Estrogen – Is This Natural Hormone Slowly Killing Us?
Too much estrogen is a major problem for women and men and too many people have too much of it. Excess estrogen can accelerate aging, worsen prostate health, increase body fat and muscle atrophy, increase hair loss and cause sexual dysfunction. Women with excess non-metabolized estrogen are at greater risk for breast and uterine cancer, obesity and low sex drive.
In both men and woman, fat cells store large quantities of aromatase, an enzyme that creates estrogen. The higher your percentage of body fat, the more estrogen you may produce. This causes you to create more fat cells, which in turn, creates more estrogen! This cycle can spiral out of control.
In men, aromatase signals the pituitary gland and testes to secrete less luteinizing hormone (LH), thereby significantly slowing testosterone production. High levels of estrogen increases the production of a protein called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), which competes with testosterone receptor sites, literally rendering testosterone impotent. Estrogen also causes the liver to produce more of the carrier proteins that bind-up testosterone. Free, unbound testosterone is the only active form that can easily cross into the brain, muscles, sex organs and fat cells.
Free testosterone makes up only a very small part of total testosterone in men and women. Low levels of free testosterone in men increases body fat, reduces sex drive and may cause depression and erectile dysfunction. This becomes a vicious cycle too. Men have less energy and lower self-esteem. They then may get stressed, eat more, gain weight and have less interest in sex.
Early symptoms of aging in men, is called Andropause. Excessive levels of estrogen have been identified as the main culprit!
Estrogen excess 'signals' increased production of SHBG, causing further depletion in free testosterone. Excessive estrogen in males occurs with obesity, excessive alcohol use, smoking, lack of exercise and from exposure to non-bio-identical estrogens in the environment. Pesticides create a form of bad estrogen, concentrated in meats and dairy.
Doses of Bisophenol-A found in microwavable plastics, linings for metal food-and-beverage containers, plastic baby bottles (only glass is safe) leach into the water and blood of humans causing a form of insulin resistance that mimics estrogens. Either a high fat diet according to Nathan Pritikin, one of the great researchers of the twenty century I worked with in 1979 to 81 or minuscule amounts of plastic chemicals (usually considered safe by EPA standards) trigger allergic response, inflammation, and diabetes, according to Theron Randolph MD., author of An Alternate Approach to Allergies. These increases in synthetic estrogens have been shown to cause dangerous changes in the pancreas cells associated with diabetes. Diabetes has increased drastically in our country and worldwide. Diabetics tragically suffer from increased risk of stroke, heart attack, impotency, and amputated limbs.
Some studies suggest that hair loss and baldness may be associated with high-fat diets. High fat diets stimulate estrone, which is converted to bad estrogen. DHT (Di-hydroxytestosterone) can cause hair loss. However, testosterone actually can assist or enhance scalp hair, provided that estrogen levels are okay. DHT should comprise one-fourth to one-third of total androgen count.
Excess estrogen blocks testosterone receptors and DHT becomes dominant. Fatty tissue is loaded with aromatase enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen. The best approach to combat estrogen dominance in both men and women is to exercise, improve diet and take nutritional supplements that decrease estrogen production.
Losing body fat reduces estrogen conversion. In men, symptoms of andropause recede, and in women, estrogen-dominant symptoms decrease.
Men — Reduce Your Estrogen
Over half of all men past the age of 50 have enlarged prostates. Early signals include hesitancy at the start of urination, increased frequency, dribbling and decreased force and flow of urination. Left untreated, enlarged prostates can lead to sexual dysfunction and impotency.
A University of California study found that impotency was mainly due to high estrogen. Another study elsewhere with 320 men who had been surgically treated for severely enlarged prostates, revealed higher estrogen levels and lower testosterone, than men with normal prostates.
In a Japanese study, men without prostate enlargement had higher levels of testosterone! Additionally, men whose prostates were enlarged had higher levels of estrogen. The scientists in this study concluded that non-metabolized estrogen is correlated with prostate size and volume.
Many urologists are treating patients with prostate disease by suppressing testosterone and increasing estrogen. The drugs that suppress estrogen tend to also reduce the beneficial forms of estrogen and are not doing enough to clear the bad forms of estrogens (16aOHE, 4OHE). In my opinion, metabolizing and clearing out extra estrogen should be the emphasis and can be done with natural phyto-chemical herbs, from vegetable extracts that target the bad estrogens, while restoring the good forms of estrogen and testosterone.
Diindolylmethane (DIM), derived from broccoli, cauliflower, Kale, Bok, Choy, Napa cabbage and Brussels sprouts, promotes beneficial estrogen metabolism. DIM increases 'good' estrogens, which then cause SHBG to bind, thereby improving levels of free testosterone all while dramatically decreasing 'bad' estrogen. DIM, along with Chrysin (from passion flower), (Passiflora incarnata), in liposomal cream, clears estrogen. It is especially useful for men on testosterone replacement therapy or women on estrogen replacement therapy.
DIM-Chrysin combinations lower prostate cancer risk by up to 41% in men. They also decrease the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer, in women. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is another vegetable extract that is beneficial in estrogen metabolism. Indole-3-carbinol works best if there is sufficient hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
Calcium-D-Glucarate or its metabolite, D-Glucuronolactone, can help detoxify estrogens. Apples and other fresh fruits and vegetables, have small amounts. As a supplement, Calcium-D-Glucarate has positive effects on reducing cancer-producing by-products.
