Alpha-Pregnanediol and Beta-Pregnanediol are metabolites of progesterone, and they are used as surrogate markers because they are the most abundant metabolites. The ratio between these two metabolites can provide insights into the relative activity of specific steroidogenic enzymes or pathways involved in progesterone metabolism.
A high Alpha-Pregnanediol / Beta-Pregnanediol ratio may indicate an increased conversion of progesterone to 5α-pregnanediol (Alpha-Pregnanediol) compared to 5β-pregnanediol (Beta-Pregnanediol). This metabolic preference may be influenced by various factors, such as inflammation, insulin resistance, obesity, or other physiological conditions that affect the activity of the 5α-reductase enzyme.
Alpha-Pregnanediol (5α-pregnanediol) has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and up-regulate GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) activity, which is considered neuroprotective to the brain. In contrast, Beta-Pregnanediol (5β-pregnanediol) is mostly inactive in the body.
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