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There are both good and bad pregnenolone side effects. Side effects include increased libido, greater clarity, increased brain function, and better memory. Others include heart palpitations, irritability, night sweats, anger, and insomnia. These can range from mild to severe, depending on the dosage.
Very few studies have been conducted on the use of pregnenolone, so its side effects have not been well documented in many cases. One reason for this is that it's a naturally occurring hormone and steroid. This means that it cannot be patented like a drug or altered hormone, and therefore does not offer the same monetary benefits to drug companies. Pregnenolone is available in supplement form, however, and has been noted to cause both good and bad effects.
Positive effects of the hormone can include increased sex drive for both men and women. This is primarily important for middle-aged individuals during menopause or in the later years, when men are most likely to struggle with sexual dysfunction. It is thought that higher libido is caused by an increase in testosterone initiated by the pregnenolone. This may also the be cause of other positive effects, such as increased memory and brain function.
Unfortunately, there are also a number of negative side effects that can be dangerous or even life-threatening in some individuals. These can include insomnia, anger and irritability, acne, headaches, hair loss, heart irregularities and palpitations, and possible effects on the thyroid gland and other organs. This hormone can also be converted by the body into testosterone and progesterone, both of which could have effects on the reproductive system if taken for extended periods of time.
Some of these side effects, such as hair loss and headaches, occur only with extended or excessive use. Others, like heart irregularities, can occur on even a very low dose. For this reason, those with heart conditions and the elderly should not take pregnenolone unless directed by a medical professional. Safer methods of addressing hormonal imbalances, decreased libido, and impaired memory are available. Those with thyroid disorders or a family history of such disorders should discuss the use of pregnenolone with a healthcare professional.