Trade name (s): Deltasone, Orasone

Chemical class: Aldosterone receptor antagonist

Pregnenolone (INN, USAN, BAN), also known as pregn-5-en-3β-ol-20-one or 3β-hydroxypregn-5-en-20-one, is an endogenous steroid hormone. It is produced from cholesterol through two cytochrome P450 enzymes. In addition to its role as a natural neurosteroid, pregnenolone is the parent compound from which all other endogenous steroids are synthesized. This naturally occurring progestogen and adrenal steroid is biosynthesized in many tissues including the brain. Its most important roles are to enhance GABAergic neurotransmission and modulate glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors.

Pregnenolone was first isolated in 1934 by American chemist Russell Marker from the sarsaparilla plant Smilax aristolochiifolia. Marker used a new method he developed called acetolysis, which involves the use of acetic anhydride to isolate pregnenolone from cholesterol.

In 1937, American endocrinologist Edward Charles Dodds and British physician Gordon Thomas Searle synthesized pregnenolone from diosgenin, a sapogenin found in plants such as yams and fenugreek.

In the 1940s, pregnenolone was found to be an important precursor in the biosynthesis of a number of other natural steroids including progesterone, cortisol, and testosterone.

The first pharmaceutical preparation of pregnenolone was marketed in 1934 under the brand name Anapryl by Schering AG in Germany. The drug was approved in the United States for the treatment of Addison’s disease in 1938 and for acne in 1941. Pregnenolone is no longer used medically. However, it is still available as a dietary supplement and is marketed as a “natural hormone” with various claims made about its effects on health.

Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone that is produced in the body from cholesterol. It is the precursor to other hormones, including progesterone, androstenedione, and testosterone. Pregnenolone levels decline with age, which may contribute to age-related hormonal imbalances. Supplementing with pregnenolone has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function in some people. It may also improve energy levels, mood, and well-being. Pregnenolone is available as a dietary supplement in the form of capsules or tablets.

Pregnenolone is available over-the-counter as a dietary supplement. It is typically taken in the form of capsules or tablets. Pregnenolone is generally considered safe when used as directed.

Benefits of Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone is a hormone that helps regulate the production of other hormones in the body. It is the precursor to progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen. Pregnenolone levels decline with age, which may contribute to age-related hormonal imbalances. Supplementing with pregnenolone has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function in some people. It may also improve energy levels, mood, and well-being.

Memory and Cognition

Pregnenolone has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function in some people. One study showed that supplementing with pregnenolone improved memory in healthy adults aged 60-85 years old. Another study found that pregnenolone improved working memory and reaction time in healthy young adults.

Mood and Energy Levels

Pregnenolone has also been shown to improve mood and energy levels. One study showed that supplementing with pregnenolone improved fatigue and reduced stress in healthy medical students during exam time. Another study found that pregnenolone improved energy levels and well-being in menopausal women.

Safety and Side Effects

Pregnenolone is generally considered safe when used as directed. However, side effects may occur. These include fatigue, headache, and nausea. If you experience any adverse effects, stop taking the supplement and consult your healthcare provider.

Dosage and Supplementation

Pregnenolone is available over-the-counter as a dietary supplement. It is typically taken in the form of capsules or tablets. The recommended dosage is 10-50 mg per day. Pregnenolone should be taken with food.

If you are considering taking a pregnenolone supplement, speak to your healthcare provider first. Supplements can interact with medications and may not be suitable for everyone.

Pharmacokinetics

Pregnenolone is well absorbed from the gut and rapidly metabolized in the liver. The half-life is approximately 1 hour.