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Pregnenolone is a supplement that everyone should read about.

It can help by increasing mood, motivation, and brain function. Pregnenolone feels like a steroid for the brain.

Our Lab Test Analyzer can help you keep your pregnenolone in the optimum range by allowing you to keep track of your levels, identifying causes of low or high levels, and giving you evidence-based lifestyle, diet, and supplement recommendations.

About Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone and its sulfate (pregnenolone sulfate) are excitatory neurosteroids – they stimulate the brain [R].

Pregnenolone is the main steroid produced from cholesterol [R].

It is produced in three main organs: The brain, gonads, and adrenal glands, but the salivary gland and white blood cells are also capable of producing pregnenolone [R, R, R].

Pregnenolone is neuroprotective and enhances learning and memory, and increases the amount of deep sleep [R, RR].

Pregnenolone has a beneficial effect on mood [R, R].

Ever since the 1940s, pregnenolone was reported to have anti-stress and mood-elevating effects on factory workers, students, and pilots.

Pregnenolone has a beneficial effect in various neuropsychiatric disorders and relieves anxiety and depression [R, R, R].

Pregnenolone is the main precursor of many other steroid hormones [R].

For example, pregnenolone increases the level of other neurosteroids, such as pregnenolone sulfate and allopregnanolone.

Allopregnanolone is another molecule that increases the growth of neurons and decreases cell death and inflammation [R].

Like most products that can’t be patented, pregnenolone doesn’t have large clinical trials for various conditions. This is where self-hacking comes in – testing out if pregnenolone works for you.

My Experience and What I Use

I’ve been taking pregnenolone for 3 to 4 years, on and off and I really love it. However, it can take some time to figure out the right dosage. Pregnenolone doesn’t work for a lot of my clients. The most common issues with pregnenolone are that it gives people anxiety and they have more trouble sleeping.

For me, it will cause sleep issues if 1) I take too much, 2) I don’t exercise enough, or 3) I don’t exercise enough earlier in the day. Exercise makes pregnenolone convert to other hormones to produce cortisol. If I exercise later in the day with pregnenolone, it makes me more wired than usual (perhaps I have a larger cortisol spike).

I find when I was having chronic inflammation, I was deficient in pregnenolone. I’m not deficient now, but since I have a very heavy workload, I use more up, so in these times it’s useful.

Pregnenolone Snapshot


  • Great for cognitive enhancement
  • Is relaxing and stimulating at the same time
  • Increases motivation
  • Increases wakefulness
  • Increase hormones
  • Good for libido
  • Good for longevity


  • May increase anxiety for some
  • Can cause some sleep issues

Pregnenolone Benefits

1) Pregnenolone Is a Nootropic and Boosts Cognitive Function

Pregnenolone and pregnenolone sulfate act as signaling molecules in the brain where they stimulate neuronal activity [R, R].

Pregnenolone increases the growth of neurons [R].

Pregnenolone enhances myelination, enhances the formation of new synapses, and has neuroprotective properties. Myelin is a fatty layer that electrically insulates nerves, and is essential for their proper functioning [R].

Pregnenolone sulfate enhanced the survival of newborn neurons in adult mice [R].

Pregnenolone also improves neurological recovery [R].

Pregnenolone and pregnenolone sulfate protect neurons against cell toxicity and toxin-induced cell death [R, R].

Low blood levels of pregnenolone are found in the elderly, including those with dementia [R].

Nootropic Mechanism:

Pregnenolone regulates neuronal function by activating and deactivating GABAA, NMDA, sigma-1, cholinergic, and dopamine receptors [R].

Pregnenolone sulfate decreases the activity of GABAA receptors, kainate, and AMPA receptors, and increases the activity of NMDA receptors [R].  

This might be why pregnenolone increases anxiety in some.

When bound to receptors, pregnenolone and its metabolites cause a series of reactions, including the stabilization of microtubules, the increase of ion flux into cells, and dopamine release [R].

By regulating microtubules, pregnenolone may increase neuronal development and plasticity of neurons during aging [R].

Joe’s Experience: 

Pregnenolone boosts cognitive function for me and is one of my favorite nootropics. It goes well with infrared therapy/LLLT.

2) Pregnenolone Improves Learning and Memory

Pregnenolone/pregnenolone sulfate enhanced learning and memory in mice and rats [R, R, R].

Pregnenolone/pregnenolone sulfate resulted in better performance of mice and rats in various mazes [R].

Pregnenolone sulfate blocked chemical-induced amnesia in rats [R, R].

Pregnenolone sulfate prevented learning and memory deficits induced by certain drugs [R].

Joe’s Experience:

Pregnenolone boosts learning and memory for me.

3) Pregnenolone Stimulates Deep Sleep

Pregnenolone and its derivative allopregnanolone stimulated deep sleep in animal studies [R].

Low concentration of pregnenolone sulfate increased the amount of REM (paradoxical sleep), while high concentrations increased both REM and slow wave sleep (deep sleep) [R].

Pregnenolone increased the amount of time spent in deep sleep in human volunteers [R].

