Pregnenolone side effects and
benefits 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg, is your dosage too high?
Feb 26 2014
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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?
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
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 2.5 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. My brother. God bless him, sent me the $ for it.
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.
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 sublingually, 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.
Iím 38 years
old, and Iíd like to report severe side effects from taking 100 mg. I took it
only for 5 days, with the 1st day taking only Ĺ the dose. I was initially
diagnosed by my integrative doctor (specialized in bio-identical hormones) with
very under the range low pregnenolone (by blood draw).I wasnít 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. (Iím 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 (canít 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
wasnít taking anything anymore !Iím still on day 3 after this 2nd bad spell, but
I do not feel normal anymore.
How is Pregnenolone made?
There is a type of plant called a wild yam that is grown in certain parts of the southern U.S. and in Mexico. This wild yam contains a compound called diosgenin that is the precursor to steroid hormones. In a laboratory, diosgenin is converted into pregnenolone. Further laboratory processing can convert pregnenolone into DHEA. The human body does not have the ability (the required enzymes) to convert diosgenin (a six ring structure) into pregnenolone (a four ring structure). Therefore, if you swallow pills that are extracts of wild yams (diosgenin), you will not get pregnenolone or DHEA. The conversion of diosgenin to pregnenolone has to be done in a laboratory. If you want pregnenolone or DHEA, the bottles you buy must say that they contain actual pregnenolone or DHEA, not extracts of wild yams or diosgenin.
What form is best?
Oral pregnenolone pills work well. Sublingual or micronized are also good options.
Can I take pregnenolone if I'm already on DHEA, estrogens, or other hormones?
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 dhea is 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.
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.
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.
I came across some information on pregnenolone while doing research on the internet. 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 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 or excerpts from books 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. 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 in one particular day.
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
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.
PLEASE, PLEASE get the word out.
A. Can you give us more details?
Q. 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.
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, ďTrust no one who says to take more than 5 mg a week,Ē 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. Dzuganís instruction so
that could be the problem.
A. We stand by our cautions about high dose use of pregnenolone.
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 bought pregnenolone 30 mg from a
source. Now I read Dr Sahelian paper where he advised to not go higher than 5
mg. I was thinking of diluting my 30 mg capsules in water and divide the doses
accordingly. Do you think that the pregnenolone solution would keep its potency
We are not sure how long this hormone stays effective in solution form. Most likely it can last a few days, but this is just a guess.
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.
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 doesnít 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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