Pregnenolone is a steroid precursor produced in the human adrenal gland and in the human brain. It is sometimes called the “brain steroid,” since the brain contains higher concentrations than other organs or the blood. It is produced in the desired amounts only if a person’s body has adequate amounts of cholesterol, vitamin A, thyroid hormone, and enzymes. If these levels are insufficient, a low supply of pregnenolone will result.
In a healthy person, the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone occurs inside the mitochondria. Once produced, pregnenolone leaves the mitochondria, and does not inhibit its own synthesis. In fact, both progesterone and pregnenolone stimulate their own synthesis, therefore additional doses do not suppress the body’s ability to synthesize them. In the cell’s cytoplasm, enzymes convert pregnenolone into either progesterone or DHEA, depending on the type of cell and the present need.
Orally, 7-keto-DHEA is used to increase metabolism and thermogenesis to promote weight loss, to improve lean body mass and build muscle, to increase activity of the thyroid gland and immune system, to boost memory, and to reduce aging.
There is preliminary evidence that 7-keto-DHEA might significantly decrease body weight and fat composition in obese females. More evidence is needed to rate 7-keto-DHEA for this use.
7-keto-DHEA is a metabolite of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) which is formed in the body. Unlike DHEA, 7-keto-DHEA is not converted to androgens and estrogens.
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