Deep sleep, in turn, helps consolidate memories.

Joe’s Experience:

Pregnenolone is more likely to worsen your sleep than benefit it. I have found pregnenolone (at 50 mg) delays sleep onset and results in less sleep for me. Other people also report insomnia from these doses.

4) Pregnenolone Relieves Schizophrenia Symptoms

Pregnenolone can potentially be used to alleviate and treat certain symptoms of schizophrenia [R].

Pregnenolone levels are lowered in the brain of schizophrenic patients [R, R].

Elevations in pregnenolone and allopregnanolone after pregnenolone treatment in schizophrenia were correlated with cognitive improvements [R].

Treatment with pregnenolone sulfate reduced schizophrenia-like symptoms and rescued the cognitive deficits in mice [R].

Pregnenolone reduced symptoms in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder [R].

Pregnenolone improved attention, verbal, and working memory performance in schizophrenic patients [R, R].

Low-dose pregnenolone together with antipsychotics reduced drug-induced side effects in schizophrenic patients [R].

5) Pregnenolone Boosts Mood and Relieves Depression

Decreased pregnenolone and allopregnanolone levels have been linked to depression [R].

Pregnenolone has significant mood-stabilizing effects [R].

It also enhanced the activation of neurocircuits that control emotion [R].

Blocking allopregnanolone impaired social and emotional functioning [R].

In response to emotional cues, allopregnanolone reduced the activity in brain regions associated with the generation of negative emotion [R].

Pregnenolone reduces depression in patients with bipolar disorder, recurrent major depressive disorder, and history of substance abuse/dependence [R, R].

A synthetic pregnenolone derivative acts as an antidepressant in rats [R].

Depressive disorders are associated with neuronal abnormalities in brain microtubule function [R].

By increasing the formation and stability of tubules, pregnenolone increases neurite growth and can combat depression [R].

Joe’s Experience: 

Pregnenolone boosts mood and motivation quite a bit. In fact, it increases mood and motivation more than anything else I’ve tried.

6) Pregnenolone is Anti-anxiety

Patients with anxiety disorder have significantly lower levels of pregnenolone sulfate [R].

Allopregnanolone (measured after taking pregnenolone) reduces self-reported anxiety [R].

Pregnenolone reduces irritability in adults with autism spectrum disorder [R].

Allopregnanolone is a potent activator of GABA (A) [R].

Joe’s Experience: 

Pregnenolone does have anti-anxiety effects, but I’ve had some clients tell me it increases their anxiety. For me, it makes me more emotional and more passionate. This includes good and bad emotions. For example, a breakup would feel worse if I’m taking pregnenolone, but you are more likely to fall in love, in my experience.

7) Pregnenolone Balances the Immune System

Synthetic pregnenolone derivatives act as antiviral agents against the herpes simplex virus [R].

Pregnenolone suppresses immune cells to restore immune balance (homeostasis) [R].

8) Pregnenolone Reduces Alcohol Preference and Intake

Acute but not chronic pregnenolone significantly reduced alcohol preference and intake in rats [R].

Also, pregnenolone treatment significantly reduced alcohol self-administration in rats [R].

9) Pregnenolone Kills Brain Cancer Cells

Pregnenolone induced glioma cell death [R].

10) Pregnenolone Protects from Cannabis Intoxication

Pregnenolone protects the brain from cannabis intoxication [R].

The administration of THC, the main active component of marijuana, substantially increases the production of pregnenolone [R].

11) Other Benefits

Pregnenolone has anti-arthritic, anti-aging, and anti-fatigue properties. It also lowers cholesterol [R].

Measuring Pregnenolone in the Blood

You can take a blood test to measure pregnenolone levels. High or low pregnenolone numbers can indicate that certain processes in the body aren’t optimal.

Pregnenolone Side Effects

1) Pregnenolone Can Impair Memory

Pregnenolone sulfate impaired memory acquisition and memory retention in rats [R,R].

Allopregnanolone impaired learning in rats [R].

2) Pregnenolone Can Reduce Wakefulness

Pregnenolone sulfate promotes sleep and can impair wakefulness [R].

3) Pregnenolone Can Cause Anxiety

I haven’t seen this in studies, but in some clients, pregnenolone can increase anxiety, even though it also has anti-anxiety actions.

Safety of Pregnenolone

Studies conducted in the 1940s and 1950s showed that pregnenolone at 25 to 500 mg/day was safe and well tolerated in humans, with minimal side effects, and did not affect weight, heart rate, blood pressure, menstrual cycle, or glucose levels [R].

Pregnenolone Dosage

Pregnenolone is very safe as far as toxicity.

Generally, if you do get a side effect from pregnenolone, you can stop taking it and it will go away. I’ve never heard of permanent negative effects.

I recommend starting out with 5 mg if you’re healthy and make sure to pay attention to your sleep.

If you have schizophrenia or chronic inflammation, you will want to take 25 mg a day (if your doctor thinks it’s a good idea).

