Pregnenolone supplement weight loss, side effects and benefits 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg, is your dosage too high?
Weight loss or gain, thyroid gland, adrenal fatigue, testimonials
November 15 2016
Pregnenolone is a natural hormone that cannot be patented. Back in the 1940’s, when researchers started experimenting with its use, they realized that it could be helpful for people under stress and it could increase energy in those who were fatigued. However, about the same time, cortisol, another closely related hormone, was discovered. Cortisol stole the limelight. When cortisol was given to individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, there were outstanding short-term improvements. Photographs of these remarkable recoveries were circulated and the medical community was impressed. Scientists basically put pregnenolone aside to focus on cortisol. The structure of cortisol was altered to make similar molecules such as dexamethasone and prednisone, much more powerful steroids. Dexamethasone and other similar corticosteroids could be patented, and thus a pharmaceutical company could make a lot of money by owning patents.
Benefits of pregnenolone supplement
Some people find pregnenolone improves energy levels, vision, memory, clarity of thinking, wellbeing, and often sexual enjoyment. Some women report lessening of hot flashes or premenstrual symptoms. Studies in rodents show it to be one of the most effective and powerful memory boosters. This hormone may increase levels of acetylcholine in the hippocampus and other memory regions in the brain. However, it is not risk-free.
I recently experimented with 10 mg. of pregnenelone. It dramatically improved my energy, memory, mood, and concentration within a week. Makes me wonder if my 95 year old mother could benefit from a small dose. Justin the past year or so, her strength, energy, cognitive skills, and concentration have declined substantially.
Blood testing, high pregnenolone level, low level
Q. I was wondering if you could comment on whether the blood test for pregnenolone is useful for determining a deficiency? My doctor ordered the blood test and I was below the detectable level (<10ng/Dl), the range given as “normal” was 10-200 ng/Dl. She has recommended taking 10mg/day for awhile to bring the level back up.
A. There is no agreement in the medical community as to the appropriate dosage of pregnenolone to be used as a supplement in those who are deficient. As to hormone replacement, the whole clinical picture has to be taken into account as opposed to just one value of a hormone tested on one particular day.
Can you please point me in the right direction as to why my natural pregnenolone level is 366. I am a 60 yr old female with Hashimoto’s and I take Nature- Throid and Cytomel. My cortisol is 25.5. Is 366 a dangerous level ? My doctor said it was not a problem.
We prefer to focus on the whole person and overall symptoms and medical exam and routine blood tests rather than an isolated hormone level which could be different next time it is tested.
I’m 37 yrs old and have a continuous pregnenalone level of 0. I’ve been on medication for almost 6 months but the levels are not going up. If you could offer any reasonings yourself as to what could make this happen, or even some websites that might be of some help I would be greatful.
Do DHEA and pregnenolene help in treating high cholesterol? I have been taking them for about 6 weeks.
They are too dangerous to make them first line therapy for cholesterol elevation. There are many other safer options to first try.
Eyesight and vision help, testimonials
I was reading your web info about this hormone and saw the note that it can quickly improve eye sight. I then realized I was reading tiny text on my blackberry! I normally need my glasses to see text that small. So I picked up the smallest text I could find and I could easily read it. I took a large dose 100 mg for 2 days. How does it improve eye sight so fast?
We are not sure how it works to improve eyesight, it may have to do with influencing the retina. However, high dosages are not safe and we suggest using the least amount that works for your needs. Lutein is also helpful for visual health, this nutrient is found in the retina of the eye and often combined with zeaxanthin in vision improving formulas.
Well I am a 34 years of age, male and in good health. I have noticed that even on 2.5 mg of pregnenolone I get enhancement in vision, sounds and also an over all absorption in my surroundings but I also get mild anxiety which I don’t know how to counter. I can’t focus on or sense memory improvement because of the interference from anxiety. Hope i can find a way around this anxiety…lets see.
Mind and memory enhancement
I am a university student in London. I am studying towards a double degree of Law and Medical Science. As you can imagine, it is quite taxing mentally. With a background in Pharmacology I have always been on the lookout for various cognitive enhancers. I am curious as to the use of pregnenolone as a nootropic. I have researched a fairly widely, and your commentaries have sprung up frequently. I am 25 years old, and my only interest regards any possible enhancements in memory and/or concentration. Do you think that it serves those purposes for a youthful adult? Or is it mainly in its use as a supplement (to re-establish normal levels in older persons deficient in the hormone) where benefits in cognitive ability are seen. I realise that high levels have been show to cause arrhythmia in patients. Do you think that if I were to take the supplements, that I would have to reduce the dose somewhat, as I would likely have naturally higher concentrations of the hormone than older patients anyhow? If so, what dose would you recommend?
A. This natural hormone is only to be used occasionally and in low dosages. There are safer nootropic supplements, including acetyl l carnitine, ginkgo biloba, certain B vitamins, and others.
