How to lower estrogen in men? That is the question that keeps emerging from time to time. Obesity and exposure to endocrine disruptors (among with other things) have messed men’s hormone levels and now they are seeking solutions. Is there natural ways to lower estrogen in men?
In this article you will learn main causes of high estrogen and what health risk it might cause. You will also learn how to lower your estrogen levels naturally. We also take a look at supplements and foods that might have antiestrogenic activity.
Estrogen in men?
Estradiol (17β-estradiol) is an important female hormone (estrogen) but also men need it to a small extent. Estrogen in men is mainly formed when the aromatase enzyme binds to your testosterone and converts it chemically to estradiol. The more aromatase enzyme activity you have the more estradiol is being formed.
Obesity (all subcutaneous fat, not just stomach fat) increases the activity and amount of the aromatase enzyme, which again results in an increase in estrogen levels. If this cycle persists for a long time, it can lead to a sustained negative cycle where your estrogen is going up and testosterone down.
“With the increasing fatty-tissue accumulation, there is an increase of aromatase activity that is associated with a greater conversion of testosterone to estradiol (testosterone-estradiol shunt). This results in further depression of testosterone concentrations and leads to the increased preferential deposition of abdominal fat that, in turn, leads to a progressive hypogonadal state.”1
Nowadays there are many ways how men’s estrogen levels can get out of hand even on young people.
1) Overweight and abdominal fat
Being overweight is the first common reason for a high estrogen levels in men. In U.S alone, it’s estimated that around 160 millions people are overweight or obese. As we learned above, obesity and subcutaneous fat especially increases the activity and amount of the aromatase enzyme which converts your testosterone to estrogen.
Abdominal fat could be called as “estrogen factory”, study after study have confirmed this; when your waist size increases your testosterone levels are decreasing and your estrogen levels rise.4–11
If around 32% of adult men are obese in U.S, it’s not really surprise why so many people are losing their erection and have high estrogen levels.
2) Exposure to endocrine disruptors
Nowadays it’s almost impossible to not expose your self to a endocrine disruptors, as these EDCs are everywhere.
Dermal exposure of phthalates and parabens from plastics, cosmetics, fragrances, lotions and sunscreens. You are touching electronics and furnitures veiled with PCBs and flame retardants. Oral exposure from food that is coated with pesticides and preservatives. Inhalation exposure from indoor air is also major source of EDCs. Even clothes we wear can contain endocrine disruptors.12–14
EDCs (endocrine disruptors) can have devastating effect to your estrogen and testosterone levels.
For example, even bisphenol A free plastics can release chemicals that have estrogenic activity.15,16
Personal care items can contain parabens, triclosan and phthalates which have shown to decreased serum testosterone, and have small estrogenic activity.17–19
Of course, there are other reasons for high estrogen levels. For example, excessive alcohol drinking can promote aromatase.20 Also zinc deficiency can cause increased estrogen production and even increase the number of estrogen receptors.21
Is there any health risks connected to high estrogen or estrogen unbalance in men?
Health risks from estrogen unbalance in men
– Higher risk of BPH and prostate cancer.22–28
– Higher risk of diabetes and heart attack.2930
– Higher risk of atherosclerosis.3132
– Higher risk of stroke.33–35
– Higher mortality with chronic heart failure.36
– Linked to higher mortality rate in elderly men.37
Other visible symptoms of high estrogen in men include but are not limited:
– Gynecomastia AKA manboobs.
– Belly fat increases.
– Muscle mass disappear.
– You feel more emotional.
– You will feel more tired and have less energy.
How to lower estrogen in men basics
Before even thinking about supplements that lower estrogen in men, you have to get the basics down. There is not really a supplement that could fix your estrogen levels, if you don’t get the basic down first.
Reduce estrogen by losing body fat
Like we learned above, fat around your waist is an effective “estrogen factory”. Studies have shown that all subcutaneous fat accelerate the activity of the aromatase enzyme, which enhances testosterone aromatization to estrogen.38–40
Therefore, if you are obese, or even overweight the most effective way to lower estrogen is to lower your body fat. Reducing body fat reduces also your aromatase enzyme activity, so less testosterone converts to estrogen.
Every pound of fat you lose reduces aromatase activity which means that less of your testosterone will be turning to estrogen. This will lead to positive testosterone cycle, where you testosterone is going up and estrogen down.
As a result increased testosterone levels will lead to even faster fat loss and muscle gain.