Pregnenolone and Weight Loss

Pregnenolone can be used by the body to make testosterone and other steroid hormones. Testosterone helps maintain and build muscle mass and boosts metabolism. This may help with weight loss, especially in men who are testosterone deficient [R, R, R].

What Else Increases Pregnenolone?


  • THC, the main active component of marijuana, substantially increased the production of pregnenolone [R]
  • Stress [R]
  • SSRIs and antipsychotic drugs used for treating depression and bipolar disorder: Clozapine, olanzapine, and fluoxetine (Prozac) elevated pregnenolone levels in the brain and blood of rats [R]

Pregnenolone Goes Well With:

Pregnenolone goes well with aromatase inhibitors so that it doesn’t convert to estradiol.

My favorite aromatase inhibitors include:

Inhibiting cortisol production may also help.

This way, pregnenolone will go more to making progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone instead of estradiol and cortisol.


When to Take Pregnenolone

I recommend taking it right upon awakening and exercising in the morning, and on an empty stomach – so that it gets absorbed more quickly.

Pregnenolone on SelfDecode

Our genetics can affect how pregnenolone works in our bodies. For example, a variation (rs6971) in the gene TSPO can influence internal production meaning you may need to take a supplement [R].

Buy Pregnenolone Capsules

There are many dosages of pregnenolone you can buy. You can either buy a smaller amount or larger amount and break up the capsule.

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


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  • NancyS

    I have an expired bottle of this. Read about it years ago, bought some and then was scared to use it. It’s 8am and I think I’ll go try it right now. Thank you for this site. . I’ll save it and let you know what I think after a day or more. NancyS .

  • Selma Da Silva

    My Dr.recomend this med. For low energy, and hair loss. Is anyone had the same problem and got help from this med.???

  • Josh O

    ROBERT SMYK, You’re message is concerning. I think it’s either you are trolling or you are suffering from adult onset schizophrenia or a delusional bi-polar disorder. I can’t see pregnenolone ever making you act different enough to get you fired from a job, and if it did, you would certainly notice the changes yourself. Were you taking full bottles at once. or regular dosages? Studies have been done on 10-20 times the average dosage everyday for weeks and there was never any symptoms you described.

    The fact you equated sport celebrities dieing for no apparent reason (which I can’t think of an instance of that happening in recent history), to the use of pregnenolone and HGH is massive projection, and is seen in schizophrenic individuals. You then say that you correlate their deaths to the abrupt cessation of use, so that is what you did. Either you are stating you wanted to die, or your logic and reasoning is suffering.

    To be honest, the only common hormones used that have an inherent health risk when used for performance enhancement are androgens like testosterone, dht, and their derivatives. HGH is much less likely to cause problems when used properly and pregnenolone is as close to benign as endogenous hormones get. That’s not to say that any hormone is risk-free, nor should you use any without doctor supervision.

    I would suggest you see a doctor as soon as possible in regards to your symptoms, as there is a high chance they were not caused by pregnenolone. The symptoms are classic signs of mental illness or drug-induced psychosis. Whichever the case here, you need help. I apologize if this comes across as demeaning but I have family and friends who have suffered from schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and drug addiction. The are all forms of mental illness, which can only get better when one seeks treatment. Even if you don’t believe my reasoning, it can’t hurt to see the doctor anyways and bring up the same experience and thoughts you shared here, and see what his/her opinion is.

  • Dee

    I am hypopituitary. I have to take cortisone, but am so sensitive to it, I have dropped the dosage down from 20 mgs daily ( homicidal) to 7mgs. My question is simple, can I take pregnenone? I am desperate for sleep, relief from fatigue, and in general I would like to live again. I have zero libido, even though I take bio identical hormones. Included in my cream is testosterone, which does nada. My poor husband deserves better. What say you? Yay or nay?

  • Tshego

    Can I take Progesterone and Pregnenolone together?

  • Carol Labelle

    I always that that generally when the body is provided with a precursor, it will only make what it needs. Is this not the case? Tks.

  • Carol Labelle

    Generally when the body is provided with a precursor, it will only make what it needs.

  • Jim

    Is Pregnenolone suppressive



  • William

    DHEA level decline as we age. They tend to peak in people when they reach the age of 30. After that, there’s general decline, by age 70, DHEA levels are just about 20% of those of a young adult. This hormone is referred to as the “fountain of youth” and an “antiaging” hormone.

  • Michelle

    Is this safe to use while taking birth control pills?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      Please check with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Mommabeat

    Is this safe to give to children? My functional medicine doctor recommended it for my 8 yr old daughter as her levels are low according to her blood test. I can’t find much info on children regarding this supplement.

  • Rebecca M.

