|Pregnenolone is a natural hormone made from cholesterol in the body. Pregnenolone is an intermediate in the synthesis of all steroid hormones. It is synthesized inside the mitochondria, the tiny "power plants" found in each cell. Pregnenolone is synthesized from cholesterol and is a precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones. Pregnenolone is the basic precursor for the
production of all the human steroid hormones, including DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, cortisone, cortisol and aldosterone. Its levels are highest in the brain and studies have shown that it enhances many of our mental functions. Pregnenolone is a steroid naturally found in animal tissues, especially in the gonads, adrenal gland and brain. Anabolic and catabolic metabolic processes are maintained in optimum balance by an array of controls, which include the steroid hormones.
Pregnenolone plays an important role in balancing the biochemical mechanisms in the body. Pregnenolone serves as a precursor to other hormones, including dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and progesterone. In the adrenal gland, pregnenolone is a precursor to the mineralocorticoid aldosterone, the glucocorticoid cortisol, as well as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and progesterone. In the ovary, pregnenolone is a precursor to estrogens and progesterone, and, in the testis, pregnenolone is a precursor to testosterone. Since pregnenolone is converted into DHEA within the body, some of our precautions for DHEA may apply to pregnenolone. For many people, pregnenolone will raise DHEA serum levels to reduce the need for DHEA supplementation. Unlike DHEA which converts to estrogen (the three types) and testosterone, pregnenolone is converted directly to progesterone. Therefore, it is often an excellent choice for estrogen-sensitive women or testosterone-sensitive men (such as those with a history or risk of prostate cancer).
Pregnenolone has been shown to enhance several aspects of neurological functioning, including cognitive benefits such as enhancing learning and memory, and motor-nerve effects such as improved psychomotor performance. Pregnenolone has been used to benefit connective tissue disorders such as lupus and autoimmune/rheumatoid arthritis. As a neurohormone, pregnenolone has a powerful effect on improving transmission of nerve impulses which may enhance memory relay pathways. Pregnenolone may allow skin cells to contract, restoring firmness to slack skin. Pregnenolone has been able to quickly cause other rapid anatomical changes which may be from eliminating edema (water retention), such as helping protruding eyes (as in Graves' disease) to recede, or helping joint cartilage to function normally without pain, or causing lungs to oxygenate the blood more efficiently in people with emphysema.