In the world of sports nutrition there are a few different ways to boost testosterone. The most popular way is to increase LH by using supplements like D-Aspartate (the active form of D-Aspartic Acid) or an herbal product like Fenugreek. The second and more effective way is to reduce the side effects of estrogen.
Estrogen is the primary female hormone in the human body and is responsible for regulating many things like fat metabolism and blood pressure. While estrogen doesn’t seem to be a factor in “fat” women, it certainly is in fat men. Thus, it has become popular to reduce estrogen as a means of feeling better and increasing testosterone.
Estrogen is however necessary for the male body to function, so it’s important to not drain estrogen too low. Luckily, that seems to be pretty tough to do and you end up usually with higher estrogen and higher testosterone levels when you take one of these supplements.
AROMATASE INHIBITORS TO LOWER ESTROGEN & BOOST TESTOSTERONE
Aromatase is an enzyme in the body that converts androgens (like testosterone) to estrogens (like estradiol). This enzyme is in the blood and especially active in fat cells. Thus, the fatter you are the more aromatase you have and the more you get fat!
Metabolism. 1981 Oct;30(10):1011-4.
Obese young men have elevated plasma estrogen levels but obese premenopausal women do not.
Zumoff B, Strain GW, Kream J, O’Connor J, Levin J, Fukushima DK.
The 24 hr mean plasma concentrations of estrone (E2) and estradiol (E2) were measured in 18 healthy, regularly cycling obese women; 16 healthy, regularly cycling nonobese women; 18 healthy obese men; and 33 healthy nonobese men. The obese men showed significant elevations of both E1 (67 pg/ml versus 49 pg/ml control; P less than 0.005) and E2 (37 pg/ml versus 28 pg/ml; P less than 0.005), but the obese women showed no significant elevation of either E1 or E2. The most likely explanation for the absence of significant hyperestrogenemia in the obese women despite evidence that such women have increased androstenedione-to-estrone conversion is that the latter source of estrogen is too small in comparison with estradiol secretion to cause a statistically detectable increment in plasma estrogen levels.
Thus by inhibiting aromatase you can increase the amount of testosterone and reduce the levels of estrogen which is good for most males. That being said, it’s important to not drive estrogen into the ground completely or you risk causing high blood pressure and increase risk of heart issues. Plus, too low estrogen levels will actually stop muscle growth and reduce fat loss. The most important thing is to know you body and not get too crazy.
ESTROGEN DETOXIFIERS CHANGE ESTROGEN
Another way to reduce “estrogen” is by using an estrogen detoxifier to change and clear estrogen like estradiol from the body. In this case there are two main estrogen detoxifiers the first one is Indole-3-carbinol and the second one is Diindolylmethane. These two agents found in cruciferous vegetables help to “detoxify” estrogen by turning them into 2-Hydroxy-Estrogen as opposed to 16-Hydroxy-Estrogen.
What that means to the lay person is that these compounds take the estrogen in your system and make it weaker. This reduces the estrogen activity in the body and thus lowers the overall estrogen load.
ESTROGEN BLOCKERS RUN INTERFERENCE
If you have played football you know what a “blocker” is. They take the “hit” for the running back and occupy space! Estrogen blockers are sort of the same concept. They are weak estrogens with little to no activity that “block” the natural estrogen by occupying space.
There are pharmaceutical grade estrogen blockers called “SERM’s” which are prescription drugs usually for breast cancer. The two best known examples of these are Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and Clomiphene (Clomid). These compounds do block estrogen but come with some very nasty side effects. Clomid has been known to cause blurry vision and Nolvadex lowers IGF-1 levels which can reduce muscle growth.
There are natural “SERM’s” too on the market. Ellagic acid is one of them as is Phellodendron amurense. These are natural versions of a SERM that you can use to block estrogen. They tend to work across the body but in a very similar fashion to a SERM.
BLOCK ESTROGEN WITH PROGESTERONE
You can also use USP Progesterone Cream to block the effects of estrogen. Progesterone antagonizes the estrogen receptor, meaing that it reduces the activity of the estrogen receptor, which then makes the amount of estrogen in the body less relevant. Progesterone works well for people who are having gyno symptoms and are not sure the actual cause. Progesterone cream can be found at major pharmacies and typically a dime sized dab on the wrist will be enough to reduce estrogen side effects. Progesterone is not a “female” hormone and in fact it is the second most abundant sex hormone in males.
WRAPPING IT UP
These are all successful strategies for reducing estrogen in men who are concerned with gyno symptoms. Remember do not just knock your estrogen values so low that you are unhealthy. With the supervision of a medical practitioner, you should be able to reduce estrogen and tune yourself in using these kinds of products.