    I would describe myself as a self hacker as I try to figure out my family’s medical history. My father had gout, and as the gluten free diet is now prescribed for gout, I can draw a line from Dr. Dohan first prescribing the gluten and dairy free diet for schizophrenia, then for kids with autism and the link to gout is that back in the 1990’s some babies were found to secrete excessive uric acid in their urine. It showed up as a pink blush in their diapers. My daughter had that, and to this day, she has extreme anxiety and OCD, I found a website that explained that both gout and this autism were both disorders of purine metabolism. This may no longer be considered autism since the new DSM manual was published. The question for me was why did Dr. Dohan restrict milk? And another question: My father was extremely sensitive to beans. I don’t have gout, but beans cause me horrible inflammation in my gut and almost like neuropathy in my feet though I haven’t been formally diagnosed yet, as I just avoid beans and I don’t have problems. Finally, I came across a website that listed high sulfur foods and beans, dairy and cruciferous veggies were all listed. Which began to make sense to me because I had that thyroid thing going where my TSH was maybe a little elevated..between 2 and 3 but when I made a stir fry with cabbage, I was so tired the next day I couldn’t get out of bed. So my doctor sent me to the endocrinologist who talked to me about kale and cole crops affecting the thyroid, but he couldn’t say exactly why it was. Now that I know the list of high sulfur foods, I feel strongly that my family has a problem metabolizing sulfur. One last thing I looked up was Dr. Rosemary Waring’s research on kids with autism. She did blood work on some of this affected children and found low levels of circulating sulfates in blood plasma.

    Which brings me to my point. This site has been extremely helpful to me. I see that both DHEA and pregnenolone exist in sulfated forms. I have noticed that if I take too high a dose of DHEA, I feel it in my corneas. But if I make a solution of Epsoms Salts – magnesium sulfate – in a bowl of water, and just put my hand in the water for 10 minutes, the problem goes away. I suggest that this sulfur sensitivity may be more common than anyone knows, and if you have a problem with pregnenolone or DHEA, maybe a soak in epsom salts could help. Standard disclaimer, I’m not a doctor, etc, just someone who has made the connection. And for those who know the genetics, I know I have the A1298C mutation as my father died of a heart attack at age 57, so I requested the blood test. (I inherited a copy from both parents)

  • SteveVO

    Thanks Shea! I read that link and it sounds like I might should stay away from Pregnenolone. The ‘cancer’ (many consider Gleason 6 not really cancer except Urologists wanting to increase the ROI of their Cyber Knife machines) has been not developing during the past 3 years. A major test from last year shows that Gleason 6 prostate cancer (if true Gleason 6) never metastasizes, but I don’t want to take any unnecessary chances since my overall health is very good for my age (no prescription medications and still backpacking and kayaking).

    1. Shea

      You’re welcome, Steve! And that makes sense.

  • SteveVO

    I am a 68 year old male with a very low aggression type (Gleason 6) prostate cancer in active surveillance. I have low testosterone also. Is this safe for me to take?

    1. Shea

      Steve, there is some scientific evidence which suggests that pregnenolone supplementation may worsen prostate cancer:

  • Janet

    Karen, I’ve been taking pregnenolone for a couple of years for menopausal symptoms. The optimal dose for me is 25 mg morning and evening (I use Superior Source sublingual and break the tablet in half). We check hormones to be sure everything is balanced and they look great. I have gotten really sick from bioidentical estrogen and progesterone (I have a type of porphyria that they aggravate) but have never reacted to the pregnenolone.

    I recently dropped my dose in half and immediately began having hot flashes again and inflammation went up. As long as your hormones are testing in normal range on it I don’t see a reason to take breaks, but if you’re taking too much it could suppress natural production through feedback mechanisms.

  • chris

    YOu may have to increase your dosage considerably.
    But tell your doctor first. Heshe may tell no, or if you
    are going to increase it….how much to increase it by

  • Bernard

    You can buy it on Amazon.

  • Jen

    My doctor put me on this medication because my levels were very low, back in january, i took it for a month but unfortunately i no longer have insurance, so i never refilled. Ive been experiencingn a lot of fatigue, ive been feeling really tired and its so difficult to get out of bed lately. Could that do anything to do with my levels? And can i just get the medictation otc and continue taking it?

  • richard Lane


  • Carlie

    I also take NAD+ 250 mg (2 a day) and it increases learning, memory, mental ability, energy and sex drive. Try it and see if it works for you too.

  • spudchick

    I started taking this a little over 3 weeks ago and am getting a lot of relief from it. I’m 51, female, PTSD for many years, prone to adrenal exhaustion. Lifetime joint problems, arthritic joints since I was in my 20s, have never healed well/bounced back, had cataracts very early (late 40s). Since the adrenals provide pregnenolone when the gonads stop, and my adrenals are apparently shot (common for PTSD) I started going downhill very, very quickly with menopause–unable to exercise, poor sleep, felt like I was dying quickly. Started with 10mg in the AM, then added another to PM with sleep aids and extra D3. Benefits increased immediately and I have been sleeping much better/restoratively.

