Pregnenolone is a natural steroidal hormone found in the body and a precursor to many other hormones. This supplement may have many benefits including boosting energy, uplifting mood, enhancing memory and mental clarity.
What is Pregnenolone?
Pregnenolone (Or P5) is an endogenous steroidal hormone naturally made in the body from cholesterol and mainly synthesized in the adrenal glands, brain and gonads. It is marketed as a Nootropic supplement, energy booster, mood enhancer and is most commonly used to help battle fatigue, stress, uplift mood, sharpen memory, for anti-aging and to promote hormonal balance.
Scientifically, Pregnenolone is known as 3-beta-hydroxypregn-5-en-20-one or for short P5 and is considered a pro-hormone, acting as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of most steroid hormones including progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol.
Although its synthesis primarily occurs in the adrenal glands, to a lesser degree, this also occurs in the brain, skin, ovaries, liver, testicles and retinas.
Pregnenolone is also considered to be a neurosteroid or brain steroid, molecules which control neuronal signaling and excitability, influencing the transmission of messages between neurons in the brain which can lead to positively affecting memory, learning capacity and linked to symptoms of depression.
While there is limited clinical research on its effects when taken orally as a supplement, as a hormone the body makes on its own, it has been studied for its effects on stress, depression, signs of aging, fatigue and memory.
Almost all hormones in the body require Pregnenolone to be produced which is why it is referred to as “the mother hormone” of the body. It also helps to balance several other hormone levels, acting for both men and women. As the natural levels of Pregnenolone decline as we age, its availability may become a very important factor in the maintenance of overall health and functions.
Although Pregnenolone supplements have strong metabolites, it is considered to have limited estrogenic, anabolic and androgenic activity and thought to be without significant side effects.
Pregnenolone Benefits For Adrenal Fatigue
Pregnenolone (P5) supplements are commonly used to help alleviate many of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and bring hormones into balance. Increased levels of this natural hormone are associated with a boost in energy, mood, memory, sharper mental performance and mental clarity.
P5 is mainly produced in the adrenal glands from cholesterol and is the precursor to nearly all steroid hormones. Adrenal fatigue is a term referring to several non-specific symptoms like fatigue, body aches, insomnia, depression, irritability, poor concentration, low blood pressure, excessive hunger, brain fog and digestive problems which are all related symptoms when the adrenals are affected by chronic stress, lack of sleep, illness or poor nutrition.
The adrenal glands main purpose is to help the body cope with stress from every source including both external and internal conditions. These small glands sit on top of the kidneys and manufacturer hormones, secrete steroid hormones like cortisol and play an important role in blood sugar metabolism and energy production.
When under prolonged stressful conditions, cortisol release significantly increases and levels of Pregnenolone drop. It is theorized that both cortisol and DHEA levels become out of balance and the demand for its synthesis rises. This powerful hormone is thought to act in regulating adrenal function and said to restore the hormone cascade.
It is good to note that adrenal fatigue has several stages and if you are in an advanced stage, taking this supplement can make symptoms worse and can lead to triggering an adrenal crash.
Pregnenolone (P5) acts as a neurosteroid or steroid synthesized in the brain that controls neuronal signaling. These molecules act in similar ways to neurotransmitters and can lead to influencing memory and learning processes. In fact, P5 is considered one of the most powerful natural memory enhancers in animal research.
When taken orally, it is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and entering the central nervous system. This supplement is thought to work by changing or influencing the transmission of messages that occur from neuron to neuron.
In particularly, Pregnenolone is thought to positively modulate NMDA receptors which play an important role in synaptic plasticity and memory function or receptors that are involved in encoding new memories in the brain.
P5 sulfate is also known to influence the release of important neurotransmitters such as Dopamine, a brain chemical involved in mood, focus and associated with motivation as well as the release of Acetylcholine in several brain regions that are involved in sleep-wake cycles, memory and cognition.
Studies have found Pregnenolone to be effective for improving memory and capacity to understand and process information. Numerous studies have also shown that this supplement can greatly enhance motivation which seems to be most beneficial for people under high stress.
Since there is evidence supporting the fact that levels of Pregnenolone decrease as we age, restoring these levels may not only be helpful for maintaining proper hormone levels but may have positive effects on overall brain function which is why it is commonly used as an anti-aging supplement
User reports online say that taking a Pregnenolone supplement positively affects cognitive functions and boost mood, relieves mental fatigue associated with extreme stress, boosts alertness and enhances concentration.
Finally, Pregnenolone is a precursor to progesterone, a hormone that is believed to promote the formation of myelin sheaths or the protective fatty layer that surrounds nerve cells which allows signals to move efficiently from neuron to neuron.
Pregnenolone is a hormone found in the body and some of the uses associated with supplementation include enhanced mental performance, reduction in fatigue and an increase in energy and boosting immune function.
Taken orally, this supplement is also known to be used to help balance hormones and promote relief from symptoms of depression, menopause, PMS, stress, arthritis and for anti-aging. According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Pregnenolone may also have potential medicinal uses including;
- Allergic reactions
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Prostate disorders
- Fibrocystic breast disease,
Pregnenolone Side Effects
Pregnenolone is not associated with serious side effects when used appropriately however, high doses and prolonged use may cause steroid-like side effects including headaches, hair loss, acne, irritability and insomnia.
The side effects of Pregnenolone on pregnant or nursing women or children has not been established and this supplement should be avoided.
This supplement can have a negative impact on people with hormone-sensitive conditions such as certain cancers, uterine fibroids and endometriosis. It is always recommended to consult with your doctor first to ensure a supplement is right for you.
Pregnenolone Dosage Guideline
Pregnenolone has no standard recommended dosage. Typically, the dosage range is between 5mg-50mg per day in total. This can be divided up into two equal doses, once in the morning and once in the early afternoon since this supplement may have stimulating effects.
It is always recommended to start at the lowest effective dose when trying a supplement for the first time. In this case, typically 5 mg-10 mg may be sufficient and in general, whether you are new to this supplement or not, higher doses than this is not recommended.
When using Pregnenolone, it is recommended to cycle on and off this supplement in order to allow natural hormone levels to reset. It has been reported that Pregnenolone should only be taken up to a maximum of 5 days consecutively. Long-term use of this supplement should only be under the supervision of a doctor.
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