Psychiatry Res. 2010. Pregnenolone for cognition and mood in dual diagnosis patients. Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical, United States. Mood and substance-use disorders are both associated with cognitive deficits. Patients with mood and substance-use disorders have poorer cognition than patients with only a mood disorder. Pregnenolone may have beneficial effects on mood and cognition. In a proof-of-concept investigation, 70 participants with bipolar disorder or recurrent major depressive disorder and history of substance abuse/dependence (abstinent for > or =14days prior to enrollment) were randomly assigned to receive pregnenolone (titrated to 100mg/day) or placebo for 8weeks. Findings suggest that pregnenolone use may be associated with some improvement in manic and depressive symptoms, but not cognition in depressed patients with a history of substance use.
Could you provide some insight for using pregnenolone during perimenpause. I do not want to do traditional western RHT. I think it is too much of a point solution. For one year now, I am taking herbal supplements to support the production of estrogen and take a bio-identical progesterone cream 1 week / month (50% of recommended amount). However, the perimenopause symptoms are increasing and I am really not very interested in an estrogen patch. I realize hormones are a tricky business – and less is more. (symptoms are not seeing thru the nite, hairloss, mood impact, very irregular period). What are your thoughts on supplementing with pregnenolone – still at the <5mg level with hormone holidays and for a limited period of time only. It seems that this could be helpful for women with peri-menopause. Or do you think it is better just to stick with estrogen and progesterone?
It is not possible to predict any woman’s response to herbs or various hormones, or what dosages would be effective, but if your doctor approves it is worth a try to use low dosages of this natural hormone.
Weight loss or gain
At this time we do not have enough data to tell whether it influences appetite or whether it influences metabolism enough to result in shedding unwanted pounds.
Frequency of use
I bought a bottle but am not sure about how to take it. I read on one website that one should do ‘vacations’ and not take it every day. Is that 3 days on and 4 days off?
A. There are no strict guidelines on how to take it since each person has a different need or response. As a general rule, there should be a good reason for taking this hormone, and the least amount and frequency should be used.
Side effects of high dose pregnenolone tablets or capsules discovered by Ray Sahelian, M.D..
These side effects can occur on 10 mg and are very likely to occur when people take 25 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg
Overstimulation and insomnia. Insomnia can lead to fatigue and exhaustion. Some people feel sleepy after they take a pregnenolone supplement.
Irritability, anger or anxiety
Acne can occur on the face or on the back
Headaches can occur that can be quite discomforting
Possible scalp hair loss if used daily for prolonged periods
Irregularities of heart rhythm, palpitations on high doses
Unknown effects on the thyroid gland or other organs
Q. I am on a program for migraines called the Dzugan Method Migraine Program and currently they want me to take 200 mg pregnenolone in the am and 100 at lunch along with a litany of other supplements. Currently I am taking 100 mg in the AM and 50 at lunch and when I saw that you said, “Trust no one who says to take more than 5 mg a week,” it scared me. I would love to know if I am putting myself in danger here. I feel awful at the moment but am coming off Prozac per Dr. Dzugan’s instruction so that could be the problem.
A. We stand by our cautions about high dose use of pregnenolone.
Withdrawal symptoms can last several days depending on dosage used and the length of time, weeks, months, etc., that it has been consumed.
I took my first dose of Pregnenolone 25 mg yesterday and woke up this AM with worse palpitations than before. Needless to say it will be my last. I will be going on a protocol from “the elements of life” for my early stage adrenal fatigue.
I am a 67 year old female. Blood tests from about 3 years ago revealed that I was very low in pregnenolone, in spite of the fact that I was supplementing at the time. For the last half year or so, I have been taking 20mg daily. I’ve not experienced any miracle positive effects, but I tend to be hypothyroid, and energy is an issue. I suffer from quite a few of the classic hypothyroid symptoms, like low basal temperature, food converts rather to fat than energy (hard to lose weight) end third of my eyebrows missing, low libido, carpal tunnel, acne, dry skin, soft flaky nails and thin hair. I tried taking bio-identical hormons in the form of dessicated thyroid in various doses. It gave me heart palpatations so I gave it up. I tried DHEA, and I think it made the fibroid tumors in my uterus come back (as I had them but they disappeared) so I quit taking it and the fibroids went away again. So thinking that pregnenolone is the mother of all hormones and converts to the hormone your body needs, I started taking it. 3 months ago I started having severe indigestion with every meal no matter what I ate. About 3 weeks ago I found a golf ball size mass in my abdomen. Ultra sound found it, but the technician does not think it is cancerous. So what is it….a fatty mass or maybe a fibroid? (I guess the pressure in my abdomen is causing the indigestion). I’m doing a CTscan in a few days, but it dawned on me that this mass could again be hormone driven, so I’ve stopped taking the pregnenolone and won’t fool with hormones again. Indeed they are powerful and could be dangerous. My daughter had the same issue with dessicated thyroid, ended up in the ER with severe palpitations, thinking she was having a heart attack. They advised her to see a cardiologist. Then I thought of the thyroid supplement and what it did to me so advised her to stop taking it and all the heart fluttering/palpitations went away. Additionally, I read that it is usually pre menopausal women who get all the fibroids. At the age of 67 it is surprising. But I do think the pregnenolone had something to do with it.
