The hormone that turns back the clock.
I recently received the results of my latest Salivary Hormone Test and was not surprised to learn that once again my levels of DHEA were lower than I’d like. DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenals and is considered the “mother” of many other hormones. The salivary hormone test often serves as a friendly reminder that I need to take action to raise my levels of this hormone.
I’ve been working with this type of testing for nearly a decade. Raising suboptimal hormone levels of any kind—without resorting to synthetics (which are not tolerated well by many women)—can be tricky and a bit challenging.
After a great deal of research and evidence-based testing, I discovered that the adaptogenic hormone, pregnenolone can help raise ALL hormones because it can help your body produce whatever it is lacking—dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), or estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and even cortisol.
Pregnenolone—which continues to lack the attention it deserves—has really powerful effects on aging, memory, mood, sexuality, and even sleep. It is the critical building block in the production of all other hormones that you have heard me writing, talking, or blogging about these days.
In fact, this uber hormone may be the ultimate raw material in your entire body. It’s so essential to health that it’s produced not only in the adrenal glands and sex organs, but also in brain and spinal cord.
A Bundle of Benefits
Science has uncovered all sorts of benefits about this hormone of all hormones that is called pregnenolone:
• Pregnenolone boosts memory. This hormone appears useful in creating memory as well as preventing its loss—and it supports memory-protecting sleep.
• Pregnenolone helps brain function. It raises brain levels of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter needed for thought processes—which is low in Alzheimer’s disease.
• Pregnenolone relieves anxiety and depression, according to two studies at the University of California, San Francisco. People with schizophrenia, who are very anxious, have the lowest levels of pregnenolone.
• Pregnenolone alleviates PMS and menopause symptoms, particularly hot flashes and loss of libido, according to my friend and colleague, Ray Sahelian, MD., a medical expert on hormones.
• Pregnenolone counters the effects of stress to lessen fatigue and increase endurance—whether you’re exercising or at work.
• Pregnenolone eases joint pain as well as rheumatoid arthritis and gout, even when conventional drugs don’t help.
• Pregnenolone lowers cholesterol. In one study, this hormone helped decrease subjects’ total cholesterol levels from 263 to 188.
• Pregnenolone combats addictive behaviors and chemical dependency, finds the Journal of Pharmacological Science, whether you’re trying to kick the nicotine habit or other addictive drugs.
It’s Time to Try It
Since I have found that so many of my clients do really well on low doses—I recommend trying UNI KEY’s Pregnenolone, one of the lower dose types of pregnenolone on the market.
In the body, pregnenolone is made from cholesterol. In the laboratory it is derived from wild yam—so it is not a steroid-based product. Perhaps this is why a growing number of health professionals are recommending it as a natural alternative to other types of hormone replacement.
I generally recommend that people start with one tablet of 5 mg of Pregnenolone per day and slowly progress up to 2 per day—max.
The body’s production of this foundational hormone declines with age, stress, depression, hypothyroidism, and environmental toxins. But, with light supplementation, you can feel youthful and vital from the inside out.
Can one use it post breast cancer
It has been our experience that pregnenlone can sometimes raise estrogen levels so I would check with your doctor if I were you.
I am peri-menopausal and have horrible food cravings, uncontrollable, binge eating sessions that kick in every month, beginning right after ovulation until the first day of my period. I know I am estrogen dominant, I had tried progesterone cream previously but it didn’t do anything for me. I keep gaining weight as a result of this cycling/eating and wondering of pregnenolone would help curb this type of eating pattern? I have heard it is best to only take it 2-3 times a week, at very low doses because it can build up and cause side effects, like heart palpitations. I have had bad reactions to steroids previously, agitation and mood swings, etc., would this cause those issues as well? It sounds wonderful but I am concerned about side effects. Thank you!
You could take one pregnenlone every other day and see how you feel. This is a hormone, not a drug. You should not have side effects. You may also wish to do some liver cleansing so that your liver will be able to process excess estrogen better. The Fat Flush Plan phase 1 or the Smoothie Shakedown both are excellent plans to do this. In our experience, taking Bile Builder will also help.
Is pregnanolone ok to take with armour thyroid? my dr. had prescribed this armour thyroid to actually curb some of the symptoms you state that the pregnanolone would work to help.
do you have any information or experience with this interaction?
There is no reason why pregnenlone and armour thyroid can’t be taken together. If you have any concerns about it you can speak with your doctor.