    I have taken 7-keto (DHEA metabolite) for years and always miss it when I don’t take it, but not since I’ve been on pregnenolone, which is a precursor to DHEA. Interesting that you mention addiction/acohol preference with pregnenolone because I noticed reduced desire for alcohol when I commenced 7-keto and I’ve seen others mention it too. With this more versatile solution, it feels like the gears are finally engaging again, if that makes sense; that all the little chemical interactions that are supposed to happen to convert food to energy and initiate cell turnover and heal injuries are slowly picking up speed. For several years now when I bruise it languishes for months, so I’m wondering how quickly the next bruise clears out. And I’m hoping the accelerated arthritic damage to my joints over the last two years might even reverse a little. And yes, the fog and memory issues that go with PTSD and menopause are abating.

    I’m on an ever-changing self-hack regimen (since medical docs aren’t much use until things get bad enough for surgery). I’ve gotten by far the most relief from experimenting and reading. Great site, anxious to try 23andMe and see what shakes out.

  • Karen

    I have heard it is a good idea to take a break from Pregnenolone. Has anyone else heard or read about this and know the reason for it? How long of a break should it be?

  • AnitaTaco

    How are you doing now that you’ve been using it for a couple months? Still doing well,or even better, I hope? Did it bring back your sex drive at all?

  • Maciej

    how much Pregnenolone do u take?

  • Terri Register

    I like your comments and observations. Sage advice!

  • craig tann

    I must just say, ever sense I had a accident a few years ago when I had unfortunately feel of a roof and smashed my head onto concrete I haven’t felt the same since. I’ve had constant horrific brain fog, zero memory, constant fatigue, zero sex drive at the age of 20, clinical depression and mid numbing de personality, no matter how many times I’ve gone to the doctors they keep saying well we can’t find anything wrong with you.. so oviously I’ve swerved into the direction of helping my self as I couldn’t handle this anymore, and then I read on this article about pregnenolone, and magnesium, so I thought I would give it a try and it’s only been 1 week and literally my brain fogs complete gone I can actually have a conversation with out completely blanking out, my energy levels are coming back I feel so good compared to before, fingers crossed

  • Max Mohr

    Great article.

  • Olav

    Very interesting, Pregnenolone seems to mainly convert to progesterone according to this human trial, increases in estradiol, dhea and testosterone seem minimal, estrone wasn’t tested:
    “Treatment with pregnenolone resulted in fourfold elevations in serum levels of pregnenolone (paired t-test p=0.017, t=3.11, df=7), tripled serum pregnenolone sulfate levels (paired t-test p<0.0001, t=10.44, df=8), and increased the GABAergic neurosteroid allopregnanolone fivefold (paired t-test p=0.009, t=3.59, df=7) (Table 6). Pregnenolone administration also increased serum progesterone over fourfold and DHEAS levels by approximately 16% (Table 6). Treatment with pregnenolone did not increase serum testosterone, free testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, estradiol, or androstenedione levels (Table 6)."
    NB: High doses (500mg/day for last 4 weeks of trial)

  • Thomas

    You recommend taking it after exercising (so it does not spike cortisol) which is very reasonable. Taking pregnenolone before exercise would blunt its positive effect with cortisol. You also recommend taking it with resveratrol for its antiestrogenic properties, which is also very reasonable.
    However resveratrol inhibits mtor and has antioxidant properties (not good for both strength training and aerobic exercise) and has been shown to blunt aerobic exercise adaptation (source).
    You mention you take resveratrol upon awakening,
    (1) wouldnt it be better to take it together with pregnenolone so that it doesnt blunt exercise benefits?
    (2)Doesn’t it take time for pregnenlone to convert to estradiol (preg->andro/proges->dhea->test->estradiol). Which makes it better to take resveratrol later together with pregnenolone?
    (3) Does taking resveratrol after exercise blunt or completely inhibit its anti-adaptive properties?

  • Tammy

    Two questions will it help with psoriatic Arthritis and I’ve been losing my hair ,will this make it worse ?

  • Pat

    Whisper, thanks for your reply. We are of the same age and problems, so your story helped me decide to try the supplement. I wanted you to know the difference between thyroid and TSH though. TSH is thyroid stimulating hormone. When TSH is high it means your body is trying overly hard to produce enough thyroid, possibly without results. Taking thyroid medications will hopefully increase your T3 thyroid level and decrease your TSH level.

  • dean

    I have read that it can cause hair loss however it’s not listed in here so is this only in very high doses.

  • farzaneh

    I have fibrocyctic breast and I am 39,I was wondering if I want to take prognenolone,my breast cycts increase or maybe I willbe under risk of cancer with taking the way I suffer from pms for ages.

