Glucose, Fat, and Protein Metabolism
In the muscles and other tissues, cortisol increases the breakdown of pro tein into amino acids.
Those amino acids are used to produce additional glucose (via a metabolic pathway called gluconeogenesis) in the liver.
Cortisol also conserves glucose for the brain and spinal cord by blocking the actions of insulin (which will be discussed later in this chapter) inhibiting glucose absorption into other tissues.
Cortisol also stimulates the release of fatty acids and glycerol from adipose tissue.
Glycerol is used in gluconeogenesis, while fatty acids are made available for energy to other tissues to preserve glucose for the brain.
Cortisol reduces protein reserves everywhere except in the liver.
As proteins continue to be broken down in muscles and in other tissues, blood levels of amino acids rise.
The additional amino acids are used for gluconeogenesis, glycogen formation, and protein synthesis in the liver.