I am a 26-year-old male who has always been an extremely high-functioning individual. However, since April 2014, I have been in an absolute psychotic mess incapable of functioning as a normal and healthy human being. In February of this year, I visited a naturopath in my area to get my hormone levels checked and optimized. He found that my cortisol was low, as well as my DHEA and pregnenolone. He wanted me to go on all three, but I, being a minimalist when it comes to medicating, agreed that I would try the DHEA and pregnenolone, and maybe add-in the cortisol later. I started with 50mg of pregnenolone MLM per day and 25 mg of DHEA per day. The first week, these drugs made me feel very “off”. I felt somewhat intoxicated, but my naturopath told me to just stick with it. By the second week, I felt fantastic. My energy was insanely high and I was unable to sit still — I had to keep doing things and getting things done. My naturopath told me to increase my pregnenolone MLM to 100mg / day after the second week. Once I did this, my physical and psychological condition began to deteriorate. I started feeling very dizzy, nauseous, short-of-breath, and as though my senses were over-stimulated. It’s difficult to describe, but I felt my vision and hearing had been amped up to an uncomfortable level. I started having these mini panic-attacks (I didn’t know what they were at the time) and episodes of delirium. I told my naturopath in late March and he told me I could stop them. That day was my last dose of pregnenolone MLM and DHEA. A few days later, on the morning of April 1, I woke up in a state of delirium and paranoid psychosis accompanied with intense nausea and dizziness. My entire mind had been altered in an awful way, and I ended up in the ER thinking I was dying. An MRI of my brain showed no lesions or tumorous masses, and an echocardiogram of my heart showed healthy functioning and nothing of concern. Since then, I’ve had an amalgam of symptoms that feels as though my entire nervous system is shutting down. I’ve had three episodes of paranoid psychosis that have lasted for 10-14 days (this last one being the longest and most intense), with short breaks in-between them. During the breaks, the nausea, dizziness, vertigo, and feelings of vestibular dysfunction are still there in full-swing. I’ve also developed chills, sweats, and very intense full-body neuropathies with a progressing sense of derealization and intoxication. Whatever is going on appears to be getting worse, and the many doctors I’ve seen so far have found nothing wrong in their many tests. I feel as though I am losing my mind and, quite frankly, the functioning of my nervous system in general (shortness of breath, loss of balance and coordination, diarrhea). In my mind, it feels as though sections of my brain are being stimulated that should not be, and I am helpless to shut them off. The paranoid psychosis and suicidal ideation are the worst things I’ve ever experienced, and I don’t know if they will ever end. I am in a desperate situation without answers. The lack of plentiful research on pregnenolone and DHEA has made it so that nobody I’ve seen has any clue as to what’s going on. Everything external in my life is wonderful. Yet, internally, I’m deteriorating quite rapidly with no end in sight. Is this possibly a withdrawal reaction? Could pregnenolone and DHEA make new and permanent brain connections that will never sever? Is there hope that I will eventually normalize if I simply make it through? Given that we’re going on 9 weeks right now, I’m really quite terrified of my future. I just want to be the person I used to be before starting these drugs.
Danger, severe reaction reports
We’re still in the early stages of learning about its full effects on the human body. It is best to proceed with caution until more information is available. This means using the lowest effective dose and seeking supervision by a knowledgeable health care provider. There are some medical or psychiatric conditions where it can be used temporarily and then stopped. With this conservative approach, it is unlikely that any problems would arise. Our major uncertainty at this time involves its long-term use as hormone replacement therapy, especially if high doses are used. Pregnenolone can also cause heart palpitations in high doses.
With time, as more and more people use this hormone, we’ll have a fuller understanding of its benefits and side effects. Those who have already found pregnenolone to be helpful in terms of mood elevation, stress reduction, arthritis help, visual and auditory enhancement, and so forth, but are concerned about unknown long-term effects, may feel more comfortable using pregnenolone only as needed and frequently taking time off from it. Taking these “hormone holidays” will mitigate any potential unknown risks.
Daily use over prolonged periods should be no more than 1 to 3 mg unless you are closely followed by a health care practitioner familiar with the clinical uses of this hormone. Current dosage available over the counter, such as 25, 50, or 100 mg are TOO high. If you purchase a 10 mg pill or capsule, take a portion of it if you plan to take it on a regular basis.
