Men have both estrogen and testosterone present in their bodies. While estrogen has its importance in the male body like controlling cholesterol, modulating libido, and also in sperm production, excess of it in men can affect their bodies adversely.
It has a more serious impact on health than what low testosterone can do. Loss of bone density, weakening of muscles, loss of body hair, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and more – all go down to the presence of excessive estrogen in men. So if you are working on improving low testosterone conditions, it is also important to know how you can bring down the estrogen levels, which in turn will help gain a healthy testosterone level.
In this article, we have put together some effective tips on how to lower estrogen levels so you can bring your hormones and health back to the right levels.
Important Points To Remember
Our body performs complex functions and oftentimes it is beyond our understanding as to what impact can certain functions have on the body. Aromatase or estrogen synthase is one such process. In this process, the enzyme called aromatase contributes to the biosynthesis of estrogen by converting androgens like testosterone. This can even lead to a condition in men termed “Aromatase Excess Syndrome” caused by high concentrations of estrogen.
The major factors responsible for the above condition are poor lifestyle choices (mainly diet) and certain medications.
3. Food Habits
Diet always plays a crucial role in how the body changes externally or internally. Aromatase is majorly influenced by the kind of food you eat. For example, some foods can trigger the process of conversion of testosterone to estrogen while some foods have the power to inhibit the functioning of this enzyme which in turn hinders estrogen conversion thus protecting the testosterone level.
Various research on breast cancer has established that excess estrogen as a result of aromatase can lead to breast cancer in women. Estrogen promotes the growth of breast tissues and secretion of estrogen increases the chance of metastasis. In men, the over-presence of estrogen in the body leads to Gynecomastia (enlargement of breasts in men) and various other health issues. These studies on breast cancer and its treatment have released a list of foods that should be put a check to control estrogen production.
Here’s a list of food that can increase estrogen levels:
|Alcohol||Grapefruit or its juice|
|Beef||Smoked or grilled meat or fish|
|Safflower Oil||Lime and Lemon|
|Soy products (soybean oil, soy milk, tofu, soy spread, soy protein isolate etc.)||Clover Sprouts|
Now, it may not be convenient to eliminate some of these foods from your diet chart completely. But, if you are planning on regulating your testosterone by limiting its conversion to estrogen, then you should consider keeping an eye on how much of these foods you are taking. There might be a connection between these foods and your hormones.
All of the foods in the list above have the potential to trigger aromatase leading to testosterone conversion. They are believed to have a compound called phytoestrogens, a kind of micronutrient that mimics the characteristics of estrogen.
That said, it is important to note that there are two different kinds of perspectives on phytoestrogens-
One school of thought leads to the fact that since phytoestrogens act as estrogen, the body doesn’t require any additional of it which prevents it from converting the testosterone. Considering the other perspective, Phytoestrogens genistein promotes aromatase which increases the estrogen concentration in the blood. In addition to that, genistein can bring down the sperm count and thus lead to infertility. Nonetheless, if you are working hard to improve your testosterone production, it is best to monitor the intake of these foods.
Moving on- Below is the compilation of some of the potential foods which are known to inhibit the aromatase process limiting the conversion of testosterone to estrogen:
|Celery||Black berries and blueberries||Pumpkin|
|Grapeseed, grapes (juice)||Mushroom||Mustard|
|Kale and Spinach||Parsley||Green and Black Tea|
Many studies show obesity has a direct correlation with testosterone deficiency and higher levels of estrogen production in the body. Excess fat in the body reduces metabolism and increases aromatase activity.
A study also shows that the stored fat in the body influences the estrogen receptors. As a result not only does the testosterone rapidly get converted to estrogen in men suffering from obesity, but their body also starts producing estrogen on its own. Therefore, if you are trying to lower estrogen levels to maintain testosterone levels, it is important to focus on burning excess body fat and managing body mass index.
4. Stress And Cortisol Levels
Cortisol, also known as stress hormone, rises in the body when people are stressed. This has always been one of the primary factors behind hormonal imbalances. High levels of cortisol interfere with other crucial hormones in the body including testosterone, and stress increases body fat which raises the levels of estrogen. Reducing stress through various relaxation techniques like practicing yoga, meditation, improving sleeping habits, or taking natural anti-stress food/ supplements can help control the over-production of estrogen.
5. Routine Workout
One of the best ways to keep your estrogen low and improve testosterone is to follow an active lifestyle. Regular exercise keeps a check on your body weight, improves metabolism, and digestion, increases energy, and reduces stress. Intensive exercises like resistance training and High-intensity interval training (HIIT) boost the production of testosterone and inhibit aromatase activity.
Aside from eating the right kind of food and regular exercise, there are many supplements on the market today which assist in hindering the aromatase process. These supplements offer two-way benefits by also boosting testosterone production. However, you should note that these supplements cannot deliver much unless combined with a disciplined lifestyle with proper diet and exercise.
When picking one of these supplementsyou must pick the ones that are completely natural. Look out for some of the aromatase inhibitors like pomegranate, wild nettle root extracts, fenugreek, Maca, or grape seed extract.
7. Avoid Alcohol And Plastics
Excessive intake of alcohol can have some serious impact on health like liver issues which is linked with aromatase in men. If you regularly consume alcohol or swallow down painkillers with alcohol, you are putting your liver at risk. Studies have shown that the liver has a direct correlation with sex hormones including estrogen and alcohol abuse hinders proper functioning of the liver leading to a rise in aromatase activity.
Similarly, plastics can cause more harm to your body than you can imagine. They release a chemical compound called xenoestrogens, which, when they go into the body, act like estrogens. Some of the foods that contain xenoestrogens include hormone-injected meat, some drugs, vegetables, and fruits containing pesticides.
Also, plastic vessels when used in the microwave or exposed to boiling water release these chemicals which then unknowingly enter our body. One way to avoid this is to use reusable plastics which are hard and do not easily break down or even better, using glassware or metal vessels.
Certain medicines for treating long-term health conditions may promote the aromatase process and convert testosterone to estrogen. While these are sure to be the solution to your existing health problem, they can be the reason behind hormonal changes and the rise in estrogen levels in men. Therefore, if you have tried everything like diet, exercise, or supplements and nothing has worked, then you may want to consult your doctor for a change in medicine if you are looking to bring down the estrogen levels in the body. Again, remember to always seek your physician’s advice before you stop any prescribed drug.
Estrogen, although critical for both men and women, is active differently in each gender. A rise in its levels can affect men’s health in multiple different ways. When there is a change in the hormone level, you can almost immediately start feeling the difference in your body. This can be quite frustrating, but the good thing is, there are ways you can regulate your testosterone levels and bring yourself back on track.
In this article you have learned various factors that can increase estrogen production in men and also how you can control it. Changing your lifestyle from sedentary to active, following the right diet and regular exercises along with natural supplementation have proven to be effective in bringing down the estrogen levels in the body. Hope this works for you as well.