  • Whisper

    Is Pregnenlone hard on the liver? And do pregnenlone that dissolve under your tongue “Work Best”. I have heard they might absorb faster. I take Pure Formula, started with 5 mg. Then went to 10 mg.
    I have sipuffered Low Adrenals almist all my life off and on. Stress has been a huge factor…I am a type A personally and care deeply about everything and everyone. I am getting better just try to relax more. My Thyroid Levels TSH was far to high near 10.00 with the understanding I needed more Thyroid small amount. The issue was Uterus Polyps …Estrogen was to high and I am past menopause. Not a good thing! Thankfully Polyps all gone Estrogen dropped faitprly swift…it did effect my Adrenals being to high in Estrogen now lower as my TSH is Much better , same dose of Thyroid meds now. I started Pregnenlone, made a huge difference for me at 10 mg. I might drop it to 5 mg. Most times I sleep 5 or 6 hours, I do feel rested. Sometimes maybe once a week or do I take a 2 hour nap. Best sleep ever. I think the Progesterone is helping, I have no doubts, but think taking a lower dose it needed. I will lower and see if I will sleep longer at night times. I might be taking the Pregnenlone to late in evening also. Also are the Rub in Creams good or drops? Dr. Ray Peat makes Progesterone in drops… with pure Vitamin E. Safest drops I ever used years ago. 3 drops is all you need daily. I spoke with him years ago, extremely kind gentleman…he told me my Thyroid was not working well he was right took a long time to find that out. I like reading intelligent conversations, but am careful to use my own judgement and not believe everything I read. We have to remain wise. Wisdom is imperative and of great importance. Thanks for sharing each of you and Joe I read your page daily your extremely knowledgeable. Thank you for everything you share. You have a Gift! A huge blessing…sorry if and misspelling, my iPad loves to spell for me. Likes adding A to my messages. *:-)

  • Gilbert

    The flow chart diagram illustrating the pregnenolone conversion to cortisol is very instructive but very misleading. It shows all the steps going in only one direction. Reality is that most of the reaction can and do go both ways. For example,

  • Karen

    Thanks Kelly the reason why I am taking it is to help lower cortisol. For some reason when I bumped up to 30mg my period was very late. I stopped taking it and what do you know a few hours later my period came on. Naturopathic doc had me lower to 20mg for the time being. I do have adrenal fatigue. Appreciate your reply! I’ve taken 30 mg previously but never had cycle issues. I guess the pregnenolone is doing its job?

  • Kelly

    Sounds like the pregnenolone was lowering cortisol, so when you stopped taking it, your body started producing more cortisol. I’d suggest doing a saliva cortisol rhythm test so you know for sure if you have adrenal fatigue.

  • Karen F

    I worked my way up to 30mg/day of Pregnenolone and now I’m 33 days late for my period. No chance of pregnancy. Do I need to lower my dose in order to get a regular cycle again? This didn’t happen the last time I took it, not sure why it’s happening now. Any advice is appreciated!

  • Jeneba

    Please read the work of Dr. Rachel Yehuda. PTSD lowers cortisol levels.

  • Michael (NW)

    Hi, I was taking 10mg of Pregnenolone for some time for adrenal fatigue. 5mg in the morning and 5mg in the evening. I’ve been feeling much better, sleeping better, no stress, etc…. So, I recently decided to stop taking it, and a couple of days after I started having insomnia. I don’t feel sleepy any more. I just lay there alert although my mind and body are exhausted. Is this a symptom of discontinuing Pregnenolone?

  • John

    Wanting to use pregnenolone for its mental benefits that I have read on the net, but I dont want to mess with my fertility (after all pregnenolone is a pro-hormone from what I understand??).

    Could not find anything on the internet about it, theoratically it could be supressive of the endocrine system.

    What would be a good dose to start with

  • Claire

    Is this recommended for someone with c-ptsd? Cortisol levels are higher with this and although the benefits of mood stabilizers and lowering anxiety and deep sleep sound amazing, I’m checking whether it would cause more harm than good with this disorder?

  • Kelly Ward

    Joe, would DIM be a good AI as well? Thanks!

  • Pat

    Ditto to your experience…after bioidenticals in my late forties dosing 100mgs of pregnenolone…it is been consistently in my life….I am 66 and definitely feel the old age after my week ” break” every two months…it is miraculous in memory, mood and reducing arthritic pain…which comes on gang busters when I am off it…I take it in the morning, empty stomach…and I use Allergy Research micronized brand.

  • Bruce

    Your T is very high in my book, but if you like it so, perhaps you might respond differently to preg than others described here because of it. Sleep is extremely complex and can be effected even by your elevated expectations for the effects of preg, so be patient with your trial. In my personal experience, 5-15mg preg will never render you permanently insomniac, so relax, stop your trial for a while until your sleep returns to normal. The placebo effect on trials such as yours can be huge, so I’d suggest before trying any new supplement that’s supposed to create a noticeable effect (i.e., not taken on faith like a multiple vitamin that isn’t supposed to be noticeable) that you program your mind to be utterly neutral, doubting the very effects which prompted you to trial it in the first place. Only then will you likely be close to perceiving your body’s or mind’s response. This is good policy as individual response differences to supplements can be huge.

