For more than 70 years, scientists have studied the effects of pregnenolone. It is considered a neuroactive steroid (also known as a neurosteroid), a type of brain chemical that plays a role in regulating mood, cognition and stress resistance.** The body naturally synthesizes this neurosteroid in the adrenal glands and ovaries. It is then used as a raw material in the creation of over 100 different hormones, including dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA, androstenedione, estrogen, progesterone, androgen and testosterone. It is also used in the synthesis of such steroids as cortisone and cortisol.** Since this neurosteroid is a necessary precursor for so many different hormones in the body, it has earned the nickname “the grandmother of steroid hormones.”**
Studies indicate that pregnenolone optimizes memory and learning ability.** The substance promotes cognitive function by regulating NDMA receptors--chemicals that help the central nervous system to function properly--and by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.** It is also believed to improve neuroplasticity, including the elasticity of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that may “stiffen” with age.** The neurosteroid balances brain activity by modulating levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that has been linked to brain development and function.** By stabilizing GABA, the nutrient supports a positive mood, alleviates stress, and promotes deep, restful sleep.**
Further findings indicate that the substance may optimize energy, endurance and performance.**
The body’s synthesis of many steroid hormones is known to decline significantly with age. Supplements that supply neurosteroid precursors may help to replenish certain hormones to youthful levels.** Pregnenolone supplements may be sourced from wild yams or soybeans. The supplement is available in many forms, including capsules, tablets, softgels and topical creams.
Pregnenolone Directions for Use
Seek advice from a health care provider before adding this–or any other–supplement to your daily regimen. There is no standard recommended amount; serving size ranges from 5 mg to 50 mg.