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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pregnenolone and Equilibrium

Pregnenolone contributes to mental well-being in a number of ways, including boosting mood and enhancing memory. According to Ray Sahelian, M.D., "Some people find pregnenolone improves energy, vision, memory, clarity of thinking, wellbeing, and often sexual enjoyment or libido." But to date no published research has discussed, to our knowledge, another intriguing aspect of this hormone. When administered sublingually, pregnenolone also improves equilibrium. A small unpublished study found that subway riders who normally needed to hold handrails and straps 90 percent of the time while riding home only needed to hold on 3 percent of the time after ingesting 10 to 20 mg. of pregnenolone within the thirty minutes of their ride. The cause of this increased sense of balance is not known. Researchers speculate that pregnenolone, which is known to "enhance . . . NMDA receptor function" and "lower . . . excessive GABA activity," (Pregnenolone and Mental Function, accessed July 13, 2008) might somehow operate on the inner ear mechanism that is involved in equilibrium. Another possibility is that pregnenolone may enhance the functioning of the cerebellum, an area of the brain that processes information used for balance and which is one of the first areas impaired by alcohol consumption. A combination of these reasons might explain how pregnenolone improves equilibrium.

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