Heart problems, rhythm disturbances, palpitations, rapid heart rate, arrhythmias
At first, I didn’t listen fully to your precautions but after only several days of taking 10 mg pills sublingualy, i experienced heart excitability and fast rate. I can almost say it puts me into sort of a high space. My goal was to increase memory and energy levels not to get high. Is it better to take twice a week on consecutive days or space it out lets say on Mondays and Fridays.
It is better to take this supplement in the least dosage required and as infrequently as needed.
I was prescribed Pregnenolone (2 x 50mg twice a day) along with Cytozyme – AD for adrenal support by a holistic physician. The supplements and their dosages were “matched” to me using a biofeedback, (Zyto, Med-Check) device. Upon reading about them it seemed they were going to help me. However-to my disappointment-three weeks after taking them I started experiencing muscle soreness and fatigue. Debilitating! I was unable to lift my arms and hold them straight for more than two seconds. I stopped it and in about a week the symptoms dissipated. In about 10 days I started it again: three days into it – muscle soreness came back. These episodes somewhat coincided with my period – they come about a week after it. Do you find it possible…for example the pregnenolone being converted predominantly into cortisol and the excess cortisol-making my muscles extremely and painfully stiff…?. My doctor wasn’t able to give me an answer. (I understand from your site that the dosage was most probably way too large)I appreciate your input very much. I am 47, female and have been experiencing hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, mild depression. Low T3 and T4, low progesterone and low vit D with normal TSH were confirmed with saliva and blood clot testing. Regular thyroid blood tests never came back abnormal. I am also taking vit B Complex, vit C, selenuim, glutamine, vit D3 + k2.
I’m 38 years old, and I’d like to report severe side effects from taking 100 mg. I took it only for 5 days. I was initially diagnosed by my integrative doctor (specialized in bio-identical hormones) with very under the range low pregnenolone (by blood draw).I wasn’t complaining much about anything but had lifelong joint pain (such as back pain), and I was a bit tired (but not that much, could go around my days without any problem) because I was still breastfeeding my 22 month old baby who was regularly sick the past winter and would have me had disrupted nights because of his repeated cold infections. (I’m breastfeeding only to put him to bed and in the am upon waking up. The rest he eats normally.) On the 5th day, I experienced: Severe vertigo, loss of balance, high blood pressure, rapid heart beat, nausea (can’t eat, no vomiting), insomnia, chronic headache, extreme fatigue, lightheadness, diarrhea. I had no previous history of high blood pressure or vertigo / lightheadness or anything like that before. I went off on the 6th day. Took me 2 days to wean off it the side effects. Then good for 12 days. Then out of nowhere, I experienced the worst vertigo and all above mentioned symptoms on the 13th day while I wasn’t taking anything anymore !I’m still on day 3 after this 2nd bad spell, but I do not feel normal anymore.
Can I take pregnenolone if I’m already on DHEA, estrogens, or other hormones?
A. Since both DHEA, pregnenolone and androstenedione have some similar effects (however, they have differences, too), you should lower your dose of DHEA when you go on pregnenolone or testosterone treatment. The lowering of the dose should by the same amount as the pregnenolone dose. Before you add pregnenolone, though, make sure you try it separately to see what kind of effects it has on you, Once you know how you react to DHEA and pregnenolone separately, you can then combine them. The amount of conversion of pregnenolone to estrogens is not fully known. Progesterone has some overlapping effects to DHEA and pregnenolone. The role of pregnenolone hormone supplement use for menopause is a possibility that has not been studied adequately. 7-keto dheais related to DHEA hormone as has been used as a libido booster. HGH is available by a doctor’s prescription, do not buy those available over the counter that are promoted to be effective.
Pregnenolone blood level – normal range
What would be considered a normal and/or optimal pregnenolone level for a 43-year-old female? From what I have read, this hormone naturally declines with age. Can you please provide normal levels and corresponding age ranges for pregnenolone. Is there any research available pertaining to the causes of pregnenolone depletion? Finally, if one is taking it in order to raise a low level of this hormone, do you have any information on how long and how much should be administered? Hormone testing – how reliable is saliva testing for hormone levels?
Different labs seem to have different normal ranges. One lab has the range listed between 0.1 and 3 ng/ml. We found another lab that has the range for pregnenolone as 0.1 to 25 ng/ml. Another lab listed normal pregnenolone range to be 20 to 150 ng/ml. Most list a normal range of pregnenolone as 10 to 230 ng/ml. We have not seen any specific research on pregnenolone depletion. This hormone is made in the adrenal glands and it is likely that factors that influence the adrenal glands as a whole influence not only pregn but the other hormones made by the gland. Pregnenolone use as a supplement, the dosage required, and the length of time used is made on a case by case basis. The only general statement that can be made is to using this hormone in the least dosages possible and for the least period of time necessary. At this time, we are not convinced that pregnenolone dosage, in terms of supplementation, can be accurately determined by blood tests. If you provided ten doctors with a pregnenolone level of a patient and asked to recommend a starting supplement dosage, you may get ten different dosage recommendations.
