Pregnenolone, the ultimate precursor steroid and neurosteroid. I’ll admit out of all the hormones, pregnenolone was always not one of my favorites (until recently) due to the fear of it being converted into estrogen and cortisol, but studies actually show the opposite, which I will get into later.
I was always a “visual” learner so I like to start off with a pretty picture- way easier to understand.
Preg was discovered back in the 1930’s, for both its anti-inflammatory and anti stress properties. It was actually pretty popular when it was first discovered with experiments ranging from anyone from factory workers and airplane pilots. It truly is an interesting compound, but lost its spotlight when the new start hit the block called hydrocortisone (cortisol) in 1955. Hydrocortisone got a lot of fame due to the fact that it can treat rheumatoid arthritis, which preg was also being investigated for at the time with doses in the 500mg range. The issue with hydrocortisone is that the anti-inflammatory properties come from its immune suppression (similar to fish oil’s anti-inflammatory “effect”).
Also, cortisol can cause all other host of negative issues like weight gain, muscle loss (due to the catabolic activity), brittle bones, excess fat deposits etc.
You get it, cortisol is bad, but your body still requires some for optimal function.
Back to pregnenolone, well it turns out that preg actually stimulates metabolism (thyroid conversion), LOWERS cortisol, and can LOWER estrogen. Weird right? Well, that is what I originally thought before I started supplementing and looking at the studies myself, but let’s take a look at the paperwork.
“These results show that (i) pregnenolone has neuroprotective effects against both glutamate and amyloid beta protein neuropathology and (ii) prevention of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) localization to the nucleus may be involved in the observed neuroprotective effects of pregnenolone against glutamate neurotoxicity.”
“Further, allopregnanolone attenuates stress-induced increases in adrenocorticotrophic hormone and corticosterone“
“These results demonstrate that the neurosteroid THP and its precursor P4 resemble glucocorticoids in their suppression of the pituitary-adrenal response to emotional stress; however, THP influences the transcription of glucocorticoid-responsive genes in brain structures involved in the regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal system in a fashion that is quite distinct from that obtained with glucocorticoids.”
Let’s take a look at preg’s estrogen lowering capabilities [here]. It looks like it lowers estrogen by inhibiting aromatase, which basically means it preg can’t be used as raw material to create more estrogen.
“This inhibitory action, of the mixed non-competitive type, is characterized by a decrease in the apparent Vmax and an increase in the Km value, suggestive of an androgen inhibition of FSH-stimulated aromatase synthesis. This inhibition was also shown by the other 5 alpha- and 5 beta-reduced androgens: 5 beta-androstanedione was the most effective, while DHT was the least. Other steroids such as pregnenolone and progesterone were inhibitory, but testosterone and diethylstilboestrol were stimulatory. These results suggest an important mechanism for the intrafollicular control of oestrogen synthesis, involving a possible reciprocal relationship between aromatase and 5 alpha-reductase activities.”
Prgenenolone’s Neuroprotective Functions
The other area I really wanted to highlight is preg’s strong neuroprotective properties. Many of the benefits don’t only from just pregnenolone, but its neurosteroid metabolites which are pregnenolone sulfate, allopregnanolone, and DHEAS. The first two listed are GABAergenic, which at the end of the day means “anti stress”. So it’s a no brainer why preg can help with so many neurodegenerative diseases [here] [here] [here].
Thus, add-on pregnenolone reduces the severity of negative symptoms in recent-onset schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, especially among patients who are not treated with concomitant mood stabilizers. Further studies are warranted.”
Pregnenolone’s Relationship in Regards to Restoring the HPTA
- it helps raise allopregnanolone
- it seems to protect the gonads from atrophy induced by AAS and pituitary suppression. In castrated animals, pregnenolone is capable of maintaining completely normal fertility and tissue androgen levels even though serum androgen levels are undetectable.
- For pure (tested) and clean (no fillers) preg powder- check out here.
- For pure (tested) and clean (no fillers) preg liquid (“StressNon” or “Pansterone”)- check out here.
I have no affiliation with either vendor listed, but have tried each of them in the past with both solid results. I can however, vouch personally for the second option listed (Idealabs), the owner (Haidut) is a researcher himself and definitely knows his products in terms of the research behind them.