- 1 11 Benefits of Pregnenolone + Side Effects, Dosage, Weight Loss
- 2 About Pregnenolone
- 3 My Experience and What I Use
- 4 Pregenolone Benefits
- 4.1 1) Pregnenolone Is a Nootropic and Boosts Cognitive Function
- 4.2 2) Pregnenolone Improves Learning and Memory
- 4.3 3) Pregnenolone Stimulates Deep Sleep
- 4.4 4) Pregnenolone Relieves Schizophrenia Symptoms
- 4.5 5) Pregnenolone Boosts Mood and Relieves Depression
- 4.6 6) Pregnenolone is Anti-anxiety
- 4.7 7) Pregnenolone Balances the Immune System
- 4.8 8) Pregnenolone Reduces Alcohol Preference and Intake
- 4.9 9) Pregnenolone Kills Brain Cancer Cells
- 4.10 10) Pregnenolone Protects from Cannabis Intoxication
- 4.11 11) Other Benefits
- 5 Measuring Pregnenolone in the Blood
- 6 Pregnenolone Side Effects
- 7 Safety of Pregnenolone
- 8 Pregnenolone Dosage
- 9 Pregnenolone and Weight Loss
- 10 What Else Increases Pregnenolone?
- 11 Pregnenolone Goes Well With:
- 12 When to Take Pregnenolone
- 13 Pregnenolone on SelfDecode
- 14 Buying Pregnenolone
- 15 Irregular Pregnenolone Levels?
As the years slip slowly by, our bodies begin to decline. It’s an unfortunate truth, but the good news is that we can DO something about it. Hormone supplements can help to restore our vitality, boost our sex drive, enhance cognitive function, increase muscle mass, and the list goes on. It’s all about finding the right hormone for the job.
For those who are looking to increase their hormone levels, pregnenolone is one of the best options to consider. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this amazing hormone…
What is Pregnenolone?
You could almost say pregnenolone is the “father” of all hormones!
Your body produces hormones from cholesterol, the sterol lipid molecule synthesized in our liver. But your body has to go through a process in order to produce hormones like testosterone, estrogen, DHT, and so on. First, it has to turn the cholesterol into pregnenolone. From there, it can produce hormones like progesterone (which is where cortisol comes from) and DHEA (which is needed for the production of testosterone).
But that first step (turning cortisol into pregnenolone) is the most important step. Pregnenolone is essentially the precursor to these other hormones, as you’ll see on the chart below:
Here is another chart that shows ALL the hormones resulting from pregnenolone:
View attachment 2247
In a young adult male, pregnenolone levels are at their peak. However, as you age, the levels of this precursor hormone drop, until, at the age of 75, our bodies produces just 40% of the pregnenolone it needs. That’s a severe drop in the precursor hormone, which leads to a drop in ALL the hormones resulting from pregnenolone.
What Can It Do?
As mentioned above, pregnenolone is the primary precursor hormone from which all other hormones are produced. However, it serves a number of important functions in the human body:
Alleviate Arthritis — Arthritis is a swelling of the cartilage around the joints as a means of protecting the joints from damage. The cartilage has been worn away (either through use or as the result of an autoimmune disorder), so the joints swell up to prevent the bones from rubbing against each other. This inflammation can be both painful and limiting in terms of mobility.
So how can pregnenolone help? One study found that rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune disorder) increased their mobility and reduced pain thanks to pregnenolone. Daily injections of pregnenolone over four weeks provided “dramatic” improvements, even in one patient who had proven unresponsive to traditional arthritis medications.
Enhance Cognitive Function — There are many ways pregnenolone helps to enhance the function of your brain. It increases the levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that makes it easy for brain cells to communicate. By enhancing acetylcholine production, pregnenolone helps to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disorders.
The hormone also promotes the production of new neurons, improving your brain’s ability to communicate with every part of your body. Pregnenolone also helps to regulate GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep, relaxation, and a proper chemical balance in the brain.
Thanks to pregnenolone, your brain will work better for longer!
Eliminate Excess Cholesterol — While cholesterol is very important for the production of hormones, too much cholesterol can be a VERY bad thing. The cholesterol floats around in your bloodstream, sticks to the walls of your arteries, and hardens. The hardened cholesterol (plaque) is inflexible and stiff, so an increase in blood pressure can cause cracks in the plaque–potentially in the arterial walls as well. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral arterial disease. Excess cholesterol can also cause the arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow while increasing the strain on your heart.
