Estrogen Dominance, Should Men Be Concerned?
Updated: Jul 5, 2019
We Need to Talk about Estrogen Dominance: Should Men Be Concerned?
Estrogen dominance has become an increasingly common hormonal imbalance. This is largely due to our exposure to numerous chemical substances that act as estrogens in the body. These substances, called xenoestrogens (1), are found in the majority of processed foods, in our water (as chlorine and fluoride), in petrochemicals (found in laundry products, for example) and in the synthetic chemicals (BPA and BPS) which constitute many plastic materials.
Now, xenoestrogens are not the only factor that contributes to estrogen dominance, but they are something men and women are exposed to equally. (Not to mention that these substances are proven to negatively impact male fertility).(2)
Research thus far mainly focuses on estrogen dominance in women (as they are more susceptible to it) but we can’t overlook the fact that men also make estrogen, although in significantly different ratios.
That said, fluctuations in estrogen levels can also affect men to varying degrees, bringing about symptoms that diminish your efforts to be the man you want to be. Here’s how that happens, and how to prevent it.
The Causes Of High Estrogen In Men
Estrogen plays many important roles in the male body, one of which is the regulation of testosterone. These two hormones need to maintain their healthy balance in order for the body to function properly and pilot all kinds of mechanisms.
And of course, hormonal balance can get messy.
When estrogen levels elevate, testosterone levels drop as a mechanism to maintain the balance. Quite simply, the brain gets tricked into producing less testosterone and this can become somewhat of a vicious cycle.
But what causes the elevation of estrogen in men? Here are the factors that can throw the balance off:
Excessive exposure to xenoestrogens.
Aging. As a man ages, his body increasingly produces aromatase, which is an enzyme that naturally converts testosterone to estrogen. This is natural and it doesn’t necessarily lead to issues, but somewhere on the way, it can become a problem that brings about unwanted symptoms.
Increased fat tissue. There are 2 reasons why fat works against testosterone: fat tissue contains the enzyme aromatase and it is the reservoir for storing estradiol. In short, building lean muscle is not just a matter of endurance, health, and good looks; it keeps your hormones properly balanced.
Synthetic testosterone. Unsurprisingly, the sudden elevation of testosterone levels confuses the brain and throws the hormones off balance, which leads to elevated levels of estrogen in the long run. Additionally, the brain can’t differentiate between testosterone injections and the body’s natural supply of the hormone so it responds by shutting off the mechanisms for making testosterone and sperm.(3) (Only use NATURAL testosterone boosters)
Symptoms Of Estrogen Dominance In Men
High estrogen levels in men most commonly lead to these symptoms, most of which are also symptoms of low testosterone levels(4):
Along with that, estrogen dominance exposes men to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Some studies also suggest that it can increase the risk for prostate cancer and autoimmune diseases.(5)
How To Avoid Excess Estrogen Build-Up
You can conclude from all of this that balance is key: in order to maintain proper testosterone levels, you need to ensure that estrogen is present in just the right amount, and vice versa.
Here are the best ways to avoid estrogen build-up and the best treatments for detoxifying from it:
1.) Maintain a healthy, diverse diet.(6) For starters, eating cruciferous vegetables is important for estrogen detox – they’re high in glucosinolates, substances which the body uses to decrease estrogen activity. Additionally, it’s important to regulate your digestive system through a diet high in fiber and probiotics because estrogen is excreted in the bowel.
2.) Supplement.(7) Especially (hopefully) if you’re looking to achieve epic fitness goals, you’ll need to minimize estrogen with natural blockers – supplements with natural ingredients that promote a healthy response to excess estrogen and maintain an overall healthy estrogen metabolism.
3.) Exercise and build lean muscle. This comes as no surprise, considering that fat tissue and estrogen build-up go hand-in-hand.
4.)Decrease your exposure to xenoestrogens. (8) This is tough in today’s world, but one thing you can do is avoid storing your food and water in plastic, steer clear of processed foods, and eat organic. Keep in mind that conventional farms fatten up their livestock using estrogenic drugs, so it’s best to get your meat and dairy from a place you can trust.
5.)Avoid soy. You probably weren’t crazy about it in the first place, but just in case. Soy is a natural, plant-based estrogen, so whether you need to detoxify or just maintain balance, it’s best for a man to avoid it.
Yes, the testosterone decline in men worldwide is something to be concerned with, because our environment and the modern lifestyle have a lot to do with it. So always be wary, watch out for your testosterone, and maintain that healthy hormonal balance - it’s what makes you who you are.
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About The Author:
Caitlin is a bookworm, medical student, and recreational dancer. She is quite passionate about nutrition, fitness, and well-being. When she is not trying to find the meaning of life and Universe, Caitlin is researching and writing about various health-related topics. She is happily addicted to art in all its forms, grilled tofu, and hiking. To see what she is up to next, check out Caitlin's Twitter Dashboard.
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