Oestrogen dominance can be a disaster for both your sex life as well as those muscle gains. Alex Eriksson details how to keep oestrogen levels controlled.
Today, too many guys are jumping on the bandwagon of using pharmaceutical grade oestrogen blocking meds as a first line of fixing elevated estrogen levels, when really the best solution is to start naturally. In this article we will teach you how to take control of your endocrine system and improve not only your oestrogen levels, but also testosterone which we all want more of.
If you’re a young man, the effects of oestrogen are hardly noticeable. Or so it seems. However, unknown to most men, your estrogen levels may already be too high, resulting in a host of negative effects on body composition, and male sexual characteristics. Few guys know what really might be going on inside their bodies, let alone how their endocrine system work.
One thing is for certain, you won’t stay young forever. The time will arrive (sooner or later) when natural testosterone production starts diminishing, fat stores increase, and with it the amount of estrogen circulating in your blood. For many of us, that time begins from around the age of 30, and this is also the time when many guys starts realizing that maybe something is not right with their manhood.
This is when the following symptoms may manifest:
· Erectile Dysfunction
· Muscle Atrophy (loss of muscle mass or breakdown)
· Increased fat storage
· Diminished desire for sex
However don’t get confused; men do need small amounts of estrogen for optimal functioning and health. It is when the ratio of testosterone to estrogen gets too high that things get really bad. Man boobs, beer belly, hair loss? You’ve seen it before.
So what’s a guy to do? Keep control over your estrogen levels with lifestyle changes and possibly natural supplements and save yourself heartache down the road. Don’t let aging and environmental influences rob you of your manhood!
The Role Of Oestrogen Blockers
Sometimes, things get out of hand regardless of what you try. Your diet may be spot on, training intense and of a frequency to generate anabolic stimuli, and yet you find yourself carrying excessive water weight, and other symptoms of high estrogen load.
Hell, your sleep is even on point, so that should hardly be a factor, so then what is?
Genetic predisposition plays a very important part, since everybody is created differently and some will inevitably find it harder than others to attain the optimal testosterone to estrogen ratio.
Prescription estrogen blockers (SERMs) and aromatase inhibitors are not the answer, as they frequently cause unpleasant side effects, such as joint pain, blurring of vision, depression and constant lethargy which only become worse the older we get. In our early 20’s we may be able to get away with a lot more “trial and error” compared to when we are in our 30’s and older.
Instead, the answer could lie in consuming foods and supplements derived from nature; things we may already use but not realize its’ benefits. As you may have guessed, they will be much safer than synthetic drugs, and in many cases completely safe for daily consumption!
Indeed, they will not be as potent as the prescription meds, but on a grander scale of things, they are safer to use as a preventative before things gets much worse; especially when natural testosterone and growth hormone levels start to reduce post 20’s.
Before we delve into the actual foods and consumables you can use, a quick differentiation needs to be made:
· SERM: this stands for “selective estrogen receptor modulator” which as the name suggests, modulates activity at the estrogen receptor. Many prescription SERMs are ACTUALLY estrogens, but have the ability to act as it (binding to estrogen receptors), or against it depending on location (a common SERM is actually used to promote pregnancy)
· AI: represents “aromatase inhibitor” and works to actively prevent the production of estrogen by inhibiting the enzyme “aromatase”. These are typically stronger that SERMs, but may not be suitable for all men as the resultant low estrogen from overdose or too long use can predispose you to osteoporosis and subsequent bone loss, joint pain and sexual dysfunction among other symptoms.
Ready to take control of your manliness? Consider these as a mandatory part of your arsenal:
Commonly Consumed Oestrogen Modulators
The herbs and foods grouped under this category are not remarkably potent, but their roles are still important, as they can contribute to accessory functions like boosting testosterone or even binding to SHBG and reducing cortisol. These are safe for long term consumption, effective as a precaution to guard against estrogen imbalances, and may be suited for men who just need a little backup in keeping excessive estrogen at bay. Remember, we are all different and some men are more sensitive to estrogen than others, only some men develop “bitch tits” (gyno) etc.
If you’ve ever used a testosterone boosting supplement, chances are it contained this ingredient. It originates from Malaysia, and is also quite popular in male enhancement supplements for its prowess in boosting testosterone. Since natural reduction in testosterone levels begin at about age 30, this supplement could be a perfect aide for rejuvenating sexual aggression along with it’s muscle building potential.
However, that is far from all Tongkat Ali does; studies have shown that it has very good potential as an estrogen blocker, with potency comparable to the prescription SERM Tamoxifen (NOLVADEX ), even though the subjects were mice. Tongkat Ali also binds strongly to SHBG which will increase your free testosterone, but that also means that if your estrogen levels are significantly high, you may exacerbate a scenario of even more free estrogen circulating in blood.
