The name may be unwieldy, but the importance of the steroid precursor Pregnenolone is hard to overstate. Here are ten facts about this crucial hormone that will surprise you:
1. Pregnenolone has been called “The Grandmother”.
Ray Sahelian, MD refers to pregnenolone as the grandmother of all steroid hormones. This is because of the powerful metabolites that it contains, and its ability to accommodate a vast array of steroidal needs.
2. Pregnenolone levels are like the rings on a tree.
By the time we reach age 75, our bodies produce 60 percent less pregnenolone than they did when we were in our mid-thirties. This decline is so consistent and marked that scientists and doctors can use our levels of preg to accurately gauge how old we are.
3. Don’t lose that thought.
Pregnenolone is a powerful neurosteroid. In the brain, it serves to modulate the transmission of messages between the neurons. The practical effect of securing this synaptic connection is improved learning and memory processes.
4. Not just a one trick pony.
Pregnenolone has been successful in treating more than brain function. In some testing, pregnenolone has also proven effective in the treatment of fatigue, arthritis, and even some auto-immune disorders.
5. A powerful endorsement.
Dr. Eugene Roberts, who has been a leading figure in the field of neurochemistry for over half a century, has been quoted as saying about pregnenolone, “Of all the things that have been tested anywhere in the brain, this is by far the most potent.”
6. Super-charging the brain.
Pregnenolone stands out even among neurologically beneficial substances, for its ability to promote cognitive function. Various studies have demonstrated pregnenolone's considerable effect on motivation, knowledge acquisition, and long-term memory.
7. A different kind of morning-after pill.
One of the most astonishing attributes of pregnenolone is its ability to promote memory after the actual learning has taken place. That’s right, taking pregnenolone after you learn has been demonstrated to have a positive effect on retention.
8. A healthy happy pill.
Research around the use of pregnenolone in test groups of working people revealed increased happiness for those who were given the hormone. It is not clear whether the emotional state improvement is a byproduct of improved job performance, or an independent phenomenon associated with the chemical.
It is worth noting that the biggest psychological state improvements came from the workers whose jobs were inherently stressful, leading researchers to suggest that the emotional improvements were linked to an increased ability to handle stress.
9. A good treatment for age-related depression.
Pregnenolone has been successful in helping to treat many cases of depression that are related to aging. Many times, depression that occurs as we age, is the result of deteriorating neurohormone health and abundance. Suppplementing these decreased hormone levels is sometimes the key to overcoming age-related depression.
10. The sky is the limit.
Relatively little research has been done around pregnenolone, despite the promise that it has shown almost every time it has been tested. This may be because pregnenolone, as a naturally occurring hormone, cannot be patented, limiting its profitability to pharmaceutical companies.
But that doesn’t change the actual potential of treatment with pregnenolone. It is being tested for efficacy in treating arthritis, auto-immune disorders, and even spinal cord injury. There is no telling exactly what the limits of this amazing hormone are for our aging or damaged bodies.