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Author Topic: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?  (Read 28072 times)

theturducken

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2015, 06:45:19 pm »
I used to be a big preg/dhea guy.  I have tried Crisler's TD preg, also gone with sublingual and straight up oral preg from Vitacost.  The theory is great, and I can definitely attest to all forms of Preg and Dhea having an effect of some sort. 

However, the crapshoot that comes with supping a hormone so high up as preg can have very confusing ramifications and I believe a lot of guys start on these when they are also starting TRT, thyroid, and vitamins etc; this is a problem.

For instance, I have low cortisol and adding Preg boosted my Prog and my cortisol, which gave me warmer hands, a clearer mindset, and warmer temps.  Then the Preg started raising dhea which raised e1 (not e2 for some reason).  I would have increasing ED and other issues.  The problem was that I didn't know what the reason was...was it my preg going to prog lowering dht?  Was it preg going to e1?  Was it elevated prog lowering my e2?  Was the increase of thyroid hormones upping shbg?  SO MANY FREAKIN POSSIBILITIES!!!!!

All ridiculousness aside, when starting out, I wish I had kept it simple.  Thyroid and HC first, see if hc helps, get your dosages right.  Add TRT, just T, not HCG, wait a few months, see e2.  Then maaaybe address these other areas. 

This way you have a simple, adjustable baseline of health to start from and then can easier pinpoint the cause of any issues.  We aren't the "norm" when it comes to how our bodies work and utilize hormones and nutrients.  So to say "you're low in preg, take preg" is a bit of an oversimplification, especially considering how many other hormones it can convert to, and how that conversion can be different in each of us.

Great post!

Did you ever try just supplementing with progesterone so you would have one set less of hormones to consider as you did with pregnenolone?

This is a good point which i was going to discuss.  Progesterone gets a bad rep from a lot of the men's online forums and docs.  It is viewed as "feminizing".  I don't really buy that; however, I DO buy that it can strongly appose DHT and this can cause a decrease in "man mojo" in some guys. 

I have tried a trial of it, it for sure converts to cortisol and has less of the mystery issues as preg since it is further down the line.  I may stop my small dose of HC at some point and try prog again.  I'm still seeing if the gels and dht boost keep my libido going strong vs the shots.  Once I level out on that and my Naturethroid, and see my e2.  I may look to prog again. 


You are right though, it has less chance of going to everything that preg does.  It also lacks the same neurosteroid benefits of preg also.  For me preg=focus, drive and prog=calm, almost sleepy. 
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Kierkegaard

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2015, 06:50:22 pm »
I used to be a big preg/dhea guy.  I have tried Crisler's TD preg, also gone with sublingual and straight up oral preg from Vitacost.  The theory is great, and I can definitely attest to all forms of Preg and Dhea having an effect of some sort. 

However, the crapshoot that comes with supping a hormone so high up as preg can have very confusing ramifications and I believe a lot of guys start on these when they are also starting TRT, thyroid, and vitamins etc; this is a problem.

For instance, I have low cortisol and adding Preg boosted my Prog and my cortisol, which gave me warmer hands, a clearer mindset, and warmer temps.  Then the Preg started raising dhea which raised e1 (not e2 for some reason).  I would have increasing ED and other issues.  The problem was that I didn't know what the reason was...was it my preg going to prog lowering dht?  Was it preg going to e1?  Was it elevated prog lowering my e2?  Was the increase of thyroid hormones upping shbg?  SO MANY FREAKIN POSSIBILITIES!!!!!

All ridiculousness aside, when starting out, I wish I had kept it simple.  Thyroid and HC first, see if hc helps, get your dosages right.  Add TRT, just T, not HCG, wait a few months, see e2.  Then maaaybe address these other areas. 

This way you have a simple, adjustable baseline of health to start from and then can easier pinpoint the cause of any issues.  We aren't the "norm" when it comes to how our bodies work and utilize hormones and nutrients.  So to say "you're low in preg, take preg" is a bit of an oversimplification, especially considering how many other hormones it can convert to, and how that conversion can be different in each of us.

Great post!

Did you ever try just supplementing with progesterone so you would have one set less of hormones to consider as you did with pregnenolone?

