Mental Health Supplements, Pregnenolone - information and benefits

Mental Health > Supplements: Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone [preg-NEN-ah-LOHN]


Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone made in the body by the adrenal gland. It is used in the body to make other hormones including DHEA, testosterone, androgens, estrogens, progesterone, and cortisol. It is also converted into aldosterone. Pregnenolone supplements have been said to reduce stress, calm the mind, improve energy, improve the memory, help arthritis, and generally help you feel younger. Few studies are available to support these claims.

Pregnenolone is made from a compound, diosgenin that is found in the wild yam plant. Diosgenin must be chemically converted in the laboratory to pregnenolone to have any activity. The body does not have the enzymes needed to make this conversion. For this reason, natural wild yam products will be ineffective. Side effects have been reported from using pregnenolone. They include insomnia, anxiety, irritability, facial hair growth, irregular heart beats, acne, and negative mood changes. The safety of long term use of pregnenolone has not been determined. As the body ages, the production of pregnenolone decreases. This doesn't necessarily constitute a deficiency of the hormone that requires supplementation.

Little is known about the clinical use of pregnenolone and because it is a hormone, its use is very controversial. Pregnenolone should only be used under the supervision of a nutritionally oriented physician who can monitor hormone levels and effects of the supplement. Supplemental doses begin at 10 milligrams a day and may be slowly increased to 30 milligrams a day. Pregnenolone should only be taken for several weeks at the time without a break.

What does pregnenolone do for you?

Your body uses pregnenolone to make important hormones you need, such as testosterone, estrogen and progesterone.

Where does pregnenolone originate?

Pregnenolone dietary supplements are made from a compound in wild yams that is chemically changed in a laboratory.

Who can take pregnenolone?

Some people take pregnenolone to help them feel calm, less stressed and have more energy. Unfortunately there are few studies that support these claims.

When should you not take pregnenolone?

Pregnenolone is a hormone and can change your body in undesirable ways. For example, if you're a woman you may grow facial hair or develop acne. You may experience insomnia, anxiety, irregular heart beats and mood changes. Researchers don't know if it's safe to use pregnenolone for a long time.

What is the recommended pregnenolone dosage?

There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance for pregnenolone. If you're going to try it, work with a licensed health-care provider. Begin with a dose of 10 milligrams a day and gradually work up to 30 milligrams a day. Take pregnenolone for a few weeks tops before taking a break.

Did you know that:

Eating wild yams won't provide pregnenolone. Your body can't convert the substances in wild yams into pregnenolone.

Mental Health > Supplements: Pregnenolone