Good day, dear readers! Estrogen s – is the female sex hormones. There are three main active estrogens: estrone (E1), estradiol (E2) and estriol (E3). Estrogens in men are also present and ensure the normal functioning of their body. The most active in men is estradiol .
Women biosynthesize most of their estrogens in the ovaries, men – in small amounts in the testicles and adrenal cortex. When a hormonal imbalance, for example, an increase in the level of estrogen in men and a decrease in the level of testosterone, there are problems for their health. Moreover, elevated levels of estrogen is a problem for women.
The symptoms of elevated estrogen levels in men, as well as the causes of this and treatment can be found here . Despite the fact that men and women have certain signs and symptoms of elevated estrogen levels, the only way to truly know their level is to test for hormone. There are several ways to do this, including blood, saliva and urine tests.
In this article, we look at ways to naturally and effectively reduce the level of estrogen in the male body.
Ways to reduce the level of estrogen
- Work on the body fat
Male obesity is the main pathway to an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen. In men, the increase in the level of estrogen in the body is mainly due to the transformation of the male sex hormone testosterone into estrogen by the action of the aromatase enzyme in the fatty tissue of the body. It is not even necessary to reach the status of obesity, since with each kilogram of fat obtained, the activity of the aromatase enzyme increases, which leads to a higher rate of conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
Not only does the fat mass reduce testosterone levels, turning it into estrogen, it also demasculates (masculinus – male) the body of a man, turning the most powerful male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) into less active metabolites.
As body fat levels rise, testosterone and DHT levels drop, and estrogen levels increase. Since estrogens increase the growth of subcutaneous fat, this ultimately leads to a vicious cycle in which an increase in fat mass increases the level of estrogen, and an increase in estrogen increases the accumulation of subcutaneous fat.
Reducing body fat is the first step, and perhaps the most important of all ways to reduce estrogen levels in men. How to do it? See the article .
- Limiting the use of plastics
Despite the fact that plastics are widely used in our lives and greatly facilitate our lives, they have certain disadvantages. One of them is an obvious environmental problem, due to the fact that many types of plastics are not biodegradable. Another disadvantage is the content of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in them, which can be leached out of plastic bottles, kitchen utensils, microwave packaging for food, etc.
Many chemicals that make up plastics have been identified as xenoestrogens and antiandrogens. This means that they are chemically similar to estrogens, so much so that many of them can directly bind estrogen receptors, causing feminizing effects and suppressing testosterone production through dysfunction of enzymes or blocking androgens.
Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are the two most well-known estrogenic compounds that can be found in many ordinary plastic bottles and containers. In several studies in humans and animals, both of these compounds have been associated with an increase in estrogen levels and a decrease in testosterone and dihydrotestosterone levels.
One study of commercial water bottles for traces of estrogen states:
“When comparing water from the same source, packed in glass and plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the estrogenic activity of water in plastic bottles was three times higher than in glass bottles. These data support the hypothesis that PET packaging materials are a source of estrogen-like compounds. ”
It goes without saying that the simplest ways to avoid contact with bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, etc. are using glass or metal bottles, avoiding the use of plastic containers and, in particular, heating them in a microwave oven, as well as switching to not plastic kitchen utensils.
- Limiting Polyunsaturated Fat Consumption
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in recent years are considered “healthy fats”. However, many studies question this claim. When it comes to hormonal health, PUFAs can certainly be attributed to one of the worst foods consumed. In fact, it is testosterone killer.
While saturated and monounsaturated fats are stable in the body, PUFAs with their unstable long double carbon bonds are prone to lipid peroxidation (fat cells) in the presence of heat, oxygen and light. In essence, this means that PUFAs quickly become rancid in the body (if they are not faint before they are consumed), which leads to oxidative damage and hormonal disturbances in the body.
When foods rich in PUFA are present in our diet for years, unstable fatty acids accumulate in our fat cells, which leads to increased problems.
As for estrogens, numerous studies on isolated cells and humans show that polyunsaturated fatty acids stimulate their production. Therefore, it is better for men to avoid or minimize the use of PUFAs.
- Limiting the use of estrogenic food sources
Some foods can be quite estrogen. These are mainly products containing phytoestrogens (estrogen-like compounds in some plants) or mycoestrogens (a certain type of mold / fungus that is estrogenic).
Mycoestrogens and phytoestrogens exert their influence through the alpha and beta estrogen receptors. The greater the structural similarity of food with estrogens (ie, low molecular weight, isoflavone rings, the structure of hydroxylation, phenolic rings), the more effective they are when activating receptors.
The most notable sources of phytoestrogen are:
- Lignans in flaxseed.
- Isoflavones in soybean and oilseeds.
- Kumestany in alfalfa and many legumes.
The most well-known sources of mycoestrogens include:
- Fusarium, which is used to produce Kvorn (vegan meat substitute).
- Zearalenone found in corn, barley, oats, wheat and sorghum molds.
- Zearalenone and zearalanol are produced by ruminants that feed on stored moldy grains.
- Consumption of antiestrogenic products
There are products that have anti-estrogenic effects on the body. They work by blocking estrogen from binding to the corresponding receptor or acting as inhibitors of the aromatase enzyme and, therefore, reduce the peripheral conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
White champignons, olive oil and oysters are a good example of food that can inhibit the enzyme aromatase. Citrus fruits contain naringenin and apigenin, which naturally block estrogen and aromatase, and ellagitannin derivatives in pomegranates can block estrogen receptor binding, and dark-colored berries contain calcium-D-glucarate, which binds estrogen in the intestine and helps remove it from the body.
The inclusion of the above products in your diet, as well as the rejection of the use of phyto- and mycoestrogens, can positively affect hormonal health.
- Use of Vitamin E Supplements
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that keeps unwanted hormones such as prolactin and estrogen low. It protects against the harmful effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids before they are absorbed in the body. In addition, it affects the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. As mentioned above, this is not very good, since lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fats (among many other harmful substances) is estrogenic and can significantly reduce testosterone levels.
Since vitamin E is an antioxidant, it reduces oxidative stress, and therefore, positively affects the level of hormones (testosterone and dihydrotestosterone), protecting them.
- Give priority to liver health.
The liver plays a crucial role in the health of the endocrine system, as it removes toxins and estrogens from the bloodstream. When unhealthy or overloaded liver, estrogen levels in the body can quickly grow to such an extent , that the general state of health, not to mention the men’s health will be jeopardized.
There are two components that make it possible to judge that your liver remains healthy and does its job without any problems: choline (bile) and a decrease in the consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids . This is due to the fact that choline is necessary for the removal of fat from the liver, and PUFA directly prevents this output. Alcohol is harmful to the health of the liver, which is one of the many reasons why it can increase estrogen levels.
- Check personal hygiene items.
Many store-bought personal care products, such as moisturizers, soaps, shampoos, and sunscreens, are loaded with estrogenic chemicals. They are commonly referred to as environmental estrogens or xenoestrogens.
Bisphenol A and phthalates, as mentioned above, are the main xenoestrogens in plastics, but when it comes to personal care products, parabens (methyl, butyl, ethyl, propyl, heptyl, etc.) are most known with estrogenic properties that lower testosterone levels.
Thus, although estrogens play an important biological role even in the male body, it is best to maintain its level closer to the lower limit of the normal range for men (15–70 pg / ml or 40–180 pmol / l). The methods of reducing estrogen in men given in this article should be more than enough to maintain them at the proper level.