The Effect of Cortisol on Erythropoiesis

Red blood cells are responsible for a variety of tasks in the human body, and their continued production must take place in order for a person to maintain good health. Hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone affect this production.

  1. Identification

    • According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, erythropoiesis is the term which defines the continued manufacturing of red blood cells, which are responsible for many functions, including moving oxygen and iron throughout the human body.


    • According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, cortisol and aldosterone are hormones released by the kidneys in response to stress and other factors. Cortisol also helps to balance the levels of potassium and sodium in the human body.


    • According to Professor R.L. Bijlani, cortisol stimulates the production of red blood cells, and the American Society of Hematology reports that in a study done on mice, when cortisol levels were elevated, stress induced erythropoiesis was automatic. In addition to these facts, the New Mexico School of Medicine states that cortisol in plasma--the liquid portion of the blood--affects the way the hormone aldosterone is distributed in the body.

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  • Photo Credit blood testing image by John Keith from

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