There could also be variations in pregnenolone levels on different days, so a one time level does not necessarily mean that the serum level is that level all the time.
When pregnenolone levels are very low (14) can progesterone help to correct that? Have you encountered situations where someone seems to be resistant to absorbing pregnenolone? For instance, no change on lab report after taking for weeks. In cases like that, are there other options to boost it in the body?
Many doctors and patients have a tendency to focus too much on blood levels of hormones rather than treating the whole person. Blood levels may not reflect what is actually going on within tissues or cells. Blood levels could be normal yet there could be excess and harmful amounts of the hormone and its actions, within cells.
I have been seeing a nutritional consultant for about the past six months, and after a saliva analysis to test my hormones after I had a miscarriage in July ’06, he determined that I was in need of lowering my cortisol levels and slightly boosting my progesterone (nothing major) to help rebalance my hormones. He put me on 100mg that I take as a single dose in the morning. After reading pregnenolone side effects on a website, I started to get nervous since we have been trying to conceive again for the past six months with no luck. I am 26 years old, and my husband and I have one healthy 18-month old, so getting pregnant has never been an issue for us in the past. I have been seen by two different OBGYNs to assess whether or not there is anything anatomically wrong with me, which both doctors have determined that there isin’t by doing ultrasounds and bloodwork. My husband has also been tested and his analysis came back fine as well. Do you think that the pregnenolone could be the cause of us not being able to conceive again, and if so, what measures I should take to wean myself off of it?
It is impossible for us to know in your particular case whether pregnenolone is the cause of not being able to conceive and we are not in a position to offer individual advice. We would suggest your nutritional consultant read the cautions on pregnenolone high dosage use.
Q. I was put on 20mg four years ago by a doctor who was trying to lower the level of hydrocortisone dosage I was placed on for chronic fatigue syndrome. I was unable to lower the hydrocortisone dosage — and also found it difficult to stop the pregnenolone. Last spring I tried to lower the the dosage and immediately got mouth sores. Went back on it, and they went away. In December tried to lower the hydrocortisone and a range of symptoms suddenly appeared. It now appears that I may have systemic lupus erythematosus. I fear that the impact of the pregnenolone on my immune system may have lead to this current awful place. My neurologist wants me to lower the pregnenolone as he thinks it may be implicated in my lupus -like symptoms, which include peripheral neuropathy, but he knows nothing about it. I don’t know if you have any thoughts on this matter. At any rate, please feel free to use this as a cautionary tale in relation to pregnenolone side effects and usage.
A. We have not heard of lupus like reactions, perhaps the hydrocortisone dosage may have had an influence or it could have been a coincidence. Nevertheless, perhaps the pregnenolone dosage can be reduced by 1 mg a week.
Q. I recently came across Dr. Ray Sahelian web site while researching pregnenolone, after being prescribed it by my doctor. I did extensive research, as well as talking with my doctor, and after reading dozens of websites about how safe it was, and having virtually no known toxicity or side effects, I found his. So, I understand that there’s always two sides to a story (I’m used to that being in the alternative health field), but I simply don’t understand how there can be so many books, studies, websites, etc out there that say flatly that pregnenolone, except in extremely high doses (if that) will have NO side effects whatsoever, but Dr. Sahelian is adamant that even LOW doses do. I’m confused as to how these other researchers, many doctors themselves, have missed the obvious side effects? I’m not meaning to sound negative, but it’s frustrating trying to figure out who is “right” and who isn’t.
A. What sets Dr. Ray Sahelian apart from most doctors is that he takes the supplements he writes about, including pregnenolone, in varying dosages and has first hand experience. Plus, he has feedback from patients and thousands of people who write to him regarding their experiences. Furthermore, Dr. Ray Sahelian has integrity and will mention side effects of supplements and not try to hide them. It is ultimately up to each individual to obtain information from various sources and determine which is the most reliable and believable.
Q. I am 46 yr old female, Asian, muscular and lean 120 pounds, very athletic, and in optimal health. 2003 found Uterine Fibroids and that was removed. Using Progesterone cream after the surgery kept the returning fibroid to grow slowly. Started having irregular periods in 2005 so I have been on DHEA 25 mg a day since (9 months) and have been getting regular periods within 2 months….. fuller breasts and nothing else changed. Serum test in Feb 07 showed low Progesterone and Pregnenolone levels so I started taking Pregnenolone 50 mg a day for the last 6 weeks. Within 3 weeks started having VERY full, sore, aching breasts nipples and hormonal PMS lower back and upper thigh aches. Did seem to kick in libido., in a negative way. Became worse as the weeks went on. I stopped completely both DHEA and Pregnenolone and the tenderness is going away daily. I was advised to stop DHEA and stay with Pregnenolone because Pregnenolone is a slower converting hormone by the foundation I was purchasing it from….doctor on staff. Is that true? Which do you advise me to experiment with? I will stop for awhile.