  • Bruce

    I used preg-10mg at night before bed with great success for years from, one of the first advanced research based supplement suppliers. Then, after joining LEF.ORG, switched to their 100mg version with similar success and deepening of sleep for years. Then, after taking their male hormone blood test and speaking with their august doctor phone consultant experimented with larger amounts, as much as 200 or 300mg. In just a short time I became somnolent sensitized to preg, like I’ve always been with melatonin and had to stop taking it completely. After about 5 years I’ve come back to it carefully but find it’s very tricky to find a sustainable dose that’s both effective and doesn’t build up over a few days into an overdose and somnolence. There are a couple lessons here (don’t trust doctors:) first listen carefully to your body and experiment slowly with both dose and timing. Stay at a dose that works for you rather than dose for a blood test result. Third, don’t accept overly broad statements viven both here and over the web. This supplement obviously has very complex interactions that haven’t been captured by science nor in general practice but can be very effective for a number of reasons. You will find Sahiel’s idiosyncratic conclusions based mostly on self observations repeated all over the internet claiming that even 10mg preg could be dangerous. And then you find doctors on the advice lines at Life Extension Foundation unleashing hundreds of mg dosages onto members. It’s the Wild West of nutrition science, but the rewards can be worth the risk.

  • Christian

    So have a question. I’m 41 (technically) and have self-hacked for many years and am pretty darn healthy actually. Recently have been reading Lessons from the Miracle Doctors and your site and the one thing I started to try was the Pregnenolone…started at 5gm, then 10, then 15mg…after three days really didn’t feel much different but my sleep SUCKED. So I brought it back down to 5mg…and my sleep still stinks (which it never has before) and I’m exhausted during the day and my head is “heavy” and tired. So I read your portion about how it affected your sleep but seeing all the benefits this offers, what am I missing or not doing correctly? I take it in the morning on an empty stomach and to be clear for years I have also been on the Sotto pellet therapy for low T that started about five years ago so my current T is about 800. My energy levels during the day are usually pretty darn good, I don’t do caffeine as my genetics do not tolerate it, eat really good, and workout almost every day…except for the last three actually while taking the preg.

    Any thoughts or advice?

  • Chris

    This may help, in regards to your age and dosage and other things you might want to consider

  • Karen F

    If stress increases pregnenolone and I suffer from anxiety/panic disorder, wouldn’t I have plenty of it already??

  • Samson

    Nevermind Felicia. I don’t who or what you’re referring to. I thought you were referring to the SelfHacked author. The format of this thread is confusing.

  • Felicia L. Jones

    Do you notice the difference when you take turmeric, CoQ10, multi-vitamins? Probably not, as they are taken as a profilactical, not a cure. Is it imperative that you be snotty and arrogant? Am thinking that your intelligence is not as superior as you think it is nor is your soul in good shape. Small, withered and blackened I am assuming. Cheers!

  • Demetra J Mills

    I like LifePro topic pregnenolone with liver bypass.

  • Walter J Crook

    She said, “Maybe it is working.” She is open-minded and willing to consider various possibilities. You immediately come to the conclusion, “They just want to be nice,” without any evidence whatsoever to back up your claim. You are a closed-minded, arrogant, conceited idiot. And, btw, people are allowed to do what they want without your approval, something you are probably not able to comprehend.

  • putting "putting people in their place", in his place

    Turnerschick didn’t say she didn’t notice ANYTHING, just not cognitive improvements or bursts of energy. She could be getting any number of benefits from less stress to reduction of schizophrenia symptoms. Maybe you should try it and see if it improves your reading comprehension

  • Tim

    hi i was wondering, is there a specific form people take to notice a difference as i recall, orally its not very bioavailable if any at all.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Yes Joe uses one from Pure Encapsulations and Biomatrix (links in the article). The one from Biomatrix you can put the drops under your tongue or just rub it in through your skin. I put it under my tongue.

  • turnerschick

    Been taking it for 5 years. No cognitive improvements or bursts of energy to speak of. However, people guess my age range to be late thirties and I’m 60 this year, so maybe it is working.

    1. putting people in their place

      they just wanna be nice. dont know why you been taking something for 5 years and you havent even noticed anything . stupid and waste of money if you ask me.

  • Gretchen Grieser

    Joe – I am a 51 year old female. I recently had my labs done. After reading your article I looked at my results. My Pregnenolone level is 9 ng/dL. My doctor gave me a bottle of 10 mg Pregnenolone tablets to take and said, “follow the instructions on the bottle”. The suggested use is 1 or more tablets a day as directed by your health care professional. I have been taken one tablet a day for a couple weeks but have not noticed any type of change. Any thoughts?

  • peter aris

    increased my libido through increasing my testosterone and went as high as 50mg per day but had to lower as affected my take 12 1/2mg 3 times per week,much better

    1. Ken

      Agree totally

  • Isa

    Hi joe
    I have been taking pregnenolone for 24 years
    First recommended by a life extension employee
    I was 46 years old and having menopause symptoms . I started with 50mg and in the last five years I increased it to 100 mg
    I find that the 50 mg tablets by life extension are better for me then the 100mg. So I take 2 of the 50 mg
    Next week I will turn 70 years and I feel great
    I have tried to quit a few times to make sure it’s not psychological, and after 3 weeks I start noticing the lack of it.
    Old age starts creeping on me. I’m slower, more fatigued lacking energy
    I start again and I feel like 40 again
    This is my honest experience ! Not many people not even doctors know about pregnenolone!!
    I must note that the brain alertness is incredible
    I need it! I run two businesses and trade the stock market.
    Best of luck to all. It’s the first time I have the opportunity to share my experience with pregnenolone


    1. Maureen

      Wow! That’s really amazing! I just recently started supplementing with Pregnenolone and take 10 mg in the morning when I get up. Do you recommend I supplement it with Resveratrol?