But when your body turns cholesterol to pregnenolone, it eliminates the excess cholesterol. By restoring pregnenolone to healthy levels, you can get your cholesterol under control. The presence of pregnenolone will increase overall hormone levels, encouraging your body to naturally produce more hormones from your cholesterol. A regular dosage of pregnenolone can significantly improve your total cholesterol levels. After all, if your hormone levels are normal, your body is better able to regulate itself–including producing less cholesterol.
Counteract Stress and Fatigue –– Stress is one of the contributing factors in upwards of 80% of diseases, so you can understand why it’s so important to keep stress under control. Psychologists have discovered that pregnenolone helps to improve the brain’s performance even when under stress. The hormone can make it easier to remember important details and complete difficult tasks even in stressful, high-pressure situations. Not only that, but it will help to enhance your overall well-being during periods of high stress.
The effects don’t stop there! The hormone can help to decrease the output of adrenal hormones, which will in turn help to counteract the fatigue resulting from increased adrenal hormone production. In one study, just 50 mg of pregnenolone per day was enough to enhance performance and reduce fatigue, all with ZERO negative side effects.
Combat Depression — Depression is a lot more common than you might think! According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, roughly 18% of the U.S. population suffers from depression. That’s over 40 million adults over the age of 18 dealing with emotional disorders like clinical depression.
Studies have indicated that people who suffer from depression often have abnormally low levels of pregnenolone. One specific study found that pregnenolone could help to treat and possibly even prevent depression. 80 adults with Bipolar Disorder received either pregnenolone or a placebo for 12 weeks, and the depression remission rates among the pregnenolone group was almost TWICE that of the placebo group–61% compared to 37%!
The effects of pregnenolone on depression may not be limited to those with bipolar disorder. While this study looked at the benefits of the hormone specifically for BPD, further research may prove that pregnenolone could help to combat all forms of depression.
Enhance Thyroid Function —Your thyroid gland produces the T3 and T4 hormones, both of which are vital for a healthy body. People with hypothyroidism tend to have lower levels of not only pregnenolone, but also DHEA. Taking pregnenolone supplements may help to increase the production of DHEA and combat the reduction in thyroid function.
Boost Central Nervous Function — A number of people using the hormone supplement have reported noticing a significant difference in their central nervous system function. The pregnenolone supplementation has produced a feeling of “enhanced wellbeing” and “high energy” similar to those produced by DHEA supplements, and some have even reported seeing colors “clearer and sharper” as a result of the hormone.
Of course, this benefit is highly subjective. Not everyone will experience the enhancement to their central nervous system resulting from the pregnenolone supplements. However, it is one of the benefits commonly mentioned.
Boosted Libido — The fact that pregnenolone is the precursor hormone means that it will increase the production of ALL the hormones in the body. This could lead to a boost in sex hormones–testosterone and DHT among them. Many people taking pregnenolone have reported an enhanced sex drive and libido, the result of the increase in male sex hormone production.
If your goal is to improve your sex drive, pregnenolone may be a good option to consider.
The TRT Problem
As you can see from the long list of benefits above, pregnenolone is a very important hormone!
However, there is a problem…
Aside from the natural decrease in pregnenolone that occurs as you age, research shows that the anabolic steroids used for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) causes pregnenolone levels to drop even further. This leads to a decrease in both DHEA and sex- hormone binding globulin (SHBG), two very important hormones for sexual health and libido. The decrease can be as high as 80 or 90%!
However, there is a simple solution: add HCG to your supplementation.
If you are considering undergoing TRT and are worried about your precursor hormone levels, adding HCG into the mix will help to keep your pregnenolone, progesterone, and DHEA levels consistent. HCG is a luteinizing hormone analog, and it activates the enzyme that turns cholesterol into pregnenolone. This ensures that your body gets the pregnenolone it needs to produce all the other important hormones.
Drawbacks of Pregnenolone Supplementation
Now, as with any hormone, there are a number of drawbacks of pregnenolone supplementation. Not everyone will experience side effects, but most users report one or more of the following:
Bloating — Many pregnenolone users have reported feeling bloated and puffy with regular use, even when taking the hormone in tandem with DHEA or other steroid hormones. This may be due to the fact that pregnenolone increases the production of ALL sex hormones, including estradiol (the precursor to estrogen). An increase in estrogen can increase water retention, leading to bloating.
