Pregnenolone is one of the most important “repair molecules” because it is the “mother” to all other hormones. I will paraphrase Dr. Spurlock in saying, “Aging and deteriorating health are due to lack of repair molecules.” From Pregnenolone we synthesize DHEA, Progesterone and Cortisol. DHEA is a precursor to Estrogen and Testosterone. Progesterone is a precursor to Aldosterone. Cortisol is the “stress hormone.” Too much or not enough of this hormone could cause health problems.
Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone synthesized from cholesterol in the mitochondria of adrenal glands. Pregnenolone is also made to a lesser extent in the brain, liver, skin, testes, and ovaries. Once synthesized, pregenolone is released from the mitochondria where it can be converted to DHEA or to progesterone.
DHEA serves as a precursor compound to the androgens and the estrogens through androstenedione as the intermediate compound. Progesterone is the precursor to cortisol, aldosterone, androstenedione, estrogen, and testosterone. Pregnenolone may also be secreted directly into the blood where it circulates primarily as the sulfated form. Pregnenolone has many actions of its own not attributable to its conversion to progesterone or to DHEA. Recent studies show that pregnenolone is important for the function of brain, nervous tissue, liver, pancreas, reproductive tissues, pituitary and skin. † Pregnenolone is found in higher concentrations in the central nervous system compared to the peripheral tissues which may reflect its importance in brain function. As with many hormones, pregnenolone production declines with age.
The Benefits of Pregnenolone
Pregnenolone boosts cognitive function as it enhances memory, improves cellular repair specifically in the brain and nerve tissue, it protects cerebral function and it protects against neuronal injury.
There is evidence that optimal levels of Pregnenolone promote better cognitive health. Also, there are associated benefits with all other hormones deriving from Pregnenolone as they “trickle down” the cascade of hormones production. We often see in laboratory testing, as Pregnenolone level becomes optimal, the other hormones increase as well and our patients report improvement in their health as symptoms ameliorate.
- DHEA has so many protective benefits: boosts immune function, lowers risk of heart disease, lowers risk of osteoporosis, improves insulin sensitivity and lowers insulin resistance leading to less inflammation and decreased weight gain.
- Progesterone is the pregnancy hormone for which women need to have a healthy level in order to be able to get pregnant and to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Also, Progesterone is the number one anti-depression and anti-anxiety hormone, protective against endometrial and breast cancers, a balancing hormone in so many ways, and the best sleep promoter in women.
- Cortisol is the life sustaining hormone. This hormone requires fine balancing as too much production of this hormone due to a variety of conditions or stressors will lead to adrenal fatigue over time, insulin resistance, weight gain and chronic inflammation. Not enough of this hormone when it gets depleted requires supplementation in low doses to lower overall inflammation and to balance out the immune system, improve blood pressure, reduce pain sensitivity, and correct hypoglycemia.
We recommend Pregnenolone to our patients in order to achieve their health goals. Generally, the recommended dose is 100 mg daily at bedtime. We also provide a lower dose at 25 mg depending on serum level and what daily dose is needed for maintenance.
This supplement is generally well tolerated. However, potential side effects may include: insomnia, irritability, anxiety, acne, facial hair growth, or hair loss. If you should experience any of these side effects, please, reach out to your clinician as a dose adjustment or changing the timing of supplementation may correct these side effects.
Keep in mind that Pregnenolone is just one piece of the puzzle as you need to look at the whole picture to complete the puzzle. Work with a trained clinician who understands the subtleties and fine tuning required to renew your health.
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Pregnenolone – ppt by Dr. Neil Rouzier, Part I, 2018.
https://articles.mercola.com/vitamins-supplements/pregnenolone.aspxby Dr. Mercola. Retrieved April 1st, 2019.