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Lowest cortisol levels found in women with overweight, mild obesity

Women with overweight and class I obesity appear to have the lowest cortisol levels, while more significant obesity appears to be associated with higher cortisol levels, according to recent findings. In the cross-sectional study, Karen K.

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Dr. Sears Comments:

Dr. Barry Sears

The problem with this study is that cortisol levels can be elevated in the adipose tissue but low in the blood.  It’s not the blood levels of cortisol that are the problem, but the levels in the adipose tissue that can only be addressed by biopsy.



  1. Elizabeth

    Just had saliva based hormone panel done. Cortisol levels came back extremely low, and they would like to supplement with bio-identical cortisol. Slightly overweight, upper middle age female, post-menstrual. I refused treatment, because I am concerned with increasing my cortisol levels. They are claiming that this lack of cortisol is why I am low in energy. Your thoughts?


      Bioidentical cortisol is a prescription drug. If the levels are truly low (a 24 hour urinary test is the ideal way to determine that), then supplementing is probably warranted. I would also start a strict Zone Diet to stabilize blood sugar levels will also restore mental focus and physical energy.


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