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What is Pregnenolone and How does Stress Affect It?

What is Pregnenolone and How does Stress Affect It?

Pregnenolone Enhances memory by Increasing a brain chemical called Acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter that helps brain cells communicate with each other and is the neurotransmitter that helps you to think quickly on your feet, concentrate and focus.  In fact, Alzheimer’s medications, such as Aricept® work by increasing acetylcholine in the brain.

French researchers discovered that infusing Pregnenolone into the brains of rats boosted acetylcholine release by 50% and improved the rats’ ability to recognize their environment.  So we attribute memory changes to changes in Pregnenolone.

Pregnenolone also helps regulate the neurotransmitter - GABA.  GABA is our calming neurotransmitter which is commonly deficient during menopause.

So Pregnenolone is vital for increasing both neurotransmitters:  our GABA for relaxation and Acetylcholine for focus and memory.

And by balancing these neurotransmitters, Pregnenolone improves our mental endurance.

And, it also improves our physical endurance by being the precursor to our sex hormone.

Pregnenolone reduces pain and inflammation of arthritis by way of supporting the Adrenal glands and the production of cortisol.  This is also how it helps in all stress related diseases.  Being at the top of the chain of hormone production, it plays a vital role in all down line functions, including the production of cortisol by way of Progesterone.

And of interest, Women actually need slightly higher pregnenolone levels than men!  It must be all that multi-tasking we do! 

And as with the other sex hormones, our safe and most effective and optimal levels for immune and sex function are when they are kept at normal 35 year old levels.

There is just one last thing you really need to know so heads up on this one.  There is something call Pregnenolone Steal that occurs when you are under chronic stress.  Pregnenolone Steal is when pregnenolone is diverted to down the cascade path to make progesterone and then cortisol, bypassing the production of the other sex hormones, DHEA, Testosterone and the Estrogens.

And as this occurs, the other sex hormone levels go down.

When you are under a lot of stress for a prolonged period of time, Pregnenolone is going to make more and more cortisol, ignoring its other pathway where it is supposed to also make DHEA Testosterone and the estrogens.

There are some pretty drastic things that happen to your body when this happens and continues to go on for an extended period of time.

When you are under chronic stress all three of these systems, the nervous system, immune system and hormonal system become compromised.

Your immune system has difficulty fighting infections, inflammation, pain and allergies and even protecting you from cancer.  Your endocrine system is effected and your hormones become imbalanced, and that includes your thyroid hormones, your adrenal hormones and your sex hormones.  And your nervous system is effected and you may experience anxiety depression and insomnia and other annoying symptoms that just don’t really represent who you are at your core.  Right?

So it just so happens that in midlife, most women are experiencing more stress in their lives than ever, at the same time they are making only 50% of the pregnenolone they made when they were 35 years old.

Questions? Ask away! info@drkarenleggett.com

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