In the search for wellness, the health industry has been remarkably invaluable in the conception of many innovations to address many health issues. From the mild cases to the more severe and life-threatening ones, you name it. Medication-wise, the health sector has more or less got you covered.
There is also a fast-growing trend of taking supplements to promote better health and fitness. Common examples of vitamins and minerals are multivitamins, vitamins A to D, calcium supplements, and the like. Even fish oils and herbs are consumed regularly to compensate for nutrient imbalances and deficiencies in people’s diet.
On this note, dietary supplements are not that far behind in terms of popularity. These health edibles come in several forms, such as drinks, gummies, powders, energy bars, and the most common of all, tablets and capsules. Not surprisingly, with people becoming hooked on these health products, supplement coverage has moved further than the usual vitamins to include hormones, one of which is pregnenolone.
Introducing the Mother Hormone
The human body is responsible for producing certain hormones that have their own roles in keeping homeostasis within the body’s systems. The adrenal gland makes pregnenolone from cholesterol, both a hormone and a steroid at the same time.
This hormone is sometimes called a precursor, a pro-hormone, or the mother hormone since it functions as a biochemical starting material. It is a crucial component in producing the two main female hormones (progesterone and estrogen) and the male hormone (testosterone). It is also vital in the steroidogenesis of glucocorticoids, androgens, and mineralocorticoids.
The role of pregnenolone in the body
Pregnanolone is part of the group of neurosteroids that are densely accumulated and synthesized in the brain. Two of its primary uses in the neurological system are to improve memory and cognition. It is highly considered a helpful supplement and medication. This hormone can be found in varying circulating levels in all age brackets, from children to adults, and in both males and females.
Its role in neural development cannot be emphasized enough. It helps in the formation of microtubules in neurons that are essential in prenatal development and in neural plasticity when a person ages. Pregnenolone, as a pro-hormone, can be further converted into many other substances, which serves to enhance its usefulness in the body.
Pregnanolone deficiency and excess
When a person suffers from a decrease in pregnenolone, this naturally leads to a domino effect because it is an essential hormone for synthesizing other hormones. More often than not, symptoms of pregnenolone deficiency would appear soon after the body detects the low circulating level. These would vary from decreased bone density and muscle mass to more noticeable ones such as low sex drive, extreme tiredness, and poor memory.
On the other hand, an excess of this hormone can also manifest in several ways. It is true that many people tend to take synthetic pregnenolone supplements or the chemically modified type to combat the usual signs of aging. Apart from the natural aging process, another reason for taking pregnenolone is to promote a rise in other steroid hormones like testosterone. However, too much can lead to alarming hair growth on the face and body. Also, it causes difficulty in sleeping and irritability.
For women taking this hormonal supplement, it results in cessation of the menses, aggression, and hair loss. There is also a risk of acquiring skin acne since taking this hormone leads to oily skin. Besides these, good cholesterol levels will suffer a decline, making the person more at risk for cardiac disease. One should take extra precautions when taking this supplement if unpleasant side effects or adverse reactions occur. More importantly, pregnant women should refrain from taking this supplement.
As the mother hormone, pregnenolone plays a vital role in steroid and hormone production. In essence, this hormone starts as part of the cholesterol chain. It evolves into other substances necessary for keeping the balance of your bodily functions. Once the body detects an imbalance in this hormone, this might take a toll on different aspects of your health, reproductive and sexual health, to cite a few. Therefore, learning about supplements can ensure a well-maintained body and an overall health boost.