All in all, it serves a better function as a testosterone booster, but there is no reason that is could not be used as a support supplement to stronger natural anti-estrogens.
Another popular natural estrogen blocker, Calcium-D-glucarate is produced naturally by the human body, albeit in small amounts. It is also found in many fruits and veggies and functions similarly in fashion to the way fiber rids the body of cholesterol and estrogen, but CDG also removes toxins and excess estrogen via a chemical process.
During a process known as glucoronidation, lipophilic molecules (such as cholesterol, hormones) are bound to a hydrophilic molecules, which makes them water soluble. Subsequently, it becomes easier to excrete via the kidneys and urine. Though it is useful for reducing estrogen in this regard, it can also promote the excretion of small amounts of testosterone, so keeping an eye on blood levels of both is encouraged.
Interestingly as well is the fact that the higher your exposure to toxins is, so should your intake of CDG be. This is believed to be one of the reasons people that consume an abundantly rich vegetarian diet are less likely to develop cancers. In other words guys, just prep some veggies with that steak and you’ll be all good!
If the name of this compound sounds familiar, it is because it is found naturally in many cruciferous vegetables. It promotes the metabolism of estrogen into less potent forms, exerting a mild boosting of testosterone levels. However, indole-3-carbinol by itself is only mildly potent; it is frequently coupled with other estrogen blockers in cases of high estrogen blood levels.
A child of indole-3-carbinol (since it is a metabolite), DIM works similarly to its parent mentioned above by metabolizing estrogens to less potent forms. Not very potent either, but is useful as an adjuvant to other stronger estrogen blockers, and for its benefits on prostate health (specifically, helping manage BPH). DIM occurs naturally in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
In theory, consuming higher amounts of cruciferous vegetables and/or I-3-C or DIM, will make sure your estrogen metabolism works as it should and you can reap the benefits of higher free testosterone. Some broccoli for increased stamina in bed? Sounds like a solid deal.
Zinc is an extremely important, yet severely underused mineral supplement whose benefits extent to all corners of health. For one, it boosts immunity and makes you less susceptible to illness, and is necessary for production of many enzymes along with sperm production in older men.Of particular interest, however, is its effects on hormone levels. Zinc was shown in studies to reduce the aromatization of testosterone via blocking the aromatase enzyme, and blocking the estrogen receptor (acting as a SERM). This is huge, as there are pharmaceutical drugs that reduce estrogen by specifically doing that, but are notorious for causing side effects which Zinc does not. Unless you frequently eat zinc rich foods such as oysters regularly, food may not suffice as your only source of zinc. Coupled with the fact that we lose zinc in sweat and ejaculatory fluid, the need for zinc in men is significantly higher than for women. So if you get frequent action in the bedroom, topping up with some extra zinc might be a good idea.
Considered “old school” by many, Chrysin has been around a few years and has a reputation as an effective aromatase inhibitor. It occurs naturally and can be found in mushrooms, the passionflower and in chamomile. Studies have shown that chrysin is efficient at inhibiting aromatization in vitro (in test tubes in the lab), leading even the manufacturers of popular pharmaceutical testosterone gels to begin incorporating it in their products. However, there is no actual proof that it acts that way in the human body (in vivo). As such, we cannot in good faith recommend that you use Chrysin as an estrogen blocking supplement, as the effects are likely to go unnoticed, but if you feel like eating your mushrooms have at it!
Reseratrol has been making the rounds in health news for the past couple of years, owed mainly to its claimed anti-aging benefits. However, what is more interesting to us hot blood-blooded young men is its effect on our testosterone and estrogen levels, which are fascinating.
Studies have revealed that resveratrol can significantly boost testosterone levels via various mechanism, such as by increasing conversion of cholesterol into testosterone in the gonads, and suppress the aromatase enzyme at the same time.
The only caveat? Resveratrol by itself is poorly bioavailable in the human body, as the liver rapidly breaks down ingested amounts. There are conjugated forms available however, which are much better equipped to deal with liver breakdown, making them far more efficient (as if you needed a reason to drink more wine!)
Grape Seed Extract
Another sleeper in the making is grape seed extract, classically used for its Procyanidin content which promotes healthier nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide is important for many body processes, and also improves blood flow through the body, and of particular interest in older men, to that super important body part downstairs!
Besides that, though, is grape seed extract’s ability to block aromatization of testosterone to estrogen. Think that’s a good enough reason to take it? But there’s more, it can also suppress the expression of the aromatase enzyme! What that means is that besides the classic inhibition of the enzyme, your body would make less of that enzyme subsequently.
Less enzyme= less sites for conversion into estrogen!
Targeted Estrogen Blockers
Though the foods and natural sources mentioned above are a great adjuvant for controlling your estrogen levels, if subsequent testing reveals that your levels are still significantly above what they should be, it may be in your best interest to try one of the following as well. Want a good reason to eat more seaweed sushi? Well here you go. You’re welcome.
