While estrogen is the hormone prevailingly associated with females, both men and women produce it. In fact, men need to maintain a certain level of estrogen for proper sexual and reproductive function, heart health, cholesterol regulation and healthy skin.
However, men are biologically programmed to produce more testosterone than estrogen, so estrogen dominance could cause serious hormonal disbalance. This happens mostly because the high level of estrogen is lowering the levels of testosterone, which can have an adverse effect on your health.
Estrogen dominance in men is not a very talked-about condition, and that is why it is vital to put it into the spotlight. In this article, we’ll cover the dangers, causes, and symptoms of estrogen dominance, as well as the ways to prevent it and deal with it.
Why is estrogen dominance dangerous for men?
Even though estrogen is important for normal function of male organism, if it becomes abundant it can lead to a series of health complications. The symptoms related to estrogen supremacy are bad enough on their own, as they include erectile dysfunction, reduced libido, fatigue, increased belly fat, enlarged breasts, anxiety, and depression.
The greater prevalence of estrogen also carries the risk of developing various diseases including type 2 diabetes and cancer. Prostate cancer often comes as a result of an enlarged prostate which can increase in size due to excess of estrogen.
What causes estrogen dominance?
Testosterone levels are high in young men, but, with age, they are gradually reducing. Outdoor factors can trigger the rise of estrogen while lowering testosterone levels at the same time. However, age is not the only factor to blame. Sometimes environmental influences can cause the disbalance.
There are some sources of a substance “xenoestrogens” we are exposed to on a daily basis, and it can be really difficult to avoid them. “Xenoestrogens” can be found in the items we use and in the food we eat. Conventional sources of these compounds are chicken, beef, and pork if the animals are not raised in an organic way and they are given hormones for rapid growth.
Other sources are certain cosmetics, plastic and cans used for water and food, home cleaners, detergents, air fresheners, wall paints, etc.
An enzyme called aromatase which catalyzes the production of testosterone to estrogen and increases due to age, medicines, and weight gain is among the frequent causes of estrogen dominance. The growth of this enzyme levels can be triggered by heavy stress and lack of sleep.
How to prevent and reduce estrogen dominance through diet?
As we mentioned, some of our dietary habits can be the path for estrogen supremacy. Simple adjustments to your diet could prevent the dominance of this hormone or to reduce its levels. Here are some things you need to know to accomplish that:
- Increase your fiber intake. Eat more food like whole grains, berries, and prunes.
- Eat cruciferous vegetables because they contain compounds that alter estrogen production. Stock up on delicious vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
- Enjoying the happy hour with your colleagues with a cold pint? You might want to skip that for a club soda. Alcohol can increase the conversion of androgens to estrogens, and thus lead to estrogen dominance.
- Base your diet on whole foods, and avoid heavily processed meals.
- While mushrooms haven’t been studied for estrogen lowering potential in men, a 2007 study proved they have the capacity of decreasing the amount of estrogen in women, so there’s nothing bad in trying, right?
What are estrogen blockers and do they really work?
Sometimes your diet can be spot on and you can do everything right, but you can still experience estrogen dominance symptoms. Before you move on to medications, you could try natural estrogen blockers, which can be a less invasive way to reduce estrogen dominance in men.
Estrogen blockers are supplements (natural or pharmaceutical) that can alter the levels of estrogen in your body and increase the levels of testosterone.
The natural supplements contain extracts from products sourced from nature that have the capability of balancing the hormones. Some of the commonly used ingredients are maca, wild nettle root, grape seed extract, zinc, and chrysin.
Pharmaceutical estrogen blockers are considered to be more effective, but natural supplements are safer to use, especially if we are talking about prevention. Pharmaceutical blockers are primarily intended for women, but there are gaining much popularity among men.
So, to answer to the most important question: Yes, estrogen blockers can work, but you need to be careful about which ones you are taking, and if you can, consult a doctor and undergo tests. Your physician might recommend you targeted estrogen blockers, resveratrol, or diindolylmethane.
How your lifestyle affects your hormonal balance and what can you do to change it?
While supplements can be helpful and in some cases even game-changers, they are not some magical pills you take to make everything OK. You need to be aware that the balance of hormones has a direct impact on your health, appearance, and, yes, sex life as well. If you want all of these aspects of your life to be in check, you need to put some effort into it.
There are plenty of things you can do for your mind and body to keep your estrogen levels where they should be, but we’ll give you three starting points.
- Get physical: There is nothing like regular exercise when it comes to being healthy and having balanced hormones. Physical activity reduces estrogen through perspiration and increases sex hormone binding globulin which binds to estrogen and deactivates it. Needless to say, it also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is a huge factor in estrogen supremacy prevention.
- De-stress: Find a way to reduce stress, as it can contribute to the growth of estrogen levels. That can be meditation, yoga, or simply eliminating stressors from your life (e.g., coffee, sugar, unhealthy work environment).
- Reduce exposure to xenoestrogen: Since this estrogenic element is all around us, it is difficult to avoid it, but you can minimize the exposure to it, by avoiding non-organic meats, some types of plastic, and parabens in hygiene products.
Estrogen dominance should be taken seriously as it can affect the quality of your life. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms just yet, you should be aware that as you age the testosterone levels will go down causing the estrogen to go up, so it is never too soon to start thinking about prevention.