Cortisol hormone molecule

Cortisol hormone molecule

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cortisol hormone molecule. Computer model showing the structure of the steroid hormone cortisol (C21.H30.O5). Atoms are colour-coded spheres (carbon: grey, hydrogen: white, and oxygen: red). The bonds between them are represented by rods. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys. It is produced in response to stress, and increases blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It also suppresses the immune system and is used in medicine (hydrocortisone) to treat allergies, and as an anti-inflammatory.

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