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Cortisol

Cortisol is the hormone that mediates waking up and a variety of catabolic (tissue breakdown) reactions; it isn't bad in any way, but many people with elevated cortisol could suffer pathology from it. In these scenarios, it is nice to lower cortisol and supplementation may be effective.

Our evidence-based analysis on cortisol features 54 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by .
Reviewed by
Examine.com Team
Last Updated:

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Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect cortisol.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Supplement Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Minor High See all 4 studies
In general, cortisol appears to be increased at high doses of caffeine; lower doses may not have an effect.
grade-b Minor Moderate See all 5 studies
Highly unreliable influences on cortisol, with decreases seen in studies where androgens and estrogens are also increased (with no significant influence or possibly an increase in other studies)
grade-b Minor Low See all 4 studies
A possible reducing effect of fish oil supplementation on cortisol

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Frequently Asked Questions and Articles on Cortisol

How important is sleep?
Sleep is incredibly important, and can be considered crucial alongside diet and exercise. Proper sleep habits help sustain many biological processes, and bad sleep can cause these processes to be suboptimal or even malfunction.
Click here to see all 54 references.