Pregnenolone has been called "the grandmother of all steroid hormones." The body manufactures it from cholesterol, and then uses it to make testosterone, cortisone,
One reason given for using pregnenolone is that the level of many of these hormones declines with age. By taking pregnenolone supplements, proponents say, you can keep all your hormones at youthful levels. However, pregnenolone levels themselves don't decline with age,
Steroid hormones are powerful substances, and they can cause harm as well as benefit. Long-term use of cortisone causes severe
Actually, it is ironic that pregnenolone is legally classified as a "dietary supplement" at all. Pregnenolone is not a nutrient. It is a drug, just as estrogen, cortisone, and aldosterone are drugs. We recommend not using it until we know more about what it really does.
At present, there is only one effect of pregnenolone that has been documented via
Pregnenolone is not normally obtained from foods. Your body manufactures it from cholesterol. Supplemental pregnenolone is made synthetically in a lab from substances found in soybeans.
A typical recommended dosage of pregnenolone is 30 mg daily, but some studies have used as much as 700 mg.
If you browse the Internet or read health magazines, you'll find pregnenolone described as a treatment for an enormous list of health problems, including:
Pregnenolone is a powerful hormone, not a nutrient we would naturally get in our food. You should approach this supplement with caution, as if it were a drug. For all intents and purposes, it is a drug. It would be best to consult your doctor before taking it. Pregnenolone is definitely not recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with liver or kidney disease.
As noted above, pregnenolone may decrease the effectiveness of sedatives in the Valium family (benzodiazepines). This means that if you are using benzodiazepine drugs for sleep or for anxiety, they may not work as well.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are using:
- Drugs in the benzodiazepine family: Pregnenolone may decrease their effectiveness.
2. Flood JF, Morley JE, Roberts E. Pregnenolone sulfate enhances post-training memory processes when injected in very low doses into limbic system structures: the amygdala is by far the most sensitive. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA . 1995;92:10806-10810.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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