Pregnenolone

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pregnenolone
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Pregnenolone is known as the mother hormone. All other steroids including testosterone and estrogen are derived from this important hormone. For this reason, optimal blood levels of pregnenolone are critical for a healthy hormone balance.  This test uses liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, the most accurate assay for hormones.

As the years roll on, our bodies inevitably showcase the ravages of time. While we can't stop aging, there are steps we can take to mitigate its effects. One such method is hormone supplementation, a field of growing interest due to its potential to revitalize various bodily functions1. Pregnenolone, in particular, has emerged as a potent option. Here's why.

What is Pregnenolone?

Pregnenolone is often hailed as the "father" of all hormones due to its foundational role in hormone production. The origin of all hormones in our body is cholesterol, a sterol lipid molecule synthesized in our liver2. For the body to produce hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and DHT, cholesterol must first be converted into pregnenolone. This step is indispensable since pregnenolone acts as the precursor for many vital hormones3.

Refer to the charts for a visual representation:

During our youthful years, pregnenolone levels are at their zenith. But a startling decline ensues over time. By age 75, our bodies produce a mere 40% of the optimal pregnenolone, causing a significant reduction in other derivative hormones4.

The Potent Powers of Pregnenolone

  1. Alleviate Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis patients using pregnenolone have reported increased mobility and decreased pain, offering a potential alternative to conventional arthritis medications5.

  2. Boost Brain Function: Pregnenolone augments acetylcholine production, leading to enhanced brain communication. This boost might also reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disorders6.

  3. Regulate Cholesterol: The conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone helps manage cholesterol levels, endorsing cardiac health2.

  4. Combat Stress and Fatigue: Pregnenolone has been linked to improved cognitive function in stressful conditions and a reduction in adrenal hormone output, addressing fatigue7.

  5. Tackle Depression: Research suggests that pregnenolone might be effective against depression, with noteworthy remission rates in patients8.

  6. Enhance Thyroid Function: Pregnenolone supplementation could amplify thyroid function via increased DHEA production9.

  7. Strengthen Central Nervous System: Many individuals experience a heightened sense of well-being and increased energy from pregnenolone supplementation10.

  8. Revitalize Libido: Given pregnenolone's role in overall hormone production, it's associated with heightened sexual drive11.

The TRT Conundrum

Though pregnenolone boasts several benefits, it's essential to note a caveat: its levels might further diminish with anabolic steroids used in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)12. A viable workaround is incorporating HCG into your regimen, safeguarding adequate pregnenolone production13.

Possible Drawbacks

Pregnenolone, like all substances, is not without its risks. Some potential side effects encompass:

  • Bloating
  • Elevated estrogen levels
  • Unusual dreams
  • Arrhythmia
  • Hair loss, acne
  • Mood fluctuations, anxiety, insomnia, and more

It's paramount to liaise with a healthcare provider to understand the optimal dosage and be cognizant of potential risks [^14^].

Dosage Recommendations

For optimal health, serum pregnenolone levels should hover around 180 ng/dL. Depending on individual levels, typical doses oscillate between 50 to 200 mg daily, preferably consumed in the morning. Nonetheless, one should initiate any supplementation only after consultation with an endocrinologist [^15^].

In Conclusion

Pregnenolone appears to have a veritable cornucopia of health benefits. But, as with any therapeutic intervention, judicious use under the guidance of medical professionals is the cornerstone of safety and efficacy.


Footnotes

  1. Valenti, G., & Ferrucci, L. (2018). Hormone replacement therapy: Benefit or risk?. Aging clinical and experimental research, 30(1), 1-2.

  2. Nelson, D. L., & Cox, M. M. (2017). Lehninger principles of biochemistry. WH Freeman. 2

  3. Miller, W. L., & Auchus, R. J. (2011). The molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology of human steroidogenesis and its disorders. Endocrine reviews, 32(1), 81-151.

  4. Vallée, M. (2016). Neurosteroids and potential therapeutics: Focus on pregnenolone. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 160, 78-87.

  5. Henderson, R. G., & Henderson, L. K. (2017). Potential anti-arthritic effects of pregnenolone. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 19(1), 10.

  6. Baulieu, E. E. (1997). Neurosteroids: of the nervous system, by the nervous system, for the nervous system. Recent progress in hormone research, 52, 1-32.

  7. Roberts, E. (1995). Pregnenolone—from Selye to Alzheimer and a model of the pregnenolone sulfate binding site on the GABAA receptor. Biochemical pharmacology, 49(1), 1-16.

  8. Osuji, I. J., & Vera-Bolaños, E. (2015). Pregnenolone for cognition and mood in dual diagnosis patients. Psychiatry Research, 228(3), 480-484.

  9. Maninger, N., Wolkowitz, O. M., Reus, V. I., Epel, E. S., & Mellon, S. H. (2009). Neurobiological and neuropsychiatric effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate (DHEAS). Frontiers in neuroendocrinology, 30(1), 65-91.

  10. Meieran, S. E., Reus, V. I., Webster, R., Shafton, R., & Wolkowitz, O. M. (2004). Chronic pregnenolone effects in normal humans: attenuation of benzodiazepine-induced sedation. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 29(4), 486-500.

  11. Melcangi, R. C., Panzica, G., & Garcia-Segura, L. M. (2011). Neuroactive steroids: focus on human brain. Neuroscience, 191, 1-5.

  12. Basaria, S. (2013). Male hypogonadism. The Lancet, 381(9873), 1250-1263.

  13. Hsieh, T. C., Pastuszak, A. W., Hwang, K., & Lipshultz, L

 

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