This is a good point which i was going to discuss.  Progesterone gets a bad rep from a lot of the men's online forums and docs.  It is viewed as "feminizing".  I don't really buy that; however, I DO buy that it can strongly appose DHT and this can cause a decrease in "man mojo" in some guys. 

I have tried a trial of it, it for sure converts to cortisol and has less of the mystery issues as preg since it is further down the line.  I may stop my small dose of HC at some point and try prog again.  I'm still seeing if the gels and dht boost keep my libido going strong vs the shots.  Once I level out on that and my Naturethroid, and see my e2.  I may look to prog again. 


You are right though, it has less chance of going to everything that preg does.  It also lacks the same neurosteroid benefits of preg also.  For me preg=focus, drive and prog=calm, almost sleepy.

That's what I've heard too.  Part of this is progesterone converts to allopregnenolone, i.e., the brain's valium.  However, part of it might be that some or most of the cortisol is staying in serum and not getting dumped into your body like it should (this is chilln's theory).  So increase in progesterone --> increase in cortisol BUT it stays in serum and doesn't do anything --> body registers higher cortisol (because it's in serum) --> lower ACTH --> lower adrenal hormones = sleepy. 
"The same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end." -- Neil Young

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2015, 06:50:22 pm »


Kierkegaard

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2015, 06:51:35 pm »
I sometimes wonder if, since the point we're often trying to get to with preg/prog supplementation is increased cortisol, it would be better just to supplement with non-hormone supplements, such as licorice, to increase cortisol a few hours at a time. 
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Deaglan

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2015, 07:17:14 pm »
There are many guys who use HCG alongside their TRT and receive fantastic benefits; and there are others who do TRT solo. My question is how would TRT with DHEA/pregnenolone compare to doing TRT with HCG? I want to backfill the pathways that have been suppressed from TRT; however my doc isn't definite about adding HCG alongside my TRT, just yet.

Definitely worth a shot!  As you probably know, exogenous testosterone shuts down the P450scc enzyme which converts cholesterol to pregnenolone.  Consequently, very insightful docs are down with supplementing pregnenolone to (as you say) backfill the lowered preg from exogenous T.  Some guys even supplement with both preg and progesterone, presumably because you can only do so much with supplementation and therefore a limited (but significant) amount of preg will convert to DHEA and progesterone (which will eventually convert to cortisol).  To me, the most important benefit with going HCG plus T is keeping your cortisol up to snuff; however, there are also inherent advantages to preg, progesterone, and DHEA, such as preg's ability to help cognition.

What's the difference between backfilling and HCG?  The latter keeps the P450scc enzyme afloat, yielding a more organic functioning of the pregnenolone line rather than the artificial supplementation.  HCG keeps the enzyme afloat through LH, which also means you'll get a double whammy of normally functioning preg as well as fertility.  If that's important to you.

Some guys even take HCG while supplementing with preg, because as we age our leydig cells die, so HCG loses its effect, causing less of the activation of the P450scc enzyme. 

If you supplement, go with sublingual or transdermal preg or progesterone, because with oral supplements your liver kills a lot of the bioavailability.

Very good info Kierkegaard! Thank you!  So, because of the HPTA suppression from exogenous T, would this limit supplemental DHEA/pregnenolone from converting to their metabolites like 4-dione, progesterone, and cortisol via lack of their enzymes or in the abscence of LH?

That's the theory!  And one that Crisler et al. ascribe to.  But like with Peak, it's hard to find solid evidence for it.

Ok, I'm confused. Are you saying that supplemental DHEA and pregnenolone without HCG  have the ability to convert to their metabolites; or are you saying that without HCG  the supplements can't convert to their metabolites?

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2015, 07:17:14 pm »


Kierkegaard

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2015, 07:30:04 pm »
There are many guys who use HCG alongside their TRT and receive fantastic benefits; and there are others who do TRT solo. My question is how would TRT with DHEA/pregnenolone compare to doing TRT with HCG? I want to backfill the pathways that have been suppressed from TRT; however my doc isn't definite about adding HCG alongside my TRT, just yet.