High Estrogen Levels — As mentioned above, pregnenolone is turned into a lot of different sex hormones, including various forms of estradiol. This increase in estradiol can cause your estrogen levels to rise.
Strange Dreams — A number of people taking pregnenolone have reported vivid, strange dreamsafter taking the supplement. While pregnenolone can help to reduce anxiety and stress (as we saw above), it has been known to cause your brain to be over-active when you sleep, and may lead to odd dreams.
Other Side Effects — According to WebMD “There isn’t enough information to know if pregnenolone is safe when taken by mouth.” However, it has been known to cause effects similar to those resulting from other steroid hormones: arrhythmia, hair loss, facial hair growth, headaches, negative mood changes, acne, anger, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. For those with hormone-sensitive conditions (like breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer, or endometriosis), the hormone may increase health problems thanks to the fact that pregnenolone increases the production of estrogen.
However, the truth is that these drawbacks are really fairly minimal. For the most part, pregnenolone is a fairly safe option with limited side effects. However, it’s important that you understand what you’re getting into when taking pregnenolone.
How Much Do You Need?
If you are considering taking to increase natural hormone production, it’s vital that you know HOW MUCH to take. The last thing you want is to overdo it and end up suffering the negative side effects!
According to the experts, the optimal levels of serum pregnenolone is 180 ng/dL. If your pregnenolone is below those levels, you can look into supplements. If your levels are around that number, you may not need to take pregnenolone.
The typical dose of pregnenolone is between 50 and 200 mg per day, usually taken first thing in the morning. The pills are meant to be taken on an empty stomach, or you can use a cream (transdermal application).
However, you may want to consult with your endocrinologist before taking any pregnenolone. They may recommend a higher or lower dosage according to your pregnenolone levels, or they may counsel you against it. It’s essential that you get the recommendation from a medical professional before you undergo any sort of supplement, especially hormones like pregnenolone.
Pregnenolone is a supplement that everyone should read about.
It can help by increasing mood, motivation, and brain function. Pregnenolone feels like a steroid for the brain.
Our Lab Test Analyzer can help you keep your pregnenolone in the optimum range by allowing you to keep track of your levels, identifying causes of low or high levels, and giving you evidence-based lifestyle, diet, and supplement recommendations.
- About Pregnenolone
- My Experience and What I Use
- Pregenolone Benefits
- 1) Pregnenolone Is a Nootropic and Boosts Cognitive Function
- 2) Pregnenolone Improves Learning and Memory
- 3) Pregnenolone Stimulates Deep Sleep
- 4) Pregnenolone Relieves Schizophrenia Symptoms
- 5) Pregnenolone Boosts Mood and Relieves Depression
- 6) Pregnenolone is Anti-anxiety
- 7) Pregnenolone Balances the Immune System
- 8) Pregnenolone Reduces Alcohol Preference and Intake
- 9) Pregnenolone Kills Brain Cancer Cells
- 10) Pregnenolone Protects from Cannabis Intoxication
- 11) Other Benefits
- Measuring Pregnenolone in the Blood
- Pregnenolone Side Effects
- Safety of Pregnenolone
- Pregnenolone Dosage
- Pregnenolone and Weight Loss
- What Else Increases Pregnenolone?
- Pregnenolone Goes Well With:
- When to Take Pregnenolone
- Pregnenolone on SelfDecode
- Buying Pregnenolone
- Irregular Pregnenolone Levels?
- Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
Pregnenolone and its sulfate (pregnenolone sulfate) are excitatory neurosteroids – they stimulate the brain [R].
Pregnenolone is the main steroid produced from cholesterol [R].
Ever since the 1940s, pregnenolone was reported to have anti-stress and mood-elevating effects on factory workers, students, and pilots.
Pregnenolone is the main precursor of many other steroid hormones [R].
For example, pregnenolone increases the level of other neurosteroids, such as pregnenolone sulfate and allopregnanolone.
Allopregnanolone is another molecule that increases the growth of neurons and decreases cell death and inflammation [R].
Like most products that can’t be patented, pregnenolone doesn’t have large clinical trials for various conditions. This is where self-hacking comes in – testing out if pregnenolone works for you.