1. DHEA alone
2. Pregnenolone alone
3. or combination but in what doses?
I will continue on Progesterone cream however since that helps balance out my estrogen levels. The blood test show my estrogen was a bit high, testasterone (and free T) normal and the rest were normal with excellent lipid profile.
A. We can’t give individual advice. Hormones, even over the counter, are extremely potent. We suggest you read all the cautions on this website regarding the potential side effects of DHEA and pregnenolone. These hormones should not be used casually. They are meant to be used for those who have a serious deficiency in the production of these hormones. Other natural options such as diet, exercise, relaxation, yoga, and natural non-hormone supplements should be tried before resorting to the use of hormones. And if they are used, they should only be taken in the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time required for symptom relief.
Q. My doctor prescribed a 100 mg/cc pregnenolone trans-dermal cream to be applied 1/2 cc two times a day. She wants me to do this treatment for 4 weeks and then re-take labs. Does a 50 mg pregnenolone oral dosage twice daily equate to a 100mg daily dosage transdermally or is only a certain percentage of pregnenolone absorbed through the skin.
A. We have not seen any studies comparing the absorption of pregnenolone taken as a pill versus a pregnenolone cream. There are a number of variables. Oral pregnenolone is absorbed from the intestinal tract and goes through the liver first and somewhat modified. transdermal pregnenolone will not have this first pass effect through the liver. The amount of pregnenolone absorbed through the skin depends how the cream product is formulated, in other words what kind of agents are used in the cream besides pregnenolone, the part of the body where you apply it, and your particular dermal absorption may be different that another person’s absorption through skin. But, most importantly, it is important to read the cautions on pregnenolone use since this is not a hormone to play with carelessly.
Q. I am reading Dr. Sahelian’s book, Pregnenolone. I have not taken the hormone yet, but I notice that Young Living Essential Oils sells a product called PD 80/20. The amount of pregnenolone is 640 mg and DHEA 160 mg. That is so very excessive that it seems dangerous. Here are the stats:
PD 80/20 is a dietary supplement formulated to help maximize internal health and support the endocrine system.* It contains pregnenolone and DHEA, two substances produced naturally by the body that decline with age. Pregnenolone is the key precursor for the body’s production of estrogen, DHEA, and progesterone, and it also has an impact on mental acuity and memory.* DHEA is involved in maintaining the health of the cardiovascular and immune systems.*
Pregnenolone: 640 mg per serving, DHEA: 160 mg per serving
How to use: Start with 1 capsule per day, then increase to 2 capsules per day as needed.
A. The dosages of pregenenolone and DHEA appear to be quite excessive and potentially dangerous if it truly contains 640 mg and 160 mg.
Q. I was just wondering how much Pregnenolone is safe to take? I’m a 48 yrs old, male, and I’ve had my blood tested by “LabCorp”. The test indicated that I could safely take 50 mg per day. Does that sound about right if the test indicated that I was deficient by 50 mg of pregnenolone hormone per day?
A. Lab tests for pregnenolone are not a reliable way to determine the required or beneficial dosages to supplement with. Pregnenolone is potent and potentially dangerous hormone if misused.
Q. About three weeks ago, I had my progesterone and DHEA tested. Both were low. We did not test my pregnenolone or testosterone. I am currently taking progesterone and 7-Keto DHEA, but I just read that 7-Keto dhea does not raise your DHEA level. If progesterone and DHEA levels are both low, could this possibly mean that pregnenolone may be low also since it converts to progesterone and DHEA? Could simply supplementing with pregnenolone balance levels of both progesterone and DHEA?
A. The whole issue of hormone supplementation is very complicated and there are no simple answers. It is possible that taking pregnenolone could elevate levels of progesterone and DHEA. However one must focus on treating the whole body rather than treating hormone levels. If a person feels well and has no major symptoms, there is no point in taking hormones even if certain hormone levels happen to be slightly low. There is a danger supplementing with hormones and it could turn out to be counterproductive.
Q. I have come across your website while searching for info on pregnenolone. I am a long distance runner from South Africa and want to know if it is illegal for athletes to use pregnenolone? I am 45 years old and found that my energy levels are increased markedly by the use of this steroid.
A. We are not sure whether athletic organizations test for pregnenolone, some may, others may not. Pregnenolone does increase energy levels but it could also cause heart rhythm problems.
