Hormone Problems Solved

April 18, 2014
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.


Note: We’ve had overwhelming requests to update and reprint this blog originally from March 2012. So here it is!

The one natural remedy that almost nobody knows about.

If you are experiencing hormone-related weight gain, anxiety, fatigue, or even arthritis and osteoporosis, there is one simple hormonal solution that you should know about.

It’s called pregnenolone, and the testimonials keep pouring in…


  • Pregnenolone—I don’t understand what it is or how it works, but it completely stopped the perimenopause symptoms I’ve been suffering with! I started taking it, and 4 days later I noticed a huge change—no more moodiness or edginess and my libido resurfaced. I am totally amazed. If I forget to take it, I notice the difference!”
    –Monique S., Pennsylvania
  • “I can see a big difference in my attitude! I’m not cranky anymore, and it helps to regulate my cycle.”
    –Annette C., Virginia
  • “This really works. I suffered from mild hot flashes and aching knee joints before taking this. Now, I don’t have hot flashes nor do my knees hurt. I will continue to use pregnenolone.”  –Michelle, Texas
  • “Pregnenolone worked for me after about a couple months. I was happier, didn’t cry as often as I used to, and my mood and attitude was much better.”  –Adele L., New Jersey
  • “I’ve been following Ann Louise Gittleman’s regimens for a number of years and rave in a most unseemly manner about the efficacy. I started taking UNI KEY’s Pregnenolone and can happily attest that it’s taken my health and vitality to another phase—transformative. Well worth considering, even if The Fat Flush Plan is already working for you.”  –Claudia, Online Community Member


Mother of All Hormones

Pregnenolone is the one hormone that the body uses to make all the others—like DHEA, cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone. However, unlike its more highly publicized “daughter” dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), it can also transform itself into progesterone, for which it has a biochemical bias.

This puts pregnenolone in a league of its own because it can also offset excess estrogen, which like a magnet, can “attract” and stockpile more fat and water in the body along with side effects like depression, a lowered sex drive, upset blood sugar balance, headaches, and a higher risk for cancer by stimulating breast and uterine cell growth.

Here’s the scoop:

Back in the 1940s Dr. Hans Selye, the father of the “fight or flight” theory of stress, studied the benefits of pregnenolone in terms of anxiety and fatigue. In the 1950s, pregnenolone was also researched for its ability to control pain and swelling in cases of rheumatoid arthritis. The most exciting result was that it caused absolutely no metabolic side effects.

The problem with pregnenolone was that the medical establishment could not patent this natural substance. So research was redirected toward some of pregnenolone’s offspring like cortisol and its many synthetic corticosteroid derivatives such as prednisone and other similar medications.

From there, the so called “miracle drugs” were born. And, so were all of the adverse side effects associated with these pregnenolone wannabes: high blood pressure, weight retention, and the “moon face” facial puffiness.

Luckily, most doctors now hesitate to prescribe corticosteroid drugs over the long term because they recognize that the treatment is usually worse than the original disease.

And thus, pregnenolone is being rediscovered. In fact, some researchers are heralding it as a most powerful memory enhancer, most likely due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.

While pregnenolone comes in varying strengths, I generally recommend that people start with one 5 mg tablet of pregnenolone daily and slowly work their way up to 10 mg max.

Pregnenolone is a remarkable adaptogen that seems to work for just about everybody!


Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Cat Blue

    Thank you for your kind reply! I did ovulate this week (bloodwork and my BBT confirmed this), but estrogen only went up to 90.

    I have been on HRT once before during my first IVF attempt; my RE prescribed estrogen and progesterone. However, after it was not successful it took three months for my body to regulate and start periods and ovulation again. I want to avoid that so thanks for the suggestions. Do you have a recommendation for how to take the soy lecithin (granules or pill) and how much? I have the same question for flax; should I eat the oil or ground flax? Finally, I have DIM but I thought that was to regulate excess estrogen, so I stopped taking it last year. Thanks again for your help, I look forward to your advice.

