Pregnenolone and Cortisol

Q I've read that taking Pregnenolone (PREG) can raise cortisol levels. Should I be concerned about this? How about body builders?

A What little evidence there is suggests that PREG has only a very slight effect on cortisol levels. In a placental study PREG increased the production of DHEA while it slightly impaired ACTH-stimulated aldosterone production, but no effect on cortisol production was found.1

Regarding body builders: they should not be concerned about negative consequences unless they are taking large amounts of PREG, which is not currently recommended. As with DHEA there is nothing in the literature justifying the large-scale usage of PREG.

  1. Fujieda K, Faiman C, Feyes FI, Winter JSD. The control of steroidogenesis by human fetal adrenal cells in tissue culture. IV. The effects of exposure to placental steroids. J Clin Endocrinol. Metab1982;54:89-94.

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