Q. I was given 100 mgs of pregnenolone supplement by a chronic fatigue specialist. I had a heart attack and 3 stents. I am confirming what you say concerning dangers of pregnenolone high doses. My case is complicated, but I think will eventually support what Dr. Sahelian suggests. Within a few days of being put on 100 mgs of pregnenolone hormone, I had a heart attack and 3 stents. But let me digress. I have had chronic fatigue syndrome since 2004. I was first diagnosed in August of 2006. I followed Jacob Teitelbaum’s protocol through my brother who is a family physician. Finally, in November of 2007, I went to a chronic fatigue syndrome CFS specialist because I needed more specialized care. Prior to that, my brother had done many tests……… blood, heart etc etc. In September of 2007 I had a stress test done. I passed that test with flying colors ( however I understand it is not fully accurate.) The other 2 tests results never made it back to him until just before the heart attack ( 1/30/08) They revealed that I had a severely hypokinetic left ventricle septum and an ejection fraction of 49%. The chronic fatigue syndrome CFS specialist did not request those test results and proceeded to give me 100 mcgs of pure T3 hormone and 10 mgs of hydrocortisone on December 24th. I could not take the hydrocortisone and got extremely ill. I quit it in early January. By the time of my next appointment on January 22, 2008, I complained that the T3 was making me extremely hyperirritable. He reduced it to 87.5 mcgs. At that time I was given 100 mgs of pregnenolone to add to my protocol. I started it on January 23rd. On Sunday January 27th I started with symptoms of chest pain. They went away and came back 3 times that evening. ( I thought they were indigestion problems because they started with dinner). They did not return until January 29th. in the evening. At 1:30 AM ( 1/30) I again woke with pains that resulted in crushing chest pain and other symptoms. As I said, this is a complicated case, but may reflect what Dr. Sahelian is suggesting. High doses of pregnenolone can result in atrial fibrillation. This is what the ER doctor diagnosed me with before sending me on for a heart catherization. Prior to this I never had a single heart problem. No blood pressure problems, cholesterol issues, weight issues etc etc. In fact, I looked like the picture of health other than my chronic fatigue syndrome CFS. As I was researching, I came across Dr. Sahelian’s website and thoughts. I do not think it an accident that this happened within a few days of the high pregnenolone dose.
Q. I took Pregnenolone for several years … one 50 mg capsule each day. For the last couple of years, I have noticed that my hair is much thinner than it used to be and I was puzzled until I read in Mind Boosting Secrets that Pregnenolone could have that effect on hair. Immediately I discontinued taking Pregnenolone. That was about six months ago but I have not seen any difference in my hair. My question is: if this hormone is responsible for my hair thinning, can its effect be reversed by discontinuing the use of this hormone? While, I am female, have always had thick hair, and am now 70 years old … my family history shows no sign of hair thinning or balding in either sex … quite the reverse … a good head of hair into old age.
I appreciate both the thoroughness and the caution of your website. I’d like to ask you if you recommend pregnenolone for people (in their sixties) with low DHEA. Are low doses of hormones like pregnenolone and DHEA good or bad or in between for people with heart disease?
Hormone supplements such as DHEA and pregnenolone should only be used if there is significant deficiency in these hormones that are leading to clinical symptoms. When taken as supplements, only low dosages should be used. Each person is unique and we don’t make wide ranging generalizations that all people over 60 should or should not take these hormones. It is a case by case evaluation.
Q. If someone has adequate serum levels of DHEA does that mean that pregnenolone is not needed since the DHEA is in a sufficient range. Can one have adequate DHEA and still need pregnenolone? Which is the best way to test the pregnenolone levels-saliva or serum?
A. The term adrenal fatigue is not a helpful term for diagnosis or treatment. We prefer treating and evaluating the whole person and the symptoms a person has rather than overly focusing on levels of hormones or blood studies. If adequate DHEA levels are present, then it is likely that adequate levels of pregnenolone are also present. Blood levels of pregnenolone are more consistent and easier to interpret than saliva levels.
For years and years my pregnenolone level has been in the teens. As of late, 14. In the past I’ve tried supplements that didn’t even move my level at all. I just recently began taking Life Extension brand (1 week) pregnenolone 50mg. I’ve started taking 2 -4 pills per day as suggested on the bottle. I don’t feel any different.
I’m wondering if I don’t absorb the pills? Could there be an issue and I need sublingual? I also take compounded pregnenolone cream with dhea and cortisone. And, progesterone cream. As you may expect, I’m hypothytroid and am on Cytomel and Levoxyl. I have extremely dry skin, dry brittle hair and nails, puffy face, (I’m not overweight though), constipation, memory issues etc.. Any information, advice direction would be greatly appreciated. My doctor has no explanation for me.
It is not easy for us to know or make suggestions based on limited information. But, as a general rule, rather than focusing on changing levels of a hormone in the body, it is preferable to address the overall health, signs and symptoms in a holistic, comprehensive manner. Excess hormone use can be counterproductive.