My Experience and What I Use
I’ve been taking pregnenolone for 3 to 4 years, on and off and I really love it. However, it can take some time to figure out the right dosage. Pregnenolone doesn’t work for a lot of my clients. The most common issues with pregnenolone are that it gives people anxiety and they have more trouble sleeping.
For me, it will cause sleep issues if 1) I take too much, 2) I don’t exerciseenough, or 3) I don’t exercise enough earlier in the day. Exercise makes pregnenolone convert to other hormones to produce cortisol. If I exercise later in the day with pregnenolone, it makes me more wired than usual (perhaps I have a larger cortisol spike).
I find when I was having chronic inflammation, I was deficient in pregnenolone. I’m not deficient now, but since I have a very heavy workload, I use more up, so in these times it’s useful.
1) Pregnenolone Is a Nootropic and Boosts Cognitive Function
Pregnenolone increases the growth of neurons [R].
Pregnenolone enhances myelination, enhances the formation of new synapses, and has neuroprotective properties. Myelin is a fatty layer that electrically insulates nerves, and is essential for their proper functioning [R].
Pregnenolone sulfate enhanced the survival of newborn neurons in adult mice [R].
Pregnenolone also improves neurological recovery [R].
Low blood levels of pregnenolone are found in the elderly, including those with dementia [R].
Pregnenolone sulfate decreases the activity of GABAA receptors, kainate, and AMPA receptors, and increases the activity of NMDA receptors [R].
This might be why pregnenolone increases anxiety in some.
By regulating microtubules, pregnenolone may increase neuronal development and plasticity of neurons during aging [R].
Pregnenolone boosts cognitive function for me and is one of my favorite nootropics. It goes well with infrared therapy/LLLT.
2) Pregnenolone Improves Learning and Memory
Pregnenolone/pregnenolone sulfate resulted in better performance of mice and rats in various mazes [R].
Pregnenolone sulfate prevented learning and memory deficits induced by certain drugs [R].
Pregnenolone boosts learning and memory for me.
3) Pregnenolone Stimulates Deep Sleep
Pregnenolone and its derivative allopregnanolone stimulated deep sleep in animal studies [R].
Low concentration of pregnenolone sulfate increased the amount of REM (paradoxical sleep), while high concentrations increased both REM and slow wave sleep (deep sleep) [R].
Pregnenolone increased the amount of time spent in deep sleep in human volunteers [R].
Deep sleep, in turn, helps consolidate memories.
Pregnenolone is more likely to worsen your sleep than benefit it. I have found pregnenolone (at 50 mg) delays sleep onset and results in less sleep for me. Other people also report insomnia from these doses.
4) Pregnenolone Relieves Schizophrenia Symptoms
Elevations in pregnenolone and allopregnanolone after pregnenolone treatment in schizophrenia were correlated with cognitive improvements [R].
Treatment with pregnenolone sulfate reduced schizophrenia-like symptoms and rescued the cognitive deficits in mice [R].
Pregnenolone reduced symptoms in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder [R].
Low-dose pregnenolone together with antipsychotics reduced drug-induced side effects in schizophrenic patients [R].
5) Pregnenolone Boosts Mood and Relieves Depression
Pregnenolone has significant mood-stabilizing effects [R].
It also enhanced the activation of neurocircuits that control emotion [R].
Blocking allopregnanolone impaired social and emotional functioning [R].
A synthetic pregnenolone derivative acts as an antidepressant in rats [R].
Depressive disorders are associated with neuronal abnormalities in brain microtubule function [R].
By increasing formation and stability of tubules, pregnenolone increases neurite growth and can combat depression [R].
Pregnenolone boosts mood and motivation quite a bit. In fact, it increases mood and motivation more than anything else I’ve tried.
6) Pregnenolone is Anti-anxiety
Patients with general anxiety disorder have significantly lower levels of pregnenolone sulfate [R].
Pregnenolone does have anti-anxiety effects, but I’ve had some clients tell me it increases their anxiety. For me, it makes me more emotional and more passionate. This includes good and bad emotions. For example, a breakup would feel worse if I’m taking pregnenolone, but you are more likely to fall in love, in my experience.
7) Pregnenolone Balances the Immune System
Synthetic pregnenolone derivatives act as antiviral agents against the herpes simplex virus [R].
