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