Pregnenolone is a natural hormone. It is considered a building block for all other steroid hormones. Pregnenolone promotes health, but its production decreases with age. Many people opt to take pregnenolone supplements without fully understanding the health risks. Pregnenolone may be a natural hormone, but it can still cause undesirable side effects, and even dangerous ones.


Pregnenolone was actively researched during the 1940s. In a study, factory workers received 50-100 mg of the hormone per day. The workers reported improved production rates, less fatigue and an enhanced sense of happiness and general well-being. Also, workers in more stressful work environments reportedly had a better experience while taking pregnenolone than those workers with less demanding jobs.

Since then, pregnenolone has been thought to improve memory, elevate moods, reduce stress and improve the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

According to the American Cancer Society, while pregnenlone is used to treat arthritis and promote overall well-being, available scientific evidence does not provide any support to these claims.

Where Is Pregnenolone Produced?

The cells in the central nervous system and adrenal gland produce pregnenolone. Generally there is a significantly higher concentration of the hormone in the tissue of the central nervous system than in the bloodstream. Studies in animals have shown that there is 10 times as much pregnenolone in the brain than other stress-related hormones. It is also available in the blood as both free pregnenolone and as a stabler pregnenolone-sulfate.

Pregnenolone as a Supplement

Even though pregnenolone is not considered a hormone that can become deficient, many individuals opt to take it as a supplement. Its proponents say that it can improve memory and clarity of thinking, increase energy, libido and productivity. It is also touted for improving moods and providing a sense of well-being.

Pregnenolone supplements are synthetically made using substances found in soybeans and wild yam. They can typically be purchased in capsule form at health food stores and pharmacies. You can also purchase the supplement from online distributors.

Dangers of Pregnenolone

Common side effects are over-stimulation and insomnia. If you experience either of these, try a lesser dose and take it in the morning. Anger, anxiety and irritability have also been reported when higher amounts were taken. Headaches might also occur with higher doses.

Because pregnenolone can convert into androgens, there is a possibility that acne might occur. Scalp hair loss can also occur if the hormone is used daily for a prolonged amount of time.

There is a more dangerous side effect of pregnenolone that should be given consideration if you are contemplating the usage of it: heart palpitations. According to, pregnenolone has been known to cause irregular heart rhythms, even with low doses. The elderly and anyone with a heart condition could be seriously affected. The American Cancer Society also reports that pregnenolone has been known to cause liver problems. It is also suggested that the growth of hormone-responsive cancers such as breast and prostate cancer may occur as a result of the use of pregnenolone.

Using Pregnenolone Safely

Consult with a physician before taking any kind of supplement or medication. While pregnenlone is a naturally produced hormone found in the human body, misuse and overuse can result in undesirable and dangerous side effects.