Pregnenolone suppresses immune cells to restore immune balance (homeostasis) [R].
8) Pregnenolone Reduces Alcohol Preference and Intake
Also, pregnenolone treatment significantly reduced alcohol self-administration in rats [R].
9) Pregnenolone Kills Brain Cancer Cells
Pregnenolone induced glioma cell death [R].
10) Pregnenolone Protects from Cannabis Intoxication
Pregnenolone protects the brain from cannabis intoxication [R].
11) Other Benefits
Pregnenolone has anti-arthritic, anti-aging, and anti-fatigue properties. It also lowers cholesterol [R].
Measuring Pregnenolone in the Blood
You can take a blood test to measure pregnenolone levels. High or low pregnenolone numbers can indicate that certain processes in the body aren’t optimal.
Our Lab Test Analyzer can help you get your pregnenolone levels in the optimum range if they are not there.
Pregnenolone Side Effects
1) Pregnenolone Can Impair Memory
Allopregnanolone impaired learning in rats [R].
2) Pregnenolone Can Reduce Wakefulness
Pregnenolone sulfate promotes sleep and can impair wakefulness [R].
3) Pregnenolone Can Cause Anxiety
I haven’t seen this in studies, but in some clients, pregnenolone can increase anxiety, even though it also has anti-anxiety actions.
Safety of Pregnenolone
Studies conducted in the 1940s and 1950s showed that pregnenolone at 25 to 500 mg/day was safe and well tolerated in humans, with minimal side effects, and did not affect weight, heart rate, blood pressure, menstrual cycle, or glucose levels [R].
Pregnenolone is very safe as far as toxicity.
Generally, if you do get a side effect from pregnenolone, you can stop taking it and it will go away. I’ve never heard of permanent negative effects.
I recommend starting out with 5 mg if you’re healthy and make sure to pay attention to your sleep.
If you have schizophrenia or chronic inflammation, you will want to take 25 mg a day (if your doctor thinks it’s a good idea).
Pregnenolone and Weight Loss
Pregnenolone inhibits the production of cortisol. This has the effect of causing fat loss since cortisol increases stomach fat (R).
By inhibiting cortisol, pregnenolone is naturally boosting testosterone levels, which is associated with a higher metabolic rate (R). This is another way pregnenolone may promote weight loss.
What Else Increases Pregnenolone?
- THC, the main active component of marijuana, substantially increased the production of pregnenolone [R]
- Stress [R]
- SSRIs and antipsychotic drugs used for treating depression and bipolar disorder: Clozapine, olanzapine and fluoxetine (Prozac) elevated pregnenolone levels in the brain and blood of rats [R]
Pregnenolone Goes Well With:
Pregnenolone goes well with aromatase inhibitors so that it doesn’t convert to estradiol.
My favorite aromatase inhibitors include:
Inhibiting cortisol production may also help.
When to Take Pregnenolone
I recommend taking it right upon awakening and exercising in the morning, and on an empty stomach – so that it gets absorbed more quickly.
Everyone is different, and our bodies can be complex. If you want to increase your levels, it’s best to put them in Lab Test Analyzer so that it can compute based on this and your other results what you could do to become optimal.
Pregnenolone on SelfDecode
There are many dosages of pregnenolone you can buy. You can either buy a smaller amount or larger amount and break up the capsule.
Irregular Pregnenolone Levels?
If you have not yet tested your pregnenolone levels, I recommend that you ask your doctor to do it. If you already have your blood test results and you’re not sure what to make of them, you need to check out Lab Test Analyzer. It does all the heavy lifting for you. No need to do thousands of hours of research on what to make of your various blood tests.
People don’t realize that their blood test results contain a gold mine of information that’s waiting to be unearthed. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time nor the inclination to sift through dozens of research papers.
It’s super-simple, so that even if you don’t have any background in science, you will understand what your results mean and what you can do to get them in the optimal range.
Lab Test Analyzer gives you up-to-date scientific information about your lab results. In addition, you will get both lifestyle tips and natural solutions to help you optimize your health. You can also rely on our science-based Optimal Ranges to prevent potential health issues and maximize your overall well-being.
All of the content is backed by science and researched by a team of PhDs, professors, and scientists.
We’re all unique, so we deserve solutions that treat us that way.