Pregnenolone

Nonessential Micronutrient

OVERVIEW

Summary

Pregnenolone is considered a “mother” hormone as it is a precursor to other hormones, including DHEA, testosterone, and estrogen (in females) and many other hormones that are necessary to our health and well-being. Its most prominent impact appears to be related to its ability to improve brain functioning, including memory and mental focus.

Other names for Pregnenolone

3-alpha-hydroxy-5-betapregnen-20-one, progesterone sulfate, PREG

Where to find Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone is naturally made from cholesterol. There are no food sources. Supplemental forms are synthesized.

PERFORMANCE BENEFITS

Why athletes use Pregnenolone

The simple fact that pregnenolone is required to create DHEA and testosterone does not necessarily make it an effective catalyst for increasing testosterone levels. The balance of hormones in our bodies is complex, and there are a lot of questions. Certainly more research is needed before we can define its precise impact on testosterone, but at a glance, it’s easy to see that DHEA is one step closer along the chain to testosterone than pregnenolone.

Ways that Pregnenolone can enhance Muscle Gain & Recovery:
  • A precursor to hormones, including DHEA and testosterone
Ways that Pregnenolone can enhance Mental Functioning:
  • Enhance mental function, most notably memory
  • Increase focus and heighten response to stress

HEALTH BENEFITS

Signs of Pregnenolone deficiency

No deficiency conditions are known to exist.

Potential uses for Pregnenolone

Research indicates that Pregnenolone may be useful in the treatment of:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Fatigue/Weakness
  • Acne or mild skin complaints, due to collagen strengthening
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Wrinkles
  • Neuritis
  • Low testosterone levels
  • Insomnia/sleep disorders
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Stress

DISCUSSION

More about Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone is considered a “mother” hormone as it is a precursor to other hormones, including DHEA, testosterone, and estrogen (in females) and many other hormones that are necessary to our health and well-being. Its most prominent impact appears to be related to its ability to improve brain functioning, including memory and mental focus.

With age, many hormone levels decline, including pregnenolone and testosterone, which can result in slowed mental alertness and memory skills; declines in strength, endurance, and lean mass; lowered sex drive in men; and even those telltale signs of aging — lines and wrinkles in our skin.

Because pregnenolone is a precursor hormone to these other vital hormones, some researchers theorize that by increasing levels of pregnenolone through supplementation, these other hormones, along with their benefits, can be restored back to youthful peak levels.

The simple fact that pregnenolone is required to create DHEA and testosterone does not necessarily make it an effective catalyst for increasing testosterone levels. The balance of hormones in our bodies is complex, and there are a lot of questions. Certainly more research is needed before we can define its precise impact on testosterone levels, but at a glance, one can see that DHEA is one step closer than pregnenolone along the chain to testosterone.

In conclusion

Hormone levels are directly related to so much of our ability to function happily and healthily in a world that is full of stress and disease. Hormones affect our moods, our energy levels, our mental capacity, our body composition, our skin — virtually every system and function of our bodies.

As we get older, the natural decline in some hormones allows many signs of aging to creep up on us. The use of pregnenolone has been shown to increase levels of these vital hormones and thus potentially decrease the adverse age-related changes that most of us would like to avoid.

NOTES ON USAGE

Amount

Though research is still needed to find optimum amounts, 10 to 30 mg daily is commonly used. Researchers suggest starting with very low doses (1 to 5 mg daily) and noting all changes.

Because pregnenolone has not been tested extensively, it is recommended that the lowest effective amounts be used.

Timing

Pregnenolone should be taken in the morning either before or with breakfast as it heightens awareness and alertness and could cause restless sleep if taken in the evening.

Synergists of Pregnenolone

No synergists have been noted.

Safety of Pregnenolone

If you have a history of seizures or epilepsy, you shouldn’t supplement with pregnenolone since it has been shown to have antagonistic effects on the GABA receptor in the central nervous system.

Drugs that interact with Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone may inhibit drugs used in the treatment of depression and epilepsy and may also affect various hormone therapies because it is a natural precursor to hormones. Pregnenolone can also raise natural levels of sex hormones, so use caution if taking other medications that affect these hormones.

Toxicity of Pregnenolone

No known toxicity.

Bans and restrictions

None reported.

RELATED RESEARCH

  • Flood, J.F., et al., “Pregnenolone Sulfate Enhances Post-Training Memory Processes When Injected in Very Low Doses into Limbic System Structures: The Amygdala Is by Far the Most Sensitive,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 7;92.23 (1995) : 10806-10.
  • Flood, J.F., et al., “Memory-Enhancing Effects in Male Mice of Pregnenolone and Steroids Metabolically Derived From It,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 89.5 (1992) : 1567-71.
  • Guth, L., et al., “Key Role for Pregnenolone in Combination Therapy That Promotes Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 6;91.25 (1994) :12308-12.
  • Shiraki, M., and Orimo, H., “The Effect of Estrogen and, Sex-Steroids and Thyroid Hormone Preparation on Bone Mineral Density in Senile Osteoporosis-A Comparative Study of the Effect of 1 Alpha-Hydroxycholecalciferol (1 Alpha-OHD3) on Senile Osteoporosis,” Nippon Naibunpi Gakkai Zasshi 67.2 (1991) : 84-95.
  • Steiger, A., et al., “Neurosteroid Pregnenolone Induces Sleep-EEG Changes in Man Compatible With Inverse Agonistic GABAA-Receptor Modulation,” Brain Res 2;615.2 (1993) : 267-74.
  • Young, D.G., N.D. Pregnenolone: A Radical New Approach to Health, Longevity, and Emotional Well-Being (Salem, Utah: Essential Science Publishing, 2000) : 21.