortisol (also known as hydrocortisone) and corticosterone are glucocorticoids. Aldosterone and desoxycorticosterone are mineralocorticosteroids.

As mentioned above, andrenocortical steroids facilitate different physiologic functions in the body. Glucocorticoids regulate carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism. They are also involved in the anti-inflammatory and immune responses in the body. Cortisol, a glucocorticoid, is known as the primary stress hormone. When you undergo any form of stress (physical or psychological), cortisol is released by the adrenal cortex of the kidney. Cortisol regulates the required energy in response to a certain stress. When you’re doing a bodybuilding exercise, for example, cortisol mobilizes protein and fat reserves to be used for energy production by your working muscles.

Mineralocorticosteroids, on the other hand, regulate sodium (salt) and water balance in the body. These types of adrenocortical steroids are so named because they are primarily involved in the retention by the kidney of sodium, a mineral.