Pregnenolone – a lesser known but equally important hormone
ByJoanne Aponte, ND •December 12, 2023
Low levels of the hormone pregnenolone could be a root cause of your symptoms.
Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone that is mainly produced in the adrenal glands. It is derived from cholesterol and is then converted into other important hormones in the body such as cortisol, DHEA and the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone).
Pregnenolone is a neurosteroid that can improve cognition and memory and promote myelination in the brain (1). Others studies have shown that it can improve brain plasticity (2). It can even help support the formation of new brain neurons (3).
Pregnenolone helps build your sex hormones (Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone) so it can help with many different hormone related conditions including symptoms of Perimenopause and Menopause. It is currently being studied at Harvard for the treatment of menopausal depression. https://womensmentalhealth.org/posts/pregnenolone-menopause-study-2-2/
Production of pregnenolone decreases with age. If you are low in pregnenolone your body cannot make other important hormones and this can cause a long list of symptoms
Conditions and symptoms that can improve with pregnenolone supplementation:
- Neuroinflammatory and autoimmune conditions such as Multiple sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, Parkinson’s and Dementia.
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Thyroid disorders
- Depression and overwhelm
- Brain Fog
- PMS and PMDD
- Menstrual problems
- Progesterone deficiency
- Perimenopause and Menopause symptoms
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Low immunity and frequent illnesses
Since pregnenolone is the building block precursor for other hormones, it can also help people lower their doses of hormone replacement and in some cases thyroid medications.
Pregnenolone can be tested in the blood. The typical lab reference range is 33-248 ng/dL but people often feel best when levels are around 100ng/dL. Before taking pregnenolone it is important to test levels as you should only take this hormone if your levels are low. Typical doses of pregnenolone range from 10-60mg per day. When taking a pregnenolone supplement your blood levels should be monitored.
Pregnenolone should not be taken if you have a history of hormone sensitive cancer or high serum prolactin.
- The Role of Pregnenolone in Inflammatory Degenerative Brain Disease
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.