What is Pregnenolone?
Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone which is synthesised from cholesterol. It is naturally produced in the body by the adrenal gland and is a precursor for all steroid hormones, including testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, oestrogen and other steroid hormones. Pregnenolone is also a neurosteroid, which means that it can rapidly excite neurons for better communication.
It is vital to have a healthy pregnenolone balance in the body in order to balance other hormones. When pregnenolone levels are low, your body can not create enough other hormones, causing hormonal imbalances which can affect your daily functioning. The symptoms of low pregnenolone include poor memory, declining concentration and attention, fatigue, dry skin, joint and muscle pain and decreased sex drive.
Benefits of Pregnenolone
Taking pregnenolone supplements has many direct benefits, for example improved cognitive function, mood and sleep performance. Pregnenolone can also increase immunity, aid in weight loss and reduce the symptoms of menopause and andropause because it produces the hormones that are responsible for these health factors.
Improved Cognitive and Memory Function
As it is a neurosteroid, pregnenolone is an essential hormone in improving brain function – specifically learning, concentration and memory. Pregnenolone has been associated with the development of the central nervous system, which is associated with all aspects of cognitive function.
Taking pregnenolone can have a fantastic effect on your cognitive function, as it helps to increase the growth of neurons in the brain. By enhancing the production of myelin, a fatty layer that insulates nerves and boosts their function, it leads to the formation of new synapses and acts as a neuroprotector.
Improved Mood, Depression and Anxiety
It has been shown that low levels of pregnenolone are linked to depression and anxiety, so taking pregnenolone supplements can have significant mood-boosting effects. Pregnenolone can also help control emotions, reduce negative emotional responses and stabilise emotional regulation.
Improved Sleep Performance
Pregnenolone can stimulate deep sleep, making it ideal for anyone who suffers from sleep disturbance or insomnia. Increased time spent in deep sleep can have a positive impact on mood, anxiety and even memory.
Cortisol Levels – Weight Loss and Immunity
High levels of stress are associated with a compromised immune system. This is because stress releases the hormone cortisol which supresses the immune system. Cortisol also supresses metabolism, so high levels of cortisol are also associated with weight gain.
Pregnenolone can inhibit the production of cortisol, meaning it is an effective stress reducer, can aid with weight loss and helps immunity. By reducing cortisol levels, pregnenolone has the effect of naturally boosting testosterone levels which can increase metabolism and lead to weight loss.
Reducing Symptoms of Menopause and Andropause
Higher levels of pregnenolone in the body leads to higher rates of conversion from pregnenolone into sex hormones (progesterone, testosterone and oestrogen). This reduces the symptoms of menopause and andropause. A decrease in sex hormones related to low levels of pregnenolone is sometimes referred to as a pregnenolone steal.
Are Pregnenolone Supplements Right for Me?
A possible side effect of taking pregnenolone supplements is drowsiness, so it should be taken at night before bed.
Pregnenolone is converted into oestrogen by the body. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to oestrogen, you should not take pregnenolone supplements.
Pregnenolone plays such a key role in your body’s function and hormonal balance, so it is important to discuss with your doctor before taking pregnenolone supplements.