Other people have taken both with no reported interactions. You may wish to speak with your doctor as well.
Currently I’m taking the following Uni-key products:
Weight Loss Formula
Female Multipul Vitamins
Would taking the above products interfere with Pregnenlone?
Jane, none of these products with interfere with pregnenlone. Start slowly with one every other day. After taking the pregnenlone, you may not need as much ProgestaKey and may want to decrease the amount at some point.
In the past when I tried pregnenolone 5mg, after a few days it gave me a migraine headache. I know I’m estrogen dominant, with the COMT snp, so I don’t excrete estrogen efficiently. I’m low in DHEA and was trying to raise it by taking the pregnenolone. Is there any way to infuence the pathway from pregnenolone to DHEA, but then not down to more estrogen? I know DHEA converts to estrogen and testosterone, and I could use more testosterone, even though I’m female, mine runs low. Any suggestions? Thanks!
To help prevent estrogen conversion, we would suggest Bile Builder. We would also have you increase zinc.
Hi. Does Maca have the same effect? I have been using that as well as alfalfa. I feel great, no menopausal system’s at all. Luv your work!
Maca works very well for many and balances all hormones similar to pregnenolne!
Is maca bad to take with biodenticle hrt oral and pellets? Will it interfere with it or block estrogen receptors?
I had a total hysterectomy and BSO 10-24-06. At 31 years old
I take 6mg of Melatonin SR for sleep issues. Would the pregnenolone interfere with the Melatonin?
Melatonin should be fine!
Hi… I am 55 yrs old and I am menopausal. I been on the pellets since Nov 2015. These pellets last me for 3-4 months. I am getting ready to get my 3rd injection in my hip. These pellets had been a huge success for me because I was having severe hot flashes and night sweat only sleeping 2hours a night: (I had to have a hysterectomy 23 years ago and still have my ovaries). My question is I have gained 30 pounds since last year, have sever under eye dark circles and nothing I found seems to work, how can this product help me with my weight and dark circles? My eyes look tired all the time and they are not bright and white. I am not on vitamins or any medication. I am a dark skin women… Please help… Thank you
We would suggest you investigate food sensitivities which can trigger dark circles and weight loss resistance. We also would have you consider an adrenal hormone panel but refrain from the pregnenolone in light of your success with the pellet therapy.
I had a pulmonary embolism some years back and am not supposed to take hormone replacement therapy. It sounds like this might be a similar challenge. Please advise.
Thanks for your post. In light of your condition and the necessity to avoid any hormone remedy that could convert into estrogen, we would not recommend this for you. You would be better served by doing a salivary hormone test to assess basic needs.
I had a hysterectomy about 8 years ago, still have my ovaries, and was put on .01 patch of estrogen. I use 1 1/2 patches twice a week.
Would Pregnenolone be too much estrogen?
Hi Cls: We cannot say whether pregnenolone would convert into estrogen in your body as every body is truly unique. What we can tell you is to take a baseline estrogen salivary hormone test and follow it up in a month or so if you decide to use pregnenolone. Many women start at the 5 mg dosage every other day or third day to prevent possible estrogen dominance.
Is the salivary test the only one that you recommend? What about a hormone blood panel test, will that work, too?
Ann Louise recommends the Salivary Hormone test over testing blood values. The saliva will give you a reading of how the hormones are being used, not just the circulating amounts.
Thank you for your wonderful blog. I am a 42yrs married female & mom of an 8 yr old, but a lot has changed in last, Looks like I am just beginning menopause, haven’t had period since about a year, and lost my mom in this last year…it’s been a very draining and depressing time for me. Have gained about 30lbs. I am Not on any medications for anything presently, I try and eat clean, but I have low libido, lack of drive, tired and fatigued all the time. My regular blood reports doc said are ‘pristine’. I have to see an endocrinologist for hormone testing…But I do have hot flashes, irritable, not my usual self anymore, I am very scared of taking HRT as my mom died of ovarian cancer…but I know my hormones are off, my energy levels are at the lowest ever, brain fog, memory is so bad, it’s embarrassing, my skin m hair don’t look the same, I feel I am aging super fast, I was wondering if I can add pregnenolone supplementation?….there’s so much information online, but can you suggest a particular kind of pregnenolone for someone like me….I am hoping to being my happy and peaceful self….