  2. Paula Allen

    I overdosed on Pregnolone-350 mg a week. Slowly came down with great suffering, I might add- like coming off a major steroid!!1
    I had hair loss and gained a lot of weight and am still gaining. I have tried without success to use just 50 mg a week-still over dosed.
    Hyper, deep sleep for one or two nights -then lots of broken sleep and more weight gain. I can’t stop gaining!!! I am 62 and have no thyroid, due to Graves Disease as a teenager. I take synthroid, and adrenal support under the care of a naturopath. I am taking all kinds of hormone processing helpers, but nothing is stopping the weight gain. Recently tried just 25 mg after not taking any for two weeks-still over dose symptoms. I have been on very small amounts of progesterone and estrogen bio identicals sublingual troches. My recent blood work shows I am estrogen dominant. I was using the pregnenolone for about 6 months at a 100 mg a week and then I increased up to 350 a week for a couple of months –big mistake. Any help to lose the weight would be so appreciated

    • Maria Dacosta

      Maybe you should try less hormones and more of another kind of medicine. You may have a pre-diabetic insulin resistance, maybe a side effect of all those wild hormones.

      Try to google about Mertformin to lose weight. This medicine is indicated to balance the sugar assimilation on diabetes II, However, one of the side effects is weight loss. It doesn’t involve the risk of hipo-glicemia.


      To start and avoid secondary effects, one should start with a 500mg / day during the first week.

      Talk to your Dr, of course

      • Team ALG

        Maria, it is always wise to have a test for pre-diabetic insulin resistance before starting to self medicate with a drug such as this. Also the Weight Loss Formula which Ann Louise has formulated has berberine which has been shown to be as effective as metformin at controlling blood sugar.

    • Crystal Clear

      You need BIG DOSES of Vitamin B Complex, your body is not absorbing nutrients properly probably because of ‘leaky gut syndrome’ take Glucosamine 3000 mg per day to heal the leaky gut and I recommend you take Country Life Coenzyme B-Complex Capsules, but STOP OVERDOSING on anything. You will also need approx 1 tablespoon of Caesin protein and 1 tablespoon of Whey protein mixed in a cup of milk twice a day – morning and night. You have no vitamins, minerals and proteins being absorbed properly into your body. Also, you MUST exercise 1 hour per day, walking, swimming (laps or Aqua aerobics), gardening or all three and if your up for it go to gym as well. LEAKY GUT is the problem with most people, it breeds viruses and bacteria, stomach ulcers, if you have mouth ulcers check out what your stomach and bowels are doing. When you heal the minute holes in your bowels with NAG=Glucosamine, take Wormwood and Hyssop to ‘search and destroy’ the rest.

      • byrdlps

        Glucosamine, often taken with chondroitin is for arthritic conditions. It’s glutamine or L-glutamine that is used for leaky gut, diarrhea, IBS, etc.

      • Sarah

        Whey powder? I would not advocate any dairy products with hormone imbalances. Too many hormones pumped into animals in dairy industry! Avoid!

        • Team ALG

          Sarah, the Fat Flush Whey comes from cows raised in New Zealand without any hormones, antibiotics or pesticides. This is from cows that produce A2 milk which does create the allergic responses that come from the over bred cows which produce A1 milk that is available in the stores here. No worries about this whey!

    • Dakota Fleming

      Back away from the carbs

    • Lou

      Synthtroid is not enough. Labs should help you to find the right combo. Likely you need T3

  3. Roxanne Linton

    I have been taking pregnolone for about two years and i notice thinning hair. Can I safely get off this and go start taking progestkey?

    • Team ALG

      I’d suggest coming off the pregnolone gradually and then you could take the ProgestaKey if you wish.

  4. Jamie

    Can taking 10mg pregnenolone a day cause you to get a false positive pregnancy test?

  5. Team ALG

    Pregnenolone is a precursor to all of the other steroid hormones. it is possible that it could have raised your hormones in such a way as to cause false positive results.

  6. Carol

    I had been taking DHEA/Pregnenolone by HortaCeuticals for about a year for pre menopausal sunptems and it was amazing! Worked great. I stopped because I read that you shouldn’t be on DHE long term. I’ve been off it for about 6-8 months and the past several months I have slipped into a bunch of perimenopausal symptoms and hate it! I wanted to get back on to pregnenalone. I noticed that brand has 100 mg of Pregnenolone… Why so high? Is that bad? I felt great on it. I was thinking of switching to just the Pregnenolone – without the DHEA – but see that also has 100 mg. reading what you’ve wrotten it says 10 mg. Why would HortaCeuticals be in such high doses if we should only take 10 mg?

