Do you know which hormone is known as the ‘mother’ of all steroid hormones in our body? The answer is – Pregnenolone. To know why Pregnenolone is given such an important status among all steroid hormones, read the below given article.
What Is Pregnenolone?
Pregnenolone was first identified and studied in detail in the 1940’s. However, at the same time another hormone which in many ways relates to Pregnenolone was discovered and given the name Cortisol. It is true that for sometime Cortisol dominated all major clinical studies and scientists for a long time literally forgot about Pregnenolone. However, today Pregnenolone has been given its due share and has been crowned as the mother of all steroid hormones.
Pregnenolone is important for our human body because this hormone is responsible for the production of all other hormones, especially hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, androgens such as testosterone, DHEA, mineralocorticoids such as aldosterone and glucocorticoids such as cortisol. All these hormones play vital roles in our body and therefore, Pregnenolone is required in our body at optimum quantity.
Pregnenolone is a natural hormone and is produced in our body from cholesterol. Pregnenolone is synthesized in our body by the cells of the adrenal glands and also by the central nervous system. Pregnenolone hormone is also responsible for all the age related changes in the human beings. In short, aging in humans starts only when the level of this hormone starts to fall.
How Does It Work?
Pregnenolone as such does not play an important role in our body. However, it is needed in our system for the production of all other important hormones such as progesterone, DHEA, estrogen, testosterone etc. All these steroid hormones are needed in our body as they play a variety of physiological roles and are needed for the proper functioning of the reproductive system. Also, aldosterone which is converted from Pregnenolone helps in controlling the sodium and potassium balance in our body. Another Pregnenolone hormone is Cortisone which influences the stress levels in humans.
Pregnenolone can not be derived naturally from our diet. Pregnenolone is synthesized in our body in optimum quantity to sufficiently meet our daily needs. Also, Pregnenolone is not a synthetic hormone but a completely natural one. For clinical studies, Pregnenolone is extracted from Dioscorea yam.
Pregnenolone deficiency can be the result of aging in humans. This powerful ‘mother-of-all’ hormone also can become deficient during periods of stress. It is said that when an individual is stressed the level of cortisol in the body increases resulting in a decrease in the level of Pregnenolone. One study has also found that women with low levels of estrogen also have low levels of Pregnenolone in their body. Pregnenolone deficiency may result in a condition known as adrenal insufficiency and may lead to depression.
Benefits Of Pregnenolone
Pregnenolone offers not one but many benefits as this hormone is responsible towards the working of many steroid hormones in the body. Pregnenolone supplements help in fighting stress and many symptoms of fatigue. Following are some of the benefits of Pregnenolone:
Positively Affects The Brain & Memory Power
Studies have revealed that Pregnenolone hormone affects the human brain positively. Pregnenolone supplements help in boosting the mental performance and improving the memory levels in humans. Pregnenolone works by reversing the damages caused by Cortisol which is known as a natural stress hormone.
This hormone is also necessary for the proper communication between the neurons and acts as a neurosteroid in the brain. Pregnenolone, therefore, is necessary for learning and memorizing in humans.
For Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
In the 1940s many studies were conducted with Pregnenolone and it was found that the hormone could be used for treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis & osteoarthritis of the hip, especially in women over the age of 65 (long term post menopause).
For Happiness & For Treating Depression
Pregnenolone is a natural feel-good hormone that can be used effectively to treat depression. Studies have found that Pregnenolone supplements can be used to create a sense of well-being and happiness in humans. This is because Pregnenolone helps in increasing the energy levels and also parallely helps in decreasing stress and mental fatigue.
For Slow Aging
Pregnenolone levels in the body are directly proportional to the age of the person. Pregnenolone levels peak during youth and gradually falls down with age. Therefore, scientists have been using Pregnenolone level as a biomarker of aging in human beings. Thus, many scientists believe that by raising the levels of Pregnenolone in the body a person suffering from premature aging can become more youthful.
Treats Adrenal Fatigue
Pregnenolone helps in the treatment of Adrenal fatigue in which the body is usually deficient in this hormone. Thus, Pregnenolone replacement usually relieves most of the symptoms of Adrenal fatigue such as a decrease in sexual libido.
Other known benefits of Pregnenolone hormone include the following – positively affects cerebral functions, female reproductive cycle and the immune system, fights inflammation, mood swings and stress, helps in better skin health and also is responsible for a good sleeping pattern.
There is no recommended dosage level for Pregnenolone. The normal dose level usually starts at 15 mg and can go up to 100 mg (optimum dose based on clinical studies can be stated as 30 mg per day).
As we know Pregnenolone is a hormone, its supplementation must be done only under your doctor’s supervision. Pregnenolone should not be taken in the absence of a clinical deficiency as it may affect the functioning of the endocrine system. Pregnenolone supplements must always be a pharmacologically pure product and should not be derived from Yam.
If an individual is taking Pregnenolone along with DHEA to treat adrenal fatigue, the dosage level of DHEA should be slightly reduced as some of the Pregnenolone gets naturally converted into DHEA inside our body.
Side Effects & Overdose
Possible side effects include – mood changes, anxiety, acne, headaches, irregular heart beat and palpitations, changes in the menstrual cycle etc. Over dose of Pregnenolone supplementation can be very dangerous and may result in severe hormonal imbalance in the body.
Reviews Of Pregnenolone
Pregnenolone is an important hormone for the human reproductive system however, sometimes it offers paradoxical reactions. This is because Pregnenolone has an unusual response curve with a U shape distribution. This response curve shows that treatment with low doses of Pregnenolone supplements may offer benefits to the patients and treatment using high doses may have no effect at the onset. However, during the later stages of the treatment the same individual may benefit from higher doses of Pregnenolone. This particular response rate of Pregnenolone has to be kept in mind for the treatment of Adrenal fatigue and PMS related disorders.
Pregnenolone may interact with drugs used for the treatment of epilepsy and depression (those that increase GABA activity). It also interacts with benzodiazepine such as Valium and Xanax.