Definitely worth a shot!  As you probably know, exogenous testosterone shuts down the P450scc enzyme which converts cholesterol to pregnenolone.  Consequently, very insightful docs are down with supplementing pregnenolone to (as you say) backfill the lowered preg from exogenous T.  Some guys even supplement with both preg and progesterone, presumably because you can only do so much with supplementation and therefore a limited (but significant) amount of preg will convert to DHEA and progesterone (which will eventually convert to cortisol).  To me, the most important benefit with going HCG plus T is keeping your cortisol up to snuff; however, there are also inherent advantages to preg, progesterone, and DHEA, such as preg's ability to help cognition.

What's the difference between backfilling and HCG?  The latter keeps the P450scc enzyme afloat, yielding a more organic functioning of the pregnenolone line rather than the artificial supplementation.  HCG keeps the enzyme afloat through LH, which also means you'll get a double whammy of normally functioning preg as well as fertility.  If that's important to you.

Some guys even take HCG while supplementing with preg, because as we age our leydig cells die, so HCG loses its effect, causing less of the activation of the P450scc enzyme. 

If you supplement, go with sublingual or transdermal preg or progesterone, because with oral supplements your liver kills a lot of the bioavailability.

Very good info Kierkegaard! Thank you!  So, because of the HPTA suppression from exogenous T, would this limit supplemental DHEA/pregnenolone from converting to their metabolites like 4-dione, progesterone, and cortisol via lack of their enzymes or in the abscence of LH?

That's the theory!  And one that Crisler et al. ascribe to.  But like with Peak, it's hard to find solid evidence for it.

Ok, I'm confused. Are you saying that supplemental DHEA and pregnenolone without HCG  have the ability to convert to their metabolites; or are you saying that without HCG  the supplements can't convert to their metabolites?

Theoretically the former.  As I see it, HCG (because it restores P450scc through LH function) is the "real deal" whereas preg/prog/DHEA supplementation is the fake one, both of which would restore the pregnenolone line (but presumably HCG would be better at it since it's more "organic").
"The same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end." -- Neil Young

March 2014: Dx low T (158ng/dl)
September 2015: Dx hypothyroidism, other adrenal hypofunction
2016: chronic fatigue, unspecified

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Deaglan

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2015, 07:50:30 pm »
Hopefully I can supplement with these, and see better results. I have seen my memory, my sleep quality, my energy levels, and focus are suffering more since starting TRT. I'm certain it's from full HPTA shutdown, combined with not supplementing those pathways also.

Kierkegaard

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2015, 07:52:17 pm »
Hopefully I can supplement with these, and see better results. I have seen my memory, my sleep quality, my energy levels, and focus are suffering more since starting TRT. I'm certain it's from full HPTA shutdown, combined with not supplementing those pathways also.

Keep us updated with how it goes!

I'm planning on trying the same, IF HCG doesn't work.  Either way I'm planning on getting my progesterone level pulled, because that basically tells you how your pregnenolone is doing, unless you have the very small chance of having an enzyme/conversion problem between preg and prog. 
"The same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end." -- Neil Young

March 2014: Dx low T (158ng/dl)
September 2015: Dx hypothyroidism, other adrenal hypofunction
2016: chronic fatigue, unspecified

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Deaglan

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2015, 07:58:15 pm »
Hopefully I can supplement with these, and see better results. I have seen my memory, my sleep quality, my energy levels, and focus are suffering more since starting TRT. I'm certain it's from full HPTA shutdown, combined with not supplementing those pathways also.

Keep us updated with how it goes!

I'm planning on trying the same, IF HCG doesn't work.  Either way I'm planning on getting my progesterone level pulled, because that basically tells you how your pregnenolone is doing, unless you have the very small chance of having an enzyme/conversion problem between preg and prog.

Will do. I have some patches that contain both supps. It appears to be a decent ratio....DHEA-20mg, and pregnenolone-50mg.

Deaglan

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2015, 07:32:08 pm »
This is a little off the topic; but does anyone know about the interactions between pregnenolone and GABA? I've read that pregnenolone sulfate is an antagonist to GABA. I want to start supplementing with melatonin, GABA, and pregnenolone.

