3. Pregnenolone

Skip this article. Here’s what you need to know:

Memory loss=Pregnenolone deficiency.  Period.      

The Steroidogenic Pathways

Hormones do not exist or function in isolation.  The main sex hormones, DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone,  are synthesized in the liver from that demon spawn, according to modern American medicine, cholesterol. (1)

The Steroidogenic Pathways

(Surprise! No cholesterol, no hormones.  We physicians warned you of the dangers of cholesterol for the the past 30 odd years.  That worked out well,didn’t it?)

The unintended consequences of the no fat, low fat diet, get rid of any and all cholesterol at any cost, crowd, besides the epidemic of obesity and diabetes mellitus, is premature aging   due to a lack of hormone production and an unprecedented explosion of brain and memory related illnesses including Alzheimer’s Disease, senility and dementia. (2)  When total cholesterol remains consistently below 140, we begin to see a disruption in the sex hormones.(3)

Cholesterol, in fact, is the “Grandmother” of the above mentioned hormones.  Cholesterol, in turn, begets the “Mother” hormone, Pregnenolone.  This hierarchy or hormonal cascade is known as the Steroidogenic Pathway.

Pregnenolone blocks the effects of cortisol, and is a GABA-A receptor antagonist, enhancing excitation and inhibition of the nervous system.  It increases stress resistance, nerve transmission, and acts as an anti-inflammatory by decreasing sensitivity to painful messages following peripheral nerve injury.

Pregnenolone enhances energy, both physically and mentally, enhances nerve transmission, memory, myelination, synaptic transmission and stimulates NMDA receptors. (NMDA receptors are critical for retaining memory and brain function)  It helps repair nerve damage, blocks the production of acid-forming compounds, improves sleep, learning and alertness.


Between ages 35 to 75, serum Pregnenolone declines, on average by  65%.

Excess saturated or trans-fats, hypothyroidism, pituitary tumors and too low cholesterol all contribute to Pregnenolone depletion.  In times of extreme stress, Pregnenolone, whether due to severe illness or external factors, makes more cortisol and less of the other hormones to help the body cope.

Pregnenolone deficiency results in arthritis, insomnia, poor focus, memory loss, fatigue, depression and an inability to handle stress.

Pregnenolone overload results in drowsiness, fluid retention, headaches, palpitations, irritability, and insomnia.

Dosage: 100 mg for memory loss.

150 mg bid if energy deficient


Lab Value  Serum:  “Normal” Goal 70-160 ng/ml

          “Optimal” Men 180 ng/dl;  Women 200 ng/dl

            Labs should be drawn between 8 and 9 am for consistency.(4-7)

Pregnenolone is useful as adjunct in treatment of arthritis, depression, memory loss, fatigue in general, chronic fatigue syndrome, (8)   central nervous system degeneration,  including repair of myelin sheaths, the key component in multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries(9)

mood disorders, sleep disorders, estrogen dominance symptoms, and the autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and systemic lupus erythematosus.   Pregnenolone is reported to protect the brain from cannabis intoxication.(11)

Acne, drowsiness, muscle aches, fluid retention, headache, racing heart, insomnia due to overstimulation, irritability, anger, and anxiety are symptoms of pregnenolone overdose.

Pregnenolone Self Assessment(12)

S/S Pregnenolone Deficiency S/S Pregnenolone Excess
Loss of short term memory


Brain Fog


Reduced Perception of Bright Colors




Autoimmune Diseases

Estrogen Dominance

Mood Disorders



Feels “Uptight”

Frequent Worries



Muscle Aches

Fluid Retention


Rapid Heart Rate





  • http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/118/118019014/image001.png
  • Sébastien Weill-Engerer, Jean-Philippe David, Véronique Sazdovitch, Philippe Liere, Bernard Eychenne, Antoine Pianos, Michael Schumacher, André Delacourte, Etienne-Emile Baulieu, and Yvette Akwa,Neurosteroid Quantification in Human Brain Regions: Comparison between Alzheimer’s and Nondemented Patients, Journal of Clinical and Metabolic Endocrinology, Oct, 2011. http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/jc.2002-020878
  • Tai, P., 8 Powerful Secrets to Anti-Aging, Health Secrets USA, Tucker, GA; 2007:83.
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  • Himmel, P. Pregnenolone:Overview and Original Research; Focus on Allergy Research Group; October 1999. 452-54
  • Guth L, Zhang, Z, Roberts, E. Key Role for pregnenolone in combination therapy that promotes recovery after spinal cord injury; Proc Natl Acad Sci; 1994 Dec 6;91(25):12308-12
  • Vallee, M., et al., “Pregnenolone can protect the brain from cannabis intoxication,” Science 2014; 343(6166):94-8.
  • Ericson, J. “Smoking Marijuana Without Getting High: Hormone Pregnenolone Offsets THC Effect;” Medical Daily: Jan 2, 2014; http://www.medicaldaily.com/smoking-marijuana-without-getting-high-hormone-pregnenolone-offsets-thc-effect-266221
  • Tai, P., 8 Powerful Secrets to Anti-Aging, Health Secrets USA, Tucker, GA; 2007:89.
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