For many men, simply working out anabolically and eating lots of protein doesn’t result in the high testosterone levels they want so badly. A lot of the times, this can be attributed to high levels of estrogen in the body. Estrogen, the name for a group of female sex hormones, actively blocks testosterone production and distribution in the male body.
Getting amped up testosterone levels is nearly impossible without actively trying to lower estrogen levels as well. In this day and age, estrogenic compounds can be found everywhere, from foods to external body care products. Avoiding all exposure to estrogen is neither possible nor practical. However, it is important to at least attempt to shy away from estrogen-heavy products, as they can actively fight against your gains.
Over-exposure of estrogen to women is not good news, either. Too much estrogen can be carcinogenic and lead to breast cancer in women who are exposed. If women shouldn’t risk it, men certainly should not expose themselves to the threat. While all human beings (that’s right—even manly men) have certain small levels of estrogen in their bodies, it’s very common to find men with estrogen levels far above what they should ideally be .
Estrogen blocks testosterone function by competing for the androgen receptors in the endocrine system. Therefore, the only way to avoid completely demolishing testosterone function in the male body is to ensure that estrogen levels are low and testosterone levels are high. Unfortunately, the male endocrine system is also susceptible to an enzyme known as aromatase, which facilitates the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Therefore, when attempting to lower estrogen levels, one should also lower aromatase levels as well.
Let’s find out how to lower estrogen levels.
Avoiding GMO Produce/Eat Organic And Natural
GMO produce has become an issue recently, for a variety of reasons. The fact that it isn’t labeled is seen by some as incredibly deceitful. Others could not care less, as it’s quite safe to assume that GMO’s are in—well, basically everything. Here is where the problems lie for men trying to up their testosterone levels: GMO soy, specifically, is everywhere. Nearly all inorganic, cash-crop produce has been tainted by genetically modified soybeans. The reason this is a big deal is because soy has been anecdotally shown to lower testosterone levels by acting as an estrogenic compound in the male body.
Eating inorganic, processed food basically ensures that you will be exposed to some sort of synthetic hormone molecule that can screw up your whole delicate endocrine balance. Trace levels of estrogen mimickers can be found in these type of foods, so avoiding them altogether is probably your best bet.
Choose Paper Over Plastic
Plastic is everywhere nowadays. We drink out of plastic bottles, heat our food up on plastic plates, use plastic utensils… the list is truly endless, and that’s just ingested plastic. Cheap plastic materials are bendy, and the compounds that make them this way are a part of a group known as “phthalates” (it’s a mouthful, I know). Phthalates are estrogen mimickers and are readily released from heated up plastic products for months after their manufacture. Invest in microwaveable glassware and stop drinking out of plastic bottles. There’s a reason Coke tastes better out of the vintage glass bottle, anyway.
Rid Yourself Of Excess Body Fat
Body fat, as you probably already know, is the bane of testosterone’s existence. But why? Estrogen molecules actually tend to be concentrated in fat cells. In men, excess fat is most commonly found around the lower gut (you may refer to it as the tire). Many doctors advocate for fat loss when a patient is plagued by low testosterone levels.
This should not be confused with general weight loss—we have all heard by now that muscle is more dense than fat, so don’t start counting calories as your sole method to rid yourself of your fat stores. Instead, start an aggressive fat loss protocol, designed to protect your hormonal health while you get rid of that fat (like this one). Research has shown a correlation between high body fat percentage and low testosterone (thanks to high estrogen). So if you are serious about dropping your estrogen levels, you need to drop that fat.
Stay Away From BPA And Parabens
Bisphenol-A has been under a lot of controversy lately after the general public finally found out what it is, just how terrible it is, and that it is just EVERYWHERE. BPA can be found in the lining of canned foods (buy fresh produce, people), in newspaper ink, and on most store receipt paper. Give that some thought the next time you lick your finger to turn the page of the Times, or whatever you read. In several animal studies on organisms that are more susceptible to gender change than humans, BPA actually managed to switch subjects from male to female.
Parabens are compounds found in creamy personal care items that provide products with some sort of molecular structure. These closely resemble estrogen in the male body, and can create huge endocrine imbalances. Stay away!
Related: 5 Ways BPA Will Ruin Your Health
Methylate Your Estrogen Away
Estrogen, structurally, is imbalanced. Essentially, the molecule is not structurally complete and requires an extra methyl group for this to occur. Once the estrogen molecule is methylated, it is rendered inert and therefore is pretty useless in the body. The body will then rid itself of the molecule through a process known as chelation. This is a quite straightforward and effective way of lowering estrogen levels. Betaine and choline are the most effective methylators for estrogen. The best sources of betaine include beets, wheat bran, spinach, and shrimp. By consuming adequate amounts of an estrogen methylator regularly, you will start to see lower estrogen levels and higher T levels in no time.
Estrogen is one of the most effective testosterone blockers in the male body, and unfortunately, is quite easy to encounter. It is important to take great care and make suitable lifestyle choices in order to avoid over-exposure to estrogen. Building up testosterone levels is certainly no simple task, and high estrogen levels can make it nearly impossible. However, through careful fat loss, avoidance of estrogen mimickers such as BPA, parabens, and phthalates, and taking a methylator to chelate estrogen molecules, lowering estrogen levels does not need to be as difficult as it may seem.
1. Kuoppala, A. (2014, March 26). 20 Ways to Lower Male Estrogen Levels Naturally » The Ultimate List. Retrieved August 22, 2015.