Arimistane is one of the more potent natural anti-estrogens you can come across, more specifically being a “suicide” aromatase inhibitor. No, that doesn’t mean it will kill you, but what it does mean is that when it binds to aromatase, it does so permanently and will not cause rebound estrogen levels that occur on some strict SERM compounds.
First things first- do not be misled by its “steroid” name, as people get scared when taking anything deemed to be unnatural. Arimistane, however, is natural as natural can be, being produced in your body as a metabolite of the hormone DHEA. Levels of arimistane can be observed in urine if analyzed, proving that it is indeed legit.
Even better news? Arimistane will not attack estrogen with nuclear ambition; rather it will allow decent suppression, but not complete. This is important since when estrogen levels drop too low, joint issues are exacerbated along with bone loss (estrogen promotes bone mineralization).
Eucheuma Cottonii (Edible Seaweed)
As of recently, various varieties of seaweed have made news thanks to their amazing benefits on health. This time, we’re looking at the Edible Seaweed, or Eucheuma Cottonii which shockingly outperformed the prescription SERM Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) in a recent study. Coupled with the fact that its toxicity levels is low, there is a good chance that it is being researched further to treat estrogen dependent cancers as well.
Broussonetia Papyrifera (Paper Mulberry)
Originally from Asia, this tree now grows virtually everywhere and is classified as invasive (sounds like a weed, eh?)
However, that did not stop the results of a study conducted in 2014 which was able to find phenolic compounds in it which possessed estrogen biosynthesis inhibiting properties (or simply aromatase inhibiting properties). The ingredient is now being capitalized on by popular supplement manufacturers, although we can’t deliver a solid verdict as to its efficacy as yet.
Putting It All Together- Changing Your Lifestyle
If there is one thing that needs to be made abundantly clear, it’s the fact that these supplements alone are not magic bullets. They require a conscious effort on your part to change bad habits, and adopt an all-round healthy lifestyle. In other words, time to man up!
Not sure what changes you should be making? No problem! Here are some great starting points:
· Perform Strength Training: while high estrogen levels by itself is a bad thing, it is worse if not put into the context of its ratio relative to testosterone. Men having low testosterone to high estrogen levels will undoubtedly experience the worse effects of estrogen. Coupled with the fact that estrogen levels increase and testosterone levels decrease starting at age 30, weight lifting becomes even more important. Given you have no serious endocrine disorders, weighted resistance training will help to boost natural testosterone production. Hit the gym 3 times a week ensuring you train large muscle groups first (legs, back, chest regions), and slowly but surely your testosterone levels and testosterone to estrogen ratio will improve.
· Sweat It Out: many people do not realize the importance of a good sweat. Though sweating is commonly regarded as a way to cool off the body when it overheats, it serves another underappreciated function- removal of toxins via skin excretion. Of particular interest is the excretion of xenoestrogens, artificial estrogen compounds that frequently enter our bodies from daily interaction with substances such as plastics. Xenoestrogens are toxins, and have no role whatsoever in our health, in contrast to natural estrogen. Perform some cardiovascular work, or hit the sauna and relish the power of a good sweat!
· Get In The Habit Of Restricting Simple Sugars: sugars are one of the main scourges affecting our population’s health today. Its danger in causing diabetes and other metabolic conditions are already well established, but what is not is how it affects your sex hormones. Every time sugar is ingested, insulin levels surge in response to try to normalize blood readings. However, insulin has two very important effects on sex hormones; it causes SHBG to become unbound from testosterone and estrogen, and promotes further synthesis of testosterone. Production of testosterone is favorable right? Normally yes, but in this case it is not so. Under the influence of the sugar, insulin will seek to have nutrients shuttles into fat cells, which is the exact location that testosterone is forcefully converted in estrogen. See the hypocrisy? The sugar is ultimately boosting fat storage and estrogen production, at the expense of our manhood and causing insulin resistance. Talk about a deadly cocktail!
· Eat Your Veggies Lads: vegetables are nature’s gift to us, loaded with phytonutrients and fiber to boot. It is this fiber which is extremely beneficial to us, as it helps promote toxin excretion as well as estrogen excretion to a degree. The veggies containing DIM and I3C are more important than others, but since many veggies and fruits contain CDG, you will be getting at least a modest dose of natural anti-estrogens. Added bonus? Veggies keep your colon healthy, and can offset any negatives that may be noticed after your first colonoscopy.
A comprehensive diet, workout and lifestyle plan, along with consumption of the appropriate supplements can and should improve your testosterone to oestrogen profile. Prescription drugs should be avoided, unless absolutely warranted by a specialist endocrinologist. But too many guys are treated with pharmaceuticals as a first line of defence when really the best solution should be a natural one, and teaching guys how to better take care of their bodies. Time to earn back your manhood!
Written by Alex Eriksson