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2015, 08:05:01 pm »
This is a little off the topic; but does anyone know about the interactions between pregnenolone and GABA? I've read that pregnenolone sulfate is an antagonist to GABA. I want to start supplementing with melatonin, GABA, and pregnenolone.

Not sure about a GABA supplement but I know that benzodiazepines and pregnenolone have a slight interaction where the sedative effect of the benzo may be weakened.

But why are you planning to take a GABA supplement anyways? I don't think GABA can cross the blood brain barrier in order to exert anti-anxiety effects. Ive been wondering about how to increase GABA levels too but I don't really know of many supplements that do so. For serotonin there is 5-HTP and for dopamine/NE there is L-Dopa in mucuna pruriens but I haven't seen anything for GABA directly other than Chamomile Tea which is basically a mini benzo. 
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Deaglan

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2015, 08:24:48 pm »
I'm considering taking a transdermal preparation that has both melatonin, and GABA. I haven't done either before, so I'm not very knowledgeable about GABA, to be very honest.
My sleep quality has gotten much worse since starting TRT, and I'm sure it is related to cortisol levels being in the gutter. This is why I'm so curious about pregnenolone/DHEA, and melatonin/GABA. Do you think that using GABA transdermally would compensate for poor availabilty of it crossing the blood to brain barrier?

PeakT

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2015, 08:29:27 pm »
I'm considering taking a transdermal preparation that has both melatonin, and GABA. I haven't done either before, so I'm not very knowledgeable about GABA, to be very honest.
My sleep quality has gotten much worse since starting TRT, and I'm sure it is related to cortisol levels being in the gutter. This is why I'm so curious about pregnenolone/DHEA, and melatonin/GABA. Do you think that using GABA transdermally would compensate for poor availabilty of it crossing the blood to brain barrier?

Why would you put melatonin into a cream?  And when would you take it?
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Deaglan

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2015, 08:40:13 pm »
I'm considering taking a transdermal preparation that has both melatonin, and GABA. I haven't done either before, so I'm not very knowledgeable about GABA, to be very honest.
My sleep quality has gotten much worse since starting TRT, and I'm sure it is related to cortisol levels being in the gutter. This is why I'm so curious about pregnenolone/DHEA, and melatonin/GABA. Do you think that using GABA transdermally would compensate for poor availabilty of it crossing the blood to brain barrier?

Why would you put melatonin into a cream?  And when would you take it?

It's in a patch delivery, so it's likely a gel.  From what I understand taking it orally, would require at least 4 hours before it entered into the bloodstream, and transdermally would begin to work much sooner. I would take it an hour before bed.

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2015, 08:45:37 pm »
I'm considering taking a transdermal preparation that has both melatonin, and GABA. I haven't done either before, so I'm not very knowledgeable about GABA, to be very honest.
My sleep quality has gotten much worse since starting TRT, and I'm sure it is related to cortisol levels being in the gutter. This is why I'm so curious about pregnenolone/DHEA, and melatonin/GABA. Do you think that using GABA transdermally would compensate for poor availabilty of it crossing the blood to brain barrier?

Why would you put melatonin into a cream?  And when would you take it?

It's in a patch delivery, so it's likely a gel.  From what I understand taking it orally, would require at least 4 hours before it entered into the bloodstream, and transdermally would begin to work much sooner. I would take it an hour before bed.

Got it.  I've heard the opposite on the oral.  In fact, Life Extension Foundation makes a slow release form of melatonin just because of this.  If you take oral melatonin, you'll feel it hit you in about 15-30 minutes.
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOOK ON TRT/TESTOSTERONE:
https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Versus-Testosterone-Therapy-Myer/dp/1523210532/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499116128&sr=8-1&keywords=natural+versus+testosterone+therapy
And check out my New Peak Testosterone Program: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/peak_testosterone_program
If you are on medications or have a medical condition, always check with your doctor first before making any lifestyle changes or taking new supplements.  And low testosterone is a medical condition.

Deaglan

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2015, 08:55:25 pm »
This is good to know. I have never had problems sleeping until recently. I'll try the patches first, and then maybe look into the oral if I need more. The patches are dosed at 5mg.

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Re: DHEA / Pregnenolone vs HCG?
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2015, 08:55:25 pm »