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Pregnenolone


Pregnenolone  Interconnected neurons transferring information
 
Pregnenolone is a hormone produced in the mitochondria in the brain, gonads and the adrenal glands. It is derived from cholesterol in the P450 system, is a precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones. Pregnenolone has been called the mother of hormones because it is the precursor hormone to cortisol, progesterone and to DHEA, which is a precursor to the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Pregnenolone can be found in greater concentrations in the brain than in any other organ in the body and serves to enhance all our mental functions. As we age pregnenolone levels decline in the body as much as 60% by the time we are 75 years old. On its own pregnenolone is essential to keeping brain function at its peak capacity. However, male and female bodies use pregnenolone differently. In women, a very small proportion may metabolize to estrogen while in men a very small proportion may metabolize to testosterone. For this reason, men with prostate conditions should use pregnenolone with caution. Pregnenolone replacement can raise progesterone levels slightly in women as well. Memory enhancement has been observed in humans and animals when given pregnenolone, including cellular repair. Pregnenolone reinforces neurotransmitter systems that decline with age. It stimulates release of acetylcholine in the hippocampus of the brain, facilitating memory processes. It is a GABA antagonist and may reinforce neurotransmitter systems. It may also be an important component in repairing the fatty layer that protects nerves, known as the myelin sheath. It has been show to reduce lipofuscion deposition. Pregnenolone may also have a protective action against the unwanted effects of elevated levels of cortisol, our stress hormone. There as yet unsubstantiated claims that pregnenolone is useful in some forms of cancer and arthritis, in degenerative diseases associated with aging in general and in obesity. Current research is being done to test pregnenolone's ability to help those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular problems and for boosting the immune system.
 
Contraindications
 Because pregnenolone is a precursor hormone to estrogen and testosterone, those with prostate, breast and uterine cancer should avoid pregnenolone replacement .
 
 Indications
Memory enhancement
• Aging-related degenerative diseases
• Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis
• Some forms of cancer
• Arthritis
 
Dosage and Administration
 Pregnenolone is best taken in the morning on an empty stomach, but may be administered BID. Use a micronized lipolophized form, when possible. Typical starting doses (It is available in a cream or gel as well):
• Average patient 50-100 mg Q AM
• Patients sensitive to medications 25-50 mg BID
• Chronic fatigue and inflammatory arthritis 300 mg Q AM or 150 mg BID
•  If no effect 600-900 mg, with 2/3 in AM and 1/3 in PM
 
Side Effects and Interactions
• There are no reported major adverse effects from the supplementation of pregnenolone
• There are no reported overdosages
• There are no reported interactions with drugs, food, or supplements
• Minor side effects have an incidence of less than 1% and include
• Headache
• Mild bloating and nausea
• Heartburn
• Sense of agitation
• Sedation
• Conversion to DHEA could theoretically cause acne and hair loss, especially in women
If any of these symptoms occur, discontinue the pregnenolone for one week or until symptoms
resolve, then resume at one-half the previous dose.