Testosterone, often noted as the primary male sex hormone, is frequently the primary topic when discussing men’s health. However, estrogen also plays a prominent part in healthy male function. Even though estrogen is considered the primary female hormone, appropriate balance of estrogen in men is critical to maintaining good health. In healthy males, testosterone and estrogen are kept within appropriate ratios. This contributes to maintaining healthy skin, sexual ability, libido, heart function, and cholesterol.
However, when estrogen levels increase to an unhealthy level, known as estrogen dominance, men often experience decreased testosterone levels leading to deficiency. Estrogen dominance causes serious issues in both sexes but men experience specific difficulties due to the reduction of testosterone that often comes with it. Keeping male estrogen levels in balance with testosterone is critical to achieving optimal male health. Take part in National Men’s Health Week by spending some time reading about the impact of estrogen dominance, possible causes, and methods of treatment.
The Dangers of Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen is by no means a negative hormone. However, if it becomes overabundant in one’s system there are serious problems that can arise. When males have excess estrogen in their system they are at risk of experiencing several symptoms including:
- Reduced libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Enlarged breasts or gynecomastia
- Urinary tract issues
- Increased belly fat
- Loss of muscle mass
- Type 2 diabetes
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is greater with increased estrogen levels regardless of testosterone levels. Meaning that even if one’s testosterone and estrogen levels are appropriately balanced, elevated levels of estrogen increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
Greater prevalence of estrogen may also increase the risk of cancers in men. The body metabolizes estrogen in two primary methods. The product of these are 16-alpha-hydroxysterone (16-OH-estrone) and 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OH-estrone). Individual estrogen metabolism differs depending on various factors of personal health. There are dangers involved in the divergent paths of metabolism. 16-OH-estrone is carcinogenic and promotes the occurrence of breast and prostate cancer. Excess metabolization of estrogen into this form puts a man’s health in danger.
Causal Factors of Increased Estrogen
There are a variety of reasons why men may experience estrogen dominance. Over-conversion of testosterone into estrogen is a common occurrence that affects numerous men. As one ages, male aromatase levels increase. This enzyme is necessary for healthy conversion of testosterone into estrogen. However, overabundance of this enzyme can contribute to both estrogen dominance and testosterone deficiency. This is one of the leading causes of symptoms of aging in men.
Increased fat levels and reduced muscle mass often come with age, which impacts testosterone and estrogen levels as well. Fat contains aromatase, which can further increase the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. Estradiol, a form of estrogen, is also stored in fat and contributes to overall estrogen levels in men.
Excess estrogen may lead to a malfunctioning feedback loop that causes the body to reduce its production of testosterone. This can make estrogen dominance become more severe and cause worsening symptoms of hormone dysfunction.
The Best Ways to Balance Hormones
There are multiple compounds that help improve hormone function by supporting a variety of systems. Two of the most powerful elements for rebalancing estrogen issues are calcium-d-glucarate and diindolymethane. Both provide specific benefits that can be highly beneficial when utilized together.
Calcium-d-glucarate (CDG) can help prevent cancer, reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, improve protein digestion, and aid in the removal of excess estrogen. These impressive benefits are accomplished by preventing the impact of beta-glucuronide on a process known as conjugation. This natural bodily procedure involves packing toxins together to be processed by the liver and ultimately excreted through the gut. Beta-glucuronide disrupts this process and allows various toxins and excess estrogen to remain in one’s system. Furthermore, this enzyme increases the number of estrogen receptors in the body. This increases estrogen’s ability to latch on and remain in the body. Low CDG levels are associated with increased beta-glucuronides, which is a risk factor for cancers including breast, prostate, and colon cancer. By increasing CDG levels, one can reduce the negative influence of beta-glucuronide on estrogen balance.
Diindolymethane (DIM) is produced by the body when it digests foods containing indole-3-carbinol. This substance is found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts, and turnip greens. Foods such as these also contain exceptional amounts of glucosinolates, which are converted into bioactive compounds that help regulate estrogen activity and metabolism. Doctors Michael Zeligs and Scott Connelly state that the benefits of DIM are primarily due to its notable impact on estrogen and testosterone balance. DIM promotes the breakdown of estrogen into the harmless estrogen metabolite 2-OH-estrone. In addition to not being carcinogenic like 16-OH-estrone, its metabolite counterpart, 2-OH-estrone has impressive antioxidant ability that helps combat free radicals in the brain and heart. DIM also reduces the prevalence of other harmful estrogen metabolites, which are associated with increased risk of obesity as well as breast and prostate cancers.
Support Your Hormones with Supplements
Proper supplementation can be greatly beneficial in resolving estrogen dominance as well as providing general health benefits for men. Cellular Support produced by HoltraCeuticals is formulated specifically for improved estrogen metabolism. Powerful ingredients found in Cellular Support, such as Indole-3-Carbinol, Diindolymethane, and Calcium D-Glucarate provide substantial support for estrogen metabolization, balance, and detoxification. Those who have estrogen dominance can benefit greatly through increased dosage of the above compounds.
If supplementation and lifestyle changes are not enough to alleviate symptoms of estrogen dominance, hormone replacement therapy may be necessary. Before beginning intensive treatments, it is critical to get an accurate assessment of one’s hormone levels and speak with a physician regarding possible medication interactions. Achieving greater quality of health for men requires proper appreciation and management of hormone function. The key to maintaining proper estrogen levels, and thereby optimizing male health, is balancing hormones through healthy lifestyle habits and effective supplementation.