Perhaps you have the results now of some hormone testing. It sounds like you could benefit from progesterone. The problem with pregnenlone is that it can raise all of your hormone levels indiscriminately. The symptoms you are mentioning have been helped with ProgestaKey, in many women.
I have had a complete hysterectomy with ovaries removed. Is there anything I should be adding to the Fat Flush Plan? Should I be taking pregnenolone? Thanks!
I suggest taking a Salivary Hormone Test to determine where your hormone levels actually are. Ann Louise will give you a letter of recommendations along with your results so you can know exactly what to do to balance your levels. That will help you with weight loss. Pregnenolone is a little big unpredictable to take without knowing your hormone levels.
Does this hormone help with overactive bladder? (detrusor instability) If not, do you recommend something else? I do pelvic floor exercises and have tried every herb/essential oil on the market.
It doesn’t directly help. By helping to raise levels of other hormones it can prevent some of the causes of this condition. I have heard of a pumpkin seed extract being used for overactive bladder.
I live in England and wonder if the salivary hormone testing kits sold on unikey will work given the (slightly) longer posting times. I want to order the pregnenalone but have read you prefer testing first. Also, given that I do the tests are recommendations included?
Barbara you can take the test if you can arrange to get your saliva sample back to the lab in Washington state within one week. Maybe an expedited delivery would work.
Hi, my lab tests came back, and my estrone is at 13-depressed, estradiol is at 3, progestrone is at 31, and testosterone is at 16. It was a saliva test and a local wellness center here in Austin. Also my cortisol takes a deep plunge at noon. She has asked that i start taking 10 miligrams of dhea and numedica functional female formula …
any other recommendations from Ann Louise here. thanks.
Cynthia, based on the information here it does look like you could benefit from adrenal support. UNI KEY Adrenal Formula is the one Ann Louise recommends to rebuild your adrenals and support cortisol levels.
thank you, can it be taken with the other 2 products dhea, and numedica functional female formula?
Yes Cynthia, you can take those products together.
What about my hormone levels? Is the numedica all I need? My estrogen is pretty low.
Cynthis, if your estrogen is low then it sounds like you need more than the numedica. Pregnenlone may help raise estrogen.
Will maca block my estrogen and other hormone receptors if I take it? I’m on oral progesterone, dhea, and take estrogen and testosterone pellets. I thought maca would help make these more efficient. I’ve taken it for one month and I look gaunt, have hollows under my eyes and cystic acne. I had a total hysterectomy and both ovaries out 12 years ago. I’m worried I’ve rendered my supplements useless.
Becky, Maca can block estrogen receptors and thereby lower the effects of estrogen. Maca can help balance hormones for some women but it sounds like it is not working for you.
Does it block them permanently or only as long as you take it?
Only as long as you take it
I have had a hysterectomy & oophorectomy (both ovaries & uterus removed) & want to increase my estrogen levels. Can pregnenolone convert to estrogen in a woman’s body without the ovaries or uterus; i.e., does the conversion happen in the ovaries or elsewhere? I would prefer to take the pregnenolone instead of estrogen replacement so that I might benefit from all the hormones it converts to.
Kristina, pregnenolone is produced in the sex glands, adrenals, brain and spinal cord. It is very helpful to take supplemental pregnenolone when your hormone levels are low.
My lab results indicate the following:
17-OHP, SALIVA, AM 11.5 L 15.4 – 60.5 pg/ml
Progesterone/Estradiol Ra 4 L 45 – 450
My health care practitioner recommended and estrogen creme and DHEA Cream. What are your thoughts?
Dee, I would suggest that you schedule a consultation with Ann Louise to have your question answered. https://annlouise.com/consultations/
I’m 59, I had a hormone test done in 2017, as I was having a large weight gain and feeling poorly after a fall, and a lot of stress in my life, my pregnenolone level was <5 pretty much non existent my dr said, it has been 2 years now , I have gained 50 lbs, have been diagnosed with RA, hypothyroidism and a multitude of other problems not to mention the inflammation, I really can’t function anymore, can’t remember, also my DHEA sulphate has been high, my pharmacist recommended pregnenolone do you think it could help, I’ve had every test known to mankind, every part of my body scanned, breast implants, gallbladder removed, the drs really can’t find anything physically wrong with me!!! Please help
Marti, I’d suggest you get a copy of Ann Louise’s book “Radical Metabolism” You will find information that can help you lose weight, address inflammation and hypothyroidism.