  • michelle frankie

    for me im still completely confused on this one..I for one have too high cortisol which u dont want and consequently when I take this supplement i feel really really bitchy like is that spiking cortisol ive been told i need adrenal support n all i knew were this and dhea…but actually im freagin luving this Relora ..and a tiny bit of dhea…I think I need to niix the preg even though it sounds good..i never feel anything good

  • Paul Smith

    Hi Joe,

    Firstly good article I’m also a fan of Pregnenolone.

    As you mention “you need to find the right dosage.”
    I wonder what if any dosages you recommend.

    I currently have 30mg every other day. Is that about right as I have not been taking it for long so my levels are already probably too low. Once your levels are higher do you generally stick with 10mg?



    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It depends on too many factors to recommend a dosage. It needs selfhacking.

  • dollartlover

    Is taking progesterone as good as taking pregnenolone for fibrocystic breasts?

  • Santino

    I guess you are confusing something. The pregnenolone steal means that it is converted into progesterone to make cortisol. So there is not enough left to make DHEA.

  • Don

    i cant believe it was not mentioned that pregnenolone is not bioactive orally. it has a lot of research showing this but yet it is completely absent in this article.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Reference? Something is causing similar benefits as is mentioned when ingested.

      What about sublingual?

  • Dimoff

    Each time I take pregnenolone (And I’ve taken it hundreds of times) I can feel my liver afterwards. Similar to testosterone feeling.
    Plus, is my hair going to fall out from it in case I have the rest of the balding genes? Probably yes.

  • Santino

    Hello Joseph,

    thanks for that article.

    I wonder why you think it is negative if pregnenolone get converted to cortisol. You know that cortisol is a very important hormone (you wrote yourself in another post).

    If your body takes the pregnenolone to make cortisol, he does it for a reason (for example because of a stress response). And I don’t see any negative point here.

    Actually, people often get sick because at some point, their adrenals are no longer able to give a strong enough cortisol response. Yes, high cortisol is associated with a lot of negative things (depression, impaired memory etc. etc.) However correlation is not causation and imagine you had the same stress but low cortisol levels. You more likely would get pretty sick (inflammatory diseases, fatigue, exhaustion).

    So I don’t feel there is a reason to worry that the body makes too much cortisol out of it. The body will make what he needs the most, and if that is cortisol, that other environmental factors should be changed (for example lowering stress).

    Also I don´t think that cortisol impairs immunity (only excess would do so). In fact if you have too low cortisol, your immunity is impaired. Dr. Jeffries had a lot of experience with patients and cortisol replacement and wrote the book “safe uses of cortisol”. His observation was that physiologic doses of cortisol increase the peoples ability to overcome infections.

    So why do you think that it bad if the body takes the extra pregnenolone to make cortisol?

    Another question I have for you, which would be cool to have a review about it progesterone.

    I think that progesterone can have many of the positive effects of pregnenolone and is an underestimated hormone in males. The body also can make cortisol if he needs it and the body also could make testosterone. It seems to help to balance the oestrogen/estradiol ratio and promotes an anti-inflammatory TH2-profile.
    It doesn’t have the possible negative side effects of pregnenolone (anxiety, irritability etc.). The only disadvantage for me would be that the body could not make DHEA (which could be supplemented as well, again without causing anxiety like pregnenolone does for many).

    What you think about hacking the system with progesterone in patients that have too low cortisol or have TH1 dominant inflammatory diseases?

    1. Anthony

      100% agree with you on cortisol! I have seen the MOST profound improvements with my clients on physiologic use of hydrocortisone. Faster healing, better glucose metabolism and skyrocketing energy and sense of well being!

  • Dylan Monahan

    I wonder if, in cases where memory appears to be negatively affected, if its potential GABA modulation is in play: I mean excessive neural inhibition could negatively impact on perception. On the other hand, a person who is for whatever reason, GABAergically dysfunctional, would likely become more capable of concentrating percepatory efforts, leading to results indiciative of improved memory. Or I might be parading my ignorance 😀

  • Tony Llabres

    Never been hot on the STEAL issue. Looks to me that once converted to DHEA, the preference is to STEAL (if I must use that word) from DHEA. Most men I see have tanked DHEA levels from a stress response the body cannot manage anymore. Very interesting topic and it dovetails into LOW T.

  • Tania L

    What time of day should pregnenolone be taking and is it best taken with food or on an empty stomach?

    Interesting article. It seems odd that it appears to both help and impair memory. What’s up with that?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Morning, empty stomach.

      Ya, I don’t know.

  • MachineGhost

    I think you’re missing the biggest negative of all: the Pregnenolone Steal.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Pregnenolone steal is incorporated by the idea that it can get converted to cortisol.

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