Diet and natural herbs, may prove safer and more cost-effective than some prescription drugs that block aromotase. Natural estrogen-clearing methods appear to cause less body inflammation and less free radical damage, reducing the toxic effects of estrone metabolites while preserving the benefits of estradiol and the 'good' 2-hydroxyestrone.
I encourage physicians to add these important substances to their patient's diet and hormone regimens.
A diet high in vegetables and fruit, with concentrated herb extracts, in combination with a brief, intense exercise program, can help you manage bad estrogen. Many of the special phyto-chemicals are found naturally in raw cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Bok, Choy, Napa cabbage, turnips, rutabaga, mustard and kohlrabi. However, up to 2-lbs. of raw cruciferous vegetables each day, are necessary to achieve the estrogen-clearing benefits. I suggest using a blender (not a juicer or juice extractor, as you want to retain healthy fiber) and combine raw cruciferous vegetables with some tasty high-fiber fruits, such as berries or pears. Vegetables, like bell peppers and fruit, rich in vitamin C, reduce the aromatase enzyme responsible for converting too much estrogen from testosterone. Use water rather than juice as your base, along with frozen fruit and vegetables, to give the drink a "smoothie" texture. A blender usually comes with a 48 to 60-ounce pitcher, which will provide nearly 2-4 pounds of raw vegetable material in your drink through your day.
As suggested, most people will need to supplement their diets with concentrates from DIM (diindolylmethane), Chrysin, D-Glucuronolactone, and other important natural phyto-chemicals. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice should be avoided, as they may inhibit the liver's ability to break down estrogen. Supplements containing broccoli and cauliflower extracts can stimulate the metabolism of excess estrogen, while red grape skin extract and resveratrol, can improve liver P450 function, to help remove excess estrogen.
Di-methyl-glycine (DMG) is a methyl-group donor that helps detoxification. It assists the liver to clear harmful estrogens and lactic acid, after exercise. DMG has been reported to improve sexual function, erectile ability and to oxygenate blood to the genitals. Improved mental function and anti-aging benefits have also been reported with DMG.
Phyto-estrogens in soy and wild yams, is also worthy of consideration. Meat and animal products are correlated to an increased incidence of stroke and dementia. I believe that soy and vegetable products (instead of meat and animal products), are prudent!
DHT needs to be in balance with testosterone. Dr. Edmond De Vroey, the founder of the Longevity Institute, has been using DHT gel for over 20 years to maintain prostate health by applying DHT topical gel. Applied directly to skin, DHT does not convert to estrogen. Instead, topically-applied DHT decreases estrogen levels.
Dr. Ron Rothenberg, Professor of Medicine at the University of California/San Diego, concurs with me, that the sexual and strength-enhancing benefits from DHT, is not as pronounced as testosterone, or testosterone combined with herbs that metabolize estrogen.
In a clinical study by Dr. Wang and colleagues, DHT improved total androgen levels, while significantly decreasing estradiol levels, within 14 days. Estradiol is considered the most dominant estrogen.
Dr. Eugene Shippen has conducted meta-reviews, indicating that testosterone and DHT can actually protect the prostate.
Dr. Schaison has shown that patients with decreased gonad function became more virile, developed more muscle mass and improved in sexual function, with DHT topical gel.
Using DHT Gel over a 2 year period, Dr. De Lignieres reported men, age 55 to 70, improved sexual function and decreased prostate size by an average of 15%.
DHT requires a prescription and is usually only obtained in Europe, however we use an all natural cream with bioidentical hormones as applied under the scrotum, used in the morning after you shower. The well known fact is that scrotal tissue has enzymes in the skin that can increase DHT production in the presents of androgens. This cream with natural androgens allows rapid absorption of testosterone to youthful levels and conversion to DHT to help reduce estrogens.
As with all androgen replacement therapies, signs of excessive DHT levels, such as oily skin, acne, excess hair growth, aggressiveness, or too heightened sexuality, need to be monitored.
A University of Southern California study found that 8 out of 27 men taking Finasteride for enlarged prostate, developed tumors within one year, despite the drug lowering DHT by 67%. It is my view that unidentified elevated levels of estrogen in the prostate could be the problem, not DHT. While Finasteride lowers DHT, it can cause impotency. In contrast, beta sitosterol in saw palmetto may be more effective to restore urine flow, without impotency. Beta Sitosterol improves metabolism of DHT and androgen receptor binding, while Finasteride does not. Even though Finasteride can reduce DHT in the prostate up to 80%, it only decreases the prostate size by about 20%. Some 60-65% of men get no improvement with Finasteride! Over 5% of Finasteride users suffer decreased libido, impotence, and ejaculatory disorders.
It is important to note that clearing all estrogens from adult men is not good! The aim of an estrogen reduction program is to achieve optimal levels for total male hormonal balance. When "bad" estrogens are elevated, they do not permit the hormones of youth, your good estrogens, testosterone, human growth hormone, DHEA, etc., to be at proper levels, thus potentially leading to disease and premature aging, and disability.