Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
Home > Encyclopedia of Science


Any of a family of steroids produced by the cortex of the adrenal glands. Corticosteroids, which are hormones, all have similar chemical formulas, but serve a wide variety of functions in the body, including fluid and mineral regulation, metabolism, reproductive development, growth, the regulation of body temperature, and the absorption of nutrients from the intestines. Among corticosteroids are the glucocorticoids, which regulate the use of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the body and include cortisol and cortisone, and mineralocorticoids, which regulate salt and water balance.

Related category