    • Team ALG

      Carol, you will see higher doses described and recommended on the internet. When you are taking a hormone it is always wiser to take low doses, especially as you start. Ann Louise has recommended as low a dose as 5 mg every other day.

  7. Sarah

    I have low progesterone levels. I’m taking pregnenalone cream and I understand one pump dispense is 15mg .which is what I take. Could I go higher for prog imbalance. Been using for about a week but not feeling any benefit. Although I do have a cold at the moment.

    • Team ALG

      Sarah, pregnenlone is somewhat of a wild card as a precursor hormone to the other steroid hormones. You never know which hormone it will raise. Ann Louise recommends taking a lower amount, 10 mg per day and also to get your hormone levels tested at regular intervals to monitor any imbalances. UNIKEY has the Salivary Hormone Test which is the one Ann Louise recomments.

  8. Claudia Rowe

    I’ve been taking 100 mg of pregnenolone for a year………by mistake (the compounding pharmacist thought the script said 100 mg, not 10 mg thanks to the endo’s serial killer hand writing! I didn’t check. Grrrr!).

    My question: The past year my weight has been out of control, chronic fat gain around the middle and my breasts are HUGE (GGG). Cannot shift the weight despite being on FFF for 12 years. Would your view be that this is the pregnenolone overdose? All else remains the same.

    • Team ALG

      Claudia, yes this amount of pregnenolone can certainly imbalance your hormones and contribute to estrogen dominance which can bring with it the symptoms you are mentioning.

      • Claudia Rowe

        Thanks Team! Would you mind if I took the time to say how much I appreciate ALG and her (and your) work? I started reading her back in the 90s and her principles have made an incredible difference to my health and well being. Thank you. Not enough to say so much appreciated.

    • Tamatha Bishop

      Hi please read about Calcium D glucarate it helps with minializing breast tissue, weight gain and balancing hormones when used with Dim. I hope that helps. Bikini fitness models use it to help cut during season.But it’s an amazing supplement I’ve just learned about myself.

  9. julie

    I am perimenopause .I started taking vitex 400 ml 2 weeks after my period. Then the second month my period came in 28 days but I got pms symptoms .I had never had pms symptoms before and my periods always came in 28 days. Now I am in my forties with a healthy style of life but worry because my period started coming in 26 days with no pms symptoms just this last period came with pms ,I don’t know it is because of all the supplement, adaptogens and minerals that I have been taking. I also do enemas and I like to do aerobic everyday. I have never took birth control pills and I have never had miscarried .Do you think that pregnenolone will help me with the headaches, fatigue and cold flashes. The pms symptoms It happened just on my day of my last period ,this the first time .Thank you and I look forward to your advice

    • Team ALG

      Julie, Pregnenolone can raise any or all of your hormone levels. I wouldn’t suggest taking it unless you have stopped any supplements that can influence hormone levels.To find out your hormone levels and how your hormone levels are balanced with each other you may consider doing a Salivary Hormone Test. When you are in balance you should no longer have the symptoms you are describing.

  10. Sandy

    I started taking Pregnenolone at 50 mg a day. My hormones are perfectly balanced but I’m unable to lose weight. I also in 30 days gained 7 pounds. My Dr. Stated that my Progesterone went from 1.5 to 6.8 and Estradiol went from .5 to 51. She said my Estradiol needed to come up more. But all in all it was perfect. I’ve decided to take one tablet every five days where it would equal out to 10mg per day and see if a lower dose will help me lose. I am 53 years old going through the change and was miserable. I do love the goid side effects of it like sleeping calm and happy? Just wondering if this might help by cutting back.

    • Team ALG

      Sandy, It sounds like you are high in estradiol compared to progesterone, making you estrogen dominant. The ideal ratio Ann Louise recommends is 30:1 progesterone to estradiol. Taking more progesterone could help you balance this. Pregnenolone may also be raising your estradiol but not raising your progesterone enough. Ann Louise formulated ProgestaKey creme to help raise progesterone levels. Raising progesterone and balancing your estradiol could help you lose weight.

  11. Sandy

    My Dr told me I was in perfect balance. But since I wrote the last comment I’ve gained four more pounds. I know it’s fluid retention. I’ve read Pregnenolone causes water weight gain. I guess I’m going to stop taking it as much as I love the good feeling I get.


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