Pregnenolone Supplement Guide: The Precursor To All Steroid Hormones!
What is it and where does it come from?
Pregnenolone (3-Hydroxypregn-5-en-20-one; delta 5-pregnen-3 beta-ol-20-one, and 17 beta-(1-ketoethyl)-delta 5-androstene-3 beta-ol) is a steroid hormone that is manufactured from cholesterol by cellular mitochondria.
It is found in human nervous system tissues1, including the adrenal glands, the skin, the retina of the eye, the brain, the testicles in males and the ovaries in women.
Pregnenolone can exist in the blood as pregnenolone or the more stable pregnenolone-sulfate.
What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?
Pregnenolone is an endogenous (naturally produced) steroid hormone that is a precursor to every bodily hormone. Pregnenolone is produced primarily in the testicles in males and the ovaries in females.
Although pregnenolone is a precursor hormone to every other hormone made by the body, the site of pregnenolone manufacture will chiefly determine the results of pregnenolone hormone conversion.
In males, for example, pregnenolone produced in the testicles has a high probability of converting into testosterone, and pregnenolone produced in the ovaries in females has a high probability of converting into estrogens. In both sexes, pregnenolone produced in the adrenal glands has a high probability of converting into aldersterone, cortisol or DHEA.
"Probability" and "high conversion" must be defined. Although the pregnenolone manufacture site does influence the conversion of pregnenolone into, for example, testosterone, it does not always follow that pregnenolone MUST convert into testosterone or any other hormone. In the worst case, pregnenolone may convert into stress hormones, thereby creating a catabolic environment that could lead to muscle breakdown instead of muscle gain (atrophy instead of hypertrophy). Furthermore, the term "high conversion" is relative. Many hormones convert to their target hormone at a rate of about ten percent. While this conversion rate is clinically significant and while pregnenolone can improve hormone profile, and quality of life, a pregnenolone to testosterone conversion rate of ten percent would still fall far short of delivering the results seen with prescription anabolic steroid drugs.
Aside from its use as a hormone booster, pregnenolone has also been used to maintain a healthy immune system and maintain healthy stress levels. Anecdote indicates that pregnenolone helps improve energy levels, helps to combat stress, and helps to improve sleep length and quality.3
Pregnenolone also improves mental function in a dose dependant manner. It has been shown to affect working, short-term and long-term memory, and may result in increased motivation to learn new information, and an improvement in the ability to acquire new knowledge.5
Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?
No daily requirement or allowance (RDA) exists. Everyone can benefit from pregnenolone supplementation.
Pregnenolone is an appropriate supplement for men and women of all ages.
How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?
Follow label directions.
Pregnenolone has an impressive record with very low levels of toxicity and is safe for human use.
Do not use pregnenolone if you are supplementing DHEA.
Do not use if you suffer from seizure disorders, as pregnenolone can suppress GABA activity, resulting in an increase in central nervous system activity which may lead to seizures in those with epilepsy.6
Consult with a physician before using any nutritional supplement.