How to Control Estrogen Levels
So what can you do to slow down the endocrinological avalanche caused by
estrogen? It's simple:
read over my link on Estrogen Increasers
and then consider these Estrogen Controllers as well:
1) Alcohol. I document in my
Beer and Testosterone and
Alcohol and Testosterone just how ethanol is
tied to lower testosterone levels. It does this by negatively affecting the testes, but it also does it by altering liver function. And
it is this alteration in the P450 cytochrome enzymes that allow plasma estrogen
levels to persist for a longer time. This is why even one drink per day has been
shown to increase a woman's risk of breast cancer through elevated estrogen
Does alcohol increase a man's estradiol levels? The answer is that for
moderate consumption (1-2 drinks/day), there is little evidence that alcohol has
a significant effect. A couple of studies have found just that, i.e. a
negligible impact.  However, if you go past moderate consumption, the signs
of elevated estrogen are everywhere. For example, male alcoholics are
known for developing gynocomastia, whose root cause is usually estrogen-related.
There is much less evidence of that for moderate drinkers. Nevertheless,
it is worth mentioning, because many men are fairly heavy drinkers.
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Lose Weight. The major contributor to an increase in aromatase is, you
might have guessed
it, that extra weight around your midsection. Fat cells are known for storing the
aromatase enzyme and many studies have shown its ill effects on testosterone. Is
it any wonder? Those extra pounds actually slowly biochemically neuter the
middle aged and beyond male. Even worse, fat cells lead to the creation of, actually conversion to more
displaces testosterone throughout the body. How many of us have seen overweight
males with "man boobs" that are the result of just this phenomenon?
love handles on the side of your gut: they should really be called loveless handles. One
looked at 64 severely obese men and their average testosterone was 340 even
though the average age was only 48!  Furthermore, the authors found that
weight was associated with an increase in estrogen and a decrease in
testosterone. They then looked at these men when given a certain kind of bypass
surgery that lowered their weight and BMI. You guessed it: estrogen
decreased and testosterone increased significantly!
By the way, fat cells are also
known for spitting out chemicals that cause inflammation throughout your body
leading to damaged heart and erectile tissues. Being overweight is strongly
correlated to erectile issues for this and several other reasons. (I discuss the
many problems of being overweight here.) So if you won't
drop the pounds for the wife or your health, at least
do it for the Little Gipper.
BANNED: 6-OXO. This supplement, also called 4-AT, appears to be the "real deal", a legitimate
estrogen blocker. Estrogen is a huge issue for
aging males for many reasons, but one of the nastiest is that increasing
estrogen actually decreases testosterone. (See this link on
How to Limit Estrogen for
more information.) Some estrogen is important for brain and bone health but that
is not an issue for most aging males. Many 55 year olds have close to or
more estrogen than their wives!
In 2007 6-OXO was studied definitely and
the results look excellent: resistance-trained males saw "FT [free
testosterone] and DHT underwent overall increases of 90% and 192% for 300 mg
6-OXO and 84% and 265% for 600 mg, respectively, while T/E increased 53% and 67%
for 300 mg and 600 mg 6-OXO, respectively".  Notice the substantial
boosts in free testosterone and the testosterone to estrogen ratio. In
fact, 6-OXO was so good that the FDA, decided
to ban this supplement in August of 2009.  This goes back to what I always
say, "If it's a legitimate testosterone booster, the FDA will ban it". However,
in this case, the FDA was spot on: 6-OXO turned out to be a nightmare
First of all, one study  also
showed substantial increases in DHT and estrone. But, eventually, the
news broke that 6-OXO was a "irreversible aromatase inhibitor",
i.e. 6-OXO actually permanently bonds to
some of your aromatase in fatty tissue and actually destroys the enzyme.
(You can, however, usually rebuild your enzymes in a few weeks. However,
we have had one report on the The Peak Testosterone Forum
where it seemed to be permanent.) In
addition, 6-OXO has led to clotting.  There are other irreversible aromatase
inhibitors out there, such as Aromasin or Extemesane, but I think caution is
definitely in order as these are relatively new and poorly understood in my
NOTE: Broccoli (and other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and
cabbage) are powerful estradiol "shifters." While you'd be hard-pressed to eat enough broccoli to
actually lower your estradiol, you can definitely shift your estradiol metabolites from bad to good
quite easy. This is one of the reasons that men can achieve powerful
Prostate Cancer Protection. NOTE: Broccoli is
easy to fix: just put raw florets in a coffee cup with a half inch of
water on the bottom and heat for around two minutes in a microwave. The
steam for the bottom of the cup will cook the broccoli soft and tender.
Then just add a little salt and it is ready to eat.
4) Certain Supplements such as Chrysin, Zinc, Calcium Glucarate and Grape Seed Extract.
Chrysin has had meager results in some studies.  However, Life Extension
Foundation seem to have overcome these underlying issues by including piperine
in their formulation for greater absorbability. See my
Review on Super Miraforte
Natural Estrogen Blockers
for more information. CAUTION: Supermiraforte has been around
quite awhile. However, it should be noted that one study showed Chrysin
inhibiting the conversion of T4
to T3 and thus negatively impacting thyroid function.  This could
potentially lead to weight gain (and other issues), which would sabotage estrogen control.
information on Grape Seed Extract, see my link on
Natural Estrogen Blockers,
where I cover some of the pros and cons of using grape seed extract. The
summary is that grape seed extract definitely has some desireable and positive
properites but will not likely solve one's E2-related issues.)
5) Progesterone. Hey, men need progesterone too - or at least they
need adequate levels. See this link on
Progesterone and Men, but progesterone can
help men out in many key areas and one of them is bone mass. I see very differing opinions on just how to raise progesterone. Some experts say you should "backfill" using pregnenalone. Others say that generally is ineffective. Some say most middle-aged men need some progesterone and there is now an
evidence that Progesterone Can Help with Erectile Dysfunction. Still other experts say that
progesterone is "estrogenic" and fights against "maleness" and should rarely if ever be given. Nevertheless, I post it here, because
it is an interesting solutions.
Again, I encourage you to also look over my link on Estrogen Increasers to avoid
those things that can negatively boost estrogen levels in our everyday life.
6) Zinc. My HRT clinic once proposed that I take supplemental zinc to control estrogen, because
Zinc is also known for its ability to limit the activity of aromatase.
The way my clinic explained it is that it is a way to fine tune or tweak estradiol, i.e. it has a relatively small effect.
However, I do want to point out that there many risks in taking too much zinc, from neurotoxicity to cancer to metabolic issues, something
I outline in
my page on The Potential Dangers of Zinc Supplementation.
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