Estrogens are hormones that are important for sexual and reproductive development, mainly in women, but they are also produced in males in a lot smaller quantities. They are also referred to as female sex hormones. Estrogen is a vital hormone whose levels should not be suppressed if the hormonal balance is normal, but only if there is an identified surplus.
Estrogen dominance is manifested in the following forms:
High estrogen associated with normal levels of progesterone or testosterone
This combination occurs mostly in women and men that are overweight and in people who were exposed to xenoestrogens, which are synthetic or natural substances (not produced by the body) that mimic human estrogen. The majority of estrogens are produced primarily in the ovaries or testes and the adrenal gland in men. Fat cells, however, also produce and store estrogen, so that more fat cells mean more estrogens.
High estrogen associated with low levels of progesterone
This combination is basically common in women. A women advance in age, progesterone levels fall sharply while those of estrogen drop gradually. However, estrogen dominance is not a problem of every woman in adulthood.
Special tests can help you determine if you are suffering from excess estrogen levels if you have more than 3 characteristic etrogen dominance symptoms. Disbalance in hormone levels can also be found in adult men. In some cases this disbalance may result in estrogen dominance.
Conversion of androgens to estrogens caused by the aromatase enzyme
Aromatase levels are increased with factors such as age, obesity, insulin, alcohol etc. The elevation of this enzyme leads to unpleasant consequences for both genders – in men leads it leads to gynecomastia, losing of muscle mass, and in women it can lead to to precocious puberty, hypertrophy of the breasts and and many other issues.
It becomes very clear that our health largely depends on sex hormones, so it’s beneficial to us to keep them in their optimal range.
In our everyday life we are surrounded with thousands of different types of chemicals, most of which adversely affect the endocrine system.
How to lower excess levels of estrogen?
There are three ways we can use to influence estrogen :
- Through changes in our lifestyle
- By changing our diet
- By using herbs and supplements.
Given the fact that in the majority of estrogen dominance is caused by external factors, you can make some adjustments to your habits and start living a healthier life. Seemingly simple, these changes would have a positive effect on the hormonal balance:
– Minimize the use plastic in daily life, especially when it comes to storing food and beverages. Ideally, you could replace your plastic containers and bottles with glass ones.
– Be careful of the home chemistry you buy.
– Go to bed on time to allow your body to produce optimal amounts of melatonin – a hormone that lowers estrogen.
– Reduce alcohol consumption – we know that alcohol can increase estrogen levels and damage the liver. If you really have an occasion stick to softer alcohols and drink low amounts (a glass of wine or beer)
– Lose weight (actually lose some fat, not just any kind of weight). Although most of the excess estrogen is stored inside fat cells, when you start a diet it is released into the body. Although this estrogen has a relatively short life, it is better to lose weight and “flush it” out of the body.
Beetroot, egg yolks, goji berries and all raw fruits and vegetables containing vitamins B6, B9 and B12 will help the body get rid of the bad estrogen by adding a methyl group to the estrogen molecule. Mushrooms, berries, and vegetables from the cruciferous family – they all help in getting rid of the excess estrogen from the body.
Fiber also play an important role in combating estrogen dominance. The recommended doses of dietary fiber diet are between 35 and 50 grams per day, depending on gender, weight and other factors. For more foods that fight with estrogen check this article – “The Top Anti Estrogen Foods You should Eat“
Supplements and herbs
By using the following herbs and supplements you can lower the excess estrogen in your body
Nettle Root extract – It is known as one of the best inhibitors of aromatase.
Resveratrol – a natural inhibitor of aromatase. Most of the resveratrol additives on the market are extracted from the plant Fallopia japonica, which has an extremely high potency and is used for medical purposes for the treatment of Lyme disease. Another very potent source of resveratrol are grapes.
Oleuropein – it is a substance found in olive plants. It blocks the aromatase enzyme, and helps in keeping healthy hormones longer in the body.
Passionflower – inhibits the action of aromatase. The greatest biological activity is characterized alcoholic extract.
Quercetin – a substance located in the apple peel, forest fruits, onions, vegetables from the cruciferous family.
Dimethyltryptamine – this is the chemical that is secreted during sleep and is a metabolite of the melanin.
Dr. Sara Gottfried, The Hormone cure
David Wolfe, Hormones – the natural approach, Longevity now conference, 2011