Estrogen: Control (of the Age-Related Rise)

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 links on 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 levels.

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. [10] 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.

2) 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 estrogen which displaces testosterone throughout the body. How many of us have seen overweight males with “man boobs” that are the result of just this phenomenon?

And those love handles on the side of your gut: they should really be called loveless handles. One study looked at 64 severely obese men and their average testosterone was 340 even though the average age was only 48! [7] 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.

3) 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”. [7]  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. [13] 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 supplement.

First of all, one study [7] 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. [9] 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 opinion.

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. [3] 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 and my 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. [4] This could potentially lead to weight gain (and other issues), which would sabotage estrogen control. (For more 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.


1) Agents Actions, Jun 1987,21(1-2):223-8

2) Medical Hypotheses, Jun 2001, 56(6):702-708

3) J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol,Sep 2001,78(3):231-9Biol,Sep 2001,78(3):231-9

4) Prog Clin Biol Res, 1986, 213:359-71, “Iodothyronine deiodinase is inhibited by plant flavonoids”

5) J Int Soc Sports Nutr,Oct 19 2007,4:13

6) Med and Sci in Sports & Exerc,1999, 31:483

7) Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, published online on January 27, 2009, Submitted on July 24, 2008, Accepted on January 15, 2009, “Effect of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery on the Sex Steroids and Quality of Life in Obese Men”, Ahmad Hammoud MD, MPH*, et. al.

8) Cancer Res, Jun 1 2006, 66:5960-5967


10) Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, May 2004, 28(5):780-785, “Effect of Moderate Alcohol Consumption on Plasma Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate, Testosterone, and Estradiol Levels in Middle-Aged Men and Postmenopausal Women: A Diet-Controlled Intervention Study”

12) J Clin Endocrin Metab, 1993, 77: 375-381, “Effect of aging on endogenous levels of 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone, testosterone, estradiol and estrone in epithelium and stroma of normal and hyperplastic human prostate”

13) PressAnnouncements/ucm152358.htm

14) reports-tests-find-wide-range- of-bisphenol-a-in-canned-soups-juice-and-more-68723862.html

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