Strength training is the best way to lower your body fat and estrogen level. Strength training has been shown to increase your testosterone levels and physical activity might also lower your estrogen levels.41
There is not really more effective way to lower your estrogen levels than losing excess body fat and exercising.
Limit your exposure to endocrine disruptors
Nowadays it’s impossible to not exposure your self to endocrine disruptors, as they are in air we breathe and even in foods we eat. However, you can choose not to put them on your skin and mouth voluntarily.
Check your personal care products for endocrine disrupting compounds (xenoestrogens) that imitates estrogen. Look ingredients in your shower shampoo, fragrances, toothpaste, antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, mouthwash, sunscreens and lotions.
Do your products contain phthalates, parapens, Triclosan, Triclocarban, Enzacamene, Benzophenon?
Remember endocrine disruptors and xenoestrogen are everywhere, you can’t avoid them altogether. But at least you can make wiser decision and lower your exposure by choosing more natural options.
Say no thanks to receipts
Sale receipts which are printed on thermal paper that contain of xenoestrogen Bisphenol A.
Before it was thought that this is not a big deal. It was believed that only cashiers and those who process a lot receipts were mainly in danger of BPA exposure. As studies shown that touching these receipts gave you only small amounts of BPA, which was way lower than EFSA’s “tolerable” daily intake.42
However, more recent studies revealed a missing factor that has not been studied.
Lately, it was found that if you use soaps, hand creams or lotions with penetration enhancing chemicals, you could potentially get around 100x more BPA from thermal receipts. Which would mean that, even a second touch to thermal BPA receipt could potentially give you 4 times more BPA than EFSA’s tolerable daily intake.43
It’s not exactly sure what this kind amounts of BPA does to humans, so I would definitely stay at safe zone and avoid it as much as possible.
“Due to its phenolic structure BPA has been shown to interact with estrogen receptors and to act as agonist or antagonist via estrogen receptor (ER) dependent signalling pathways. Therefore, BPA has been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of several endocrine disorders including female and male infertility, precocious puberty, hormone dependent tumours such as breast and prostate cancer and several metabolic disorders including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).” – Health risk of exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA).
By touching xenoestrogen filled receipts you really stacking the odds against you, even you don’t use hand soaps or lotions.
Say no thanks for receipts, unless you really need it for warranty or tax deduction.
To sum it up: Losing excess body fat is the most effective way to lower your estrogen levels. Limit your exposure to endocrine disruptors, replace them with natural options. Beware receipts at least if you use some kind a hand lotions.
Supplements that lower estrogen in men
Is there supplements that lower estrogen in men? Answer there are some of the supplements that have shown to lower estradiol levels in human studies. There are some supplements that hinder the enzyme that converts your testosterone to estrogen, they are called as “aromatase inhibitors”.
Next I will list a popular “natural estrogen blockers” & “supplement that lower estrogen in men” and the science behind them.
Does Boron lower estrogen in men?
Boron is chemical element that comes from space trough cosmic rays. Lately, as new studies have emerged boron supplement have become popular for testosterone boosting. According to human studies boron might raise testosterone levels, and even lower shbg levels.
Boron is considered to be an essential nutrient for humans. In a diet, best sources for a boron are: dried fruits (raisins, prunes, apricots), fruits (avocado, red apple) and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts).
In this older study it was noticed that boron supplementation 3mg daily in postmenopausal women raised the serum concentrations of estrogen and testosterone.45
But does boron supplement lower estrogen levels in men?
In this 2011 study 8 healthy men took 10mg boron with their breakfast. Blood samples were collected at day 0, 1, and after one week. After study was over it was noticed that boron supplementation decreased estradiol levels by 39%, and increased free testosterone 28%.46
On the other hand, 1997 study where healthy men took 10mg of boron for 4 weeks showed 11% increase in testosterone levels, but also their estradiol rise shocking 42,39% which is composite opposite result what above mentioned recent study demonstrated.47
Could this mean that if you get too much boron for a long time it might start raise your estradiol instead of lowering it?
In conclusion, its seems that dosages close to 10mg of boron daily seems to be the optimum dose for altering estrogen levels. Studies show mixed results, but again I don’t see any reason not try it. Boron is cheap and perfectly safe supplement up to 20mg daily for adults.48
You can get your boron daily recommended intake from food. However, it’s almost impossible to get similar dosages which were used in these studies from food.
Boron supplement is needed to achieve dosages (10mg day) that affect estrogen levels. For the best bioavailability, it’s good to choose mixed complex of 3 forms of boron (citrate/aspartate/glycinate). I personally use this triple boron.