I am a 67 year old man. For the last 12 years ,I have been dealing with a pelvic rotation problem. I have been to many specialist looking for help. I accidentally stumbled on Acti-Flex by Free Life. I began taking one a day, in no time I felt like a new man. I order some more and took one tablet five or six times a week. In about one year I was running low so I re-ordered again. In one month on the new supply, all my problems returned. My research on the matter turned up the fact that they had dropped the 50mg. of pregnenolone from the product. I called them, talked to a Dr. Mandell, trying to get the product, but no luck. I have tried the health food store Pregnenolone With the Acti-Flex and without. But could not achieve the same results. This really affects my quality of life.
I have been taking pregnenolone now fairly continuously for about eleven years. I look and feel as good as I did when I was 43, eleven years ago when I started taking pregnenolone ! I am a 54 year-old Male. I started in 1997. I started with the 25 mg Source Naturals dose, but I have taken up to 50 mg ( for three months, while under very high stress), and as low as 5 mg. per day. most of the eleven years I took 10 mg day, fairly religiously. After about two years on pregnenolone, I found your web site. Since then, I have taken hormone holidays- usually three days, once a month, or when I run out. The most prominent effect I notice is when I stop taking this supplement. During the second and third days of my ‘hormone holiday’ I become fatigued and a bit depressed, and tend to make mistakes. I have never noticed negative side effects that I could trace to the pregnenolone while taking it. No heart palpitations, no acne. Before pregnenolone I tried taking DMAE, which gave me anxiety, confusion, and a funny feeling which may have been heart palpitations- not sure. Anyway, it wasn’t the supplement for me… For the money, I’d say pregnenolone has really returned on my investment well. But I recommend that people do NOT stop taking it at a time when they need to make important decisions or work under stress. Try to coordinate your hormone holiday with a time of rest. Then it is tolerable.
I am a 71 year old male, diagnosed with low testerone. Dr. prescribed injections which I took for several weeks, but was not totally satisfied with the results, as side effects of difficult nightime urination seemed to outweigh the benefits. I found your web site and decided to try the 10mg sublingual pregnonolone. I used 5mg per day for a month or more and it helped some, so I decided to try 2 per day (20mg) and have been on this for about 2 weeks. I think this is about right for me. The results are better than the testerone injections, the side effects are comparable, but tolerable, and the effects don’t go from high to low between injections. So far, I’ve had no heart irregularities or increased hair loss. Hopefully this will be a stable condition.
I have been taking 100 mg of pregnenolone under the guidance of a doctor for over a year along with DHEA 25mg (monday – friday) I have had no negative side effects. It seems to help with my arthritis and increased energy. I do weight training 4 x a week and at 60 yrs. old I’m toned and strong. I know you can’t answer personal questions but this might be of interest of others in the same position. I am travelling to Brazil in a few weeks and was told to get a yellow fever vaccine. I went to a Travel clinic for a consultation and advice and was told that I could not get the Yellow Fever Vaccine as I was taking the natural hormones pregnenolone and DHEA which they told me are precursors to a steroid. I have had the doctor who prescribed them and he has told me that I can get the yellow fever vaccine. The travel doctor checked with her pharmacy and they printed off a information page which stated MAJOR risk. I consulted another pharmacy and and they said it “should” be okay to get the vaccine as the hormones are “natural”. Do you or your team have any reliable source that will clarify this controversy over yellow fever vaccine and pregnenolone? I’ve very confused and hope I don’t have to cancel my travel plans because of it.
We have not seen any specific studies regarding the interaction of these hormones with yellow fever vaccine. This may be why there is confusion on this topic and it is difficult to know whether the use of these natural hormones will interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine.
I am a 46 year old woman and have been taking 30mg of pregnenolone for about two weeks (I had planned on experimenting with lower doses later). I feel it has had a grounding effect, I have less anxiety and it has given me more energy. I was surprised that it worked so quickly. I had planned on taking it for two weeks on and two weeks off, taking it after ovulation until the onset of my period. I am scheduled to have an epidural steroid injection next week and I was wondering how this might interact and if I should discontinue taking it. The date of the injection is close to the day I planned to stop taking it for two weeks but my concern is what my happen when I resume two weeks later. My doctor doesn’t know of any interactions.
We have no experience in this regard, but as a general rule it is best to avoid supplementation a few days before and a few days after a procedure.
I had 5400 gcy radiation to the head along with a radical cranio-facial resection for Esthesioneuroblastoma in 1990. Around 2000, my pituitary started failing from this. I am on replacement doses of hydrocortisone, levothyroxine, testosterone inj. and DHEA. When my hormones started failing, I developed tachycardia and hypoglycemia. Side effects are mammary gland enlargement, male organ shrinkage, severe ED, and decreased libido, and depression. in 2003 Gliosis also showed up on my yearly MRI. I also have arthritis throughout my body now. I did get the VA to perform an argnine stim test for cortisol, with a stim result of less than 1.20.Is there any information on whether pregnenolone would help with any of these side effects?
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