I have used boron for lowering shgb and raise testosterone levels, but I havent yet tested how it affect my estradiol levels. This will definitely be tested in the coming months. I will report result here after I have tested this personally.
Resveratrol and grape seed extract for lowering estrogen?
Resveratrol is polyphenolic compound found naturally in grapes which are used to make wines.
Red wine is most known source of resveratrol, but is also found from berries (bilberry, raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, acai berry), dark chocolate, peanuts, grape tomatoes, plums, Japanese Knotweed, and Grape seed extract.
Resveratrol is currently being advertised with many health benefits. For example: slowing down aging, increasing blood flow to the brain, improving heart health.
Although resveratrol is not nearly as useful as what the marketers suggest, it might provide some health benefits to humans.
In this study 250 mg tai 500 mg trans-resveratrol increased cerebral blood flow relatively quickly (45min) in healthy humans.49
In this 30-day randomized, double-blind study of 150 mg of resveratrol improved insulin sensitivity, decreased blood pressure and inflammationin obese humans.50 Resveratrol seems to improve insulin sensitivity also in other studies.5152
But does resveratrol lower estrogen levels?
Lately, so-called testosterone gurus have started to claim that resveratrol lowers estrogen levels. Do these claims hold any truth?
It is truth that resveratrol has similar structure to estrogen some even call it phytoestrogen. In studies resveratrol has inhibited aromatase in breast cancer and JEG-3 cells.53–55 Resveratrol has also been found to increase testosterone levels in mices and increases sperm output in rats.5657
While there is evidence that resveratrol might reduce aromatase in certain cells, there are no humans studies showing that resveratrol lowers estrogen levels in humans.
To sum it up: currently there is no human evidence for estrogen lowering benefits from resveratrol supplementation. But of course, you can try to stack odds in your favor by eating foods high in resveratrol and occasionally even enjoy a glass of good red wine.
For resveratrol supplement perspective: I have used Healthy Origins resveratrol, which has 300 mg trans-resveratrol and 15 mg red wine extract. Mainly because it for its nootropic benefits (increased cerebral blood flow). I have not yet tested how it affects my estradiol (E2) levels, but it’s on my future do list.
Grape seed extract
Grape seed extract is extracted from grape fruit seeds. This extract is touted for being rich in antioxidants, tannins and procyanidins. Grape seed extract is currently being studied for lowering blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol.
Grape seed extract has some evidence in increasing nitric oxide and blood flow.58,59 Grape seed extract also seems to lower blood pressure.60,61
Does Grape Seed Extract lower estrogen?
If you believe testosterone gurus, Grape seed extract is also estrogen lowering supplements. It’s truth that grape seed extract might reduce aromatase enzyme activity in a test tubes. Grape seed extract’s procyanidin dimers have been shown to inhibit aromatase in vitro and animals.62–64
But will Grape seed extract work when taken orally in human too?
This pilot study actually tested would Grape Seed Extract lower estrogen levels in postmenopausal women. They were given 200, 400, 600 and 800mg grape seed estract daily for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks it was clearly observed that grape seed extract does not decrease plasma estrogens (estrone, estradiol, estrone sulfate) also it did not affect androgens testosterone and androstenedione.65
To sum it up: Like with a resveratrol, even it works in test tubes it does not mean that it will work on humans. Grape seed extract worked in test tube, but failed to decrease estrogens levels in humans. Current evidence suggests that grape seed extract does not lower estrogen levels in humans.
Does Tongkat ali lower estrogen in men?
Tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia) is an popular pro-erectile herbal supplement found in small tree from South East Asia.
It seems to work as aphrodisiac quite well. However, human studies are still somewhat limited, but so far its has shown to increase libido, erection and well-being.67 Another human study showed increase increased testosterone and reduced cortisol levels.68
Does Tongkat Ali reduce estrogen levels?
As far we know that Tongkat Ali contains Eurycomanone quassinoid which might have anti-estrogenic activity.69–71
But the problem is that this component called Eurycomanone seems not to be bioavailable when taken orally.72
Tongkat Ali is good for increasing libido and erection. Furthermore, it also has potential components that have anti-estrogenic activity.
Of course you can use Tongkat Ali as erection/libido booster. But unless you are going to inject Tongkat Ali in your veins, don’t expect that it does much to your estrogen levels. We have to wait until someone invent Eurycomanone supplement that is orally bioavailable.
Indole 3 Carbinol lowers estrogen?
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain glucobrassicin, and when you chop or chew broccoli myrosinase inside it cells gets contact to glucobrassicin which result formation of indole-3-carbinol.
Is Indole 3 Carbinol effective estrogen blocker in humans?
I3C has been clearly shown to be anti-estrogenic in test tubes, it also has a lot human studies behind it.
In clinical studies made with women, oral Indole 3 Carbinol has consistently significantly increased the urinary excretion estrogens.73–78
“In both men and women, I3C significantly increased the urinary excretion of C-2 estrogens. The urinary concentrations of nearly all other estrogen metabolites, including levels of estradiol, estrone, estriol, and 16alpha-hydroxyestrone, were lower after I3C treatment.”79
It’s suggested that you get you I3C from vegetables like broccoli, but it’s also available as supplement.
Supplements to lower estrogen levels conclusion
There are some foods and supplements that have shown to have an anti-oestrogen effects. However, most of these studies are made in test tubes and animal models, which of course does not mean that it would work in humans also.
SNL team is currently running experiments to find out the best working supplement to lower estrogen levels in a healthy men. Results from these experiments will be revealed after we have seen repeated results in blood test.
Foods that might lower estrogen levels
Which foods you should eat to lower estrogen levels? Well there are foods that contain “aromatase inhibitors” that hinder the enzyme that converts your testosterone to estrogen. Some of the foods that we already eat contains these aromatase inhibitors. Of course, these are based mainly on in-vitro studies. You can’t patent common foods, so its hard to find funding for “big broccoli” trials.
Here is list of foods that you should eat to lower and balance estrogen levels:
Cruciferous vegetables – Like we learned above indole 3 carbinol is powerful anti-estrogenic component which can be found in cruciferous vegetables. Its suggested that you chop your cruciferous vegetables before heating, as heat will destroy the myrosinase enzyme that convert glucobrassicin to I3C. Best way to cook cruciferous vegetables for maximum Indole 3 Carbinol content is steaming them lightly.
Best cruciferous vegetables for lowering estrogen:
– Collard greens
– Mustard greens
– Arugula (high in nitrates for strong erection)
– Red cabbage
Luteolin – Flavone luteolin have shown to inhibit estrogen biosynthesis by decreasing aromatase expression and have shown to work in animal study also.80–82
Good sources for luteolin in diet:
– Celery (see sex drive boosting juice recipe)
– Broccoli (again)
– Green peppers
– Olive oil
– Herbs: oregano, rosemary, parsley, thyme
Pomegranate – Pomegranate contains compounds have shown to have inhibit aromatase.83 Pomegranates are available on pretty much every supermarket nowadays. You can also order high quality POM juice from Amazon.com
Agaricus bisporus – White button mushroom contain phytochemicals that inhibit aromatase activity.84 Agaricus bisporus is commonly found in super market with names: button mushroom, white mushroom, cultivated mushroom or table mushroom.
Turmeric – Spice that is used commonly in Indian dishes contains curcumin which might have anti-oestrogen effects.85 Turmeric is easily found in almost every super market that sells spices. Curcumin is also available as bioavailable supplement.
Foods that lower estrogen levels conclusion
Many of the healthy foods we are already eating contain components that have potential to lower estrogen levels. Like we learned in long lasting erection article, you should focus eating mainly plant based diet.
It’s really easier than most people think, just add some cruciferous vegetables to your diet, use spices like turmeric, oregano, rosemary, parsley, thyme. Drink some pomegranate juice or make some sex boosting juices with celery (it makes women horny too, see How to Increase Sex Drive in Women).
How to lower estrogen levels in men conclusion
In this article we learned that there are indeed natural ways to lower estrogen in men. However, most of the supplements that are touted to lower estrogen levels seems not to have good scientifical evidence behind them.
Lowering estrogen naturally is similar to raising testosterone levels naturally. There is no magic natural supplement that is going to make a huge difference. You really have to focus on the basics.
Firstly, everyone should focus on lowering body fat and exposure to an endocrine disruptors. Then get your diet in order, after that you can try some of the supplements that might lower your estrogen levels naturally.
This information should not be taken as a substitute for medical expertise. This article is purely my personal experiences and notes on the subject. Before making changes to your lifestyle, diet or supplementation you should consult your doctor or a qualified health care provider. Especially medicines users should speak to their doctor, because some supplements and foods can change absorption of certain drugs. Better to play safely.
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