Estrogen is known as the “female hormone” and testosterone is known as the “male hormone”. Women have more estrogen than men and men have more testosterone than women. Although they are identified with a specific gender, both hormones are found in women and men. However, high estrogen levels can cause a number of undesirable problems in men.
Signs of High Estrogen in Males
Estrogen may stimulate breast tissue growth (gynecomastia). Men with too much estrogen may start developing larger breasts.
2. Low Sex Drive
If you have high levels of estrogen, you may have low sex drive. A balance of both testosterone and estrogen is important for healthy sexual growth and development. Sexual function may be impacted when these hormones become imbalanced.
3. Erectile Dysfunction
If you have high levels of estrogen, you may have a problem known as erectile dysfunction. This means you are unable to maintain an erection. If you are experiencing sexual problems, you should talk to your doctor about a possible hormone imbalance.
4. Prostate Problems
High levels of estrogen in men can cause differing results. Some studies show that excess estrogen may cause prostate cancer, but once the cancer occurs, the estrogen may have some anticancer effects.
Estrogen is partly responsible for creating healthy sperm. When estrogen levels are high, sperm count may fall. This can lead to fertility issues.
6. Weight gain
High estrogen levels in men can cause weight gain and weight gain may cause even higher levels of estrogen. It is a vicious cycle that is not easily broken.
How to Lower Estrogen in Males
Thankfully, you can lower estrogen levels at home through diet and lifestyle changes.
Pomegranates contain phytochemicals which are thought to have estrogen-blocking properties.
- In addition to eating pomegranates fresh, you can also drink pomegranate juice and juice blends to obtain the same health benefits.
2. Fiber-Rich Foods
The liver dumps estrogen into its bile acids, and these bile acids pass through your intestines during digestion. Dietary fiber can help eliminate the estrogen found in bile.
- Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Consider taking a fiber supplement to help boost your intake of dietary fiber.
3. Organic Foods
While chemicals used in food production do not necessarily produce more estrogen, they can have estrogen-like effects when your body absorbs them. Eating organic food will prevent these chemicals from entering your body.
4. Foods Containing Sulfur
Since the liver is responsible for metabolizing and breaking down estrogen in the body, a healthy liver can help reduce estrogen. Sulfur can help detoxify the liver by getting rid of substances that cause liver damage. As a result, the liver becomes more productive and helps reduce estrogen more effectively.
- Sulfuric foods include leafy green vegetables, onions, garlic, citrus fruits, and egg yolks.
5. Green Tea
Green tea contains phytochemicals which may help decrease estrogen production in the body. Research is still in its early stages regarding this notion, but early results appear promising.
6. Red Grapes
The skin of a red grape contains a chemical known as resveratrol, and the seeds contain a chemical called proanthocyanidin. Both of these chemicals have been known to help block the estrogen production.
- Since both the seeds and skins have estrogen-blocking properties, you should eat red grapes that still have seeds rather than choosing seedless varieties.
Polyphenols are derived by plant sources of food. Current research suggests that they help reduce estrogen levels in the blood.
- Many unrefined grains also contain large amounts of polyphenols. Some of the best whole grains include wheat, oats, rye, corn, rice, millet, and barley.
- Flax seeds can be especially beneficial. In addition to polyphenols, they also contain lignans, which can counteract the effects of estrogen in the body and interfere with estrogen production. They do contain plant derived estrogens known as “phytoestrogens,” however, so you should not eat them in excess.
- Other seeds, like chia and sesame, have similarly beneficial properties.
8. Diindolylmethane Vegetables
Diindolylmethane vegetables are known as cruciferous vegetables, which have high levels of phytochemicals. These phytochemicals work with the body to help block estrogen production.
- A few beneficial cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, turnips, bok choy, kale, and rutabagas.
Mushrooms help prevent the production of aromatase, an enzyme that works to convert androgen into estrogen. By eating more mushrooms, you can restrict this conversion process and decrease estrogen levels in the body.
10. Vitamin Supplements
Certain vitamins and minerals can help the body get rid of estrogen. Dietary supplements should never be completely relied upon, but including them in your routine can still be a wise decision.
- Taking a standard multivitamin on a daily basis can be a good idea. These supplements contain zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, and other nutrients, and these nutrients can help break down and eliminate estrogen in the body.
- Bacterial imbalance can interfere with the elimination of estrogen from the body, but probiotics help balance your digestive tract. Take a daily probiotic containing 15 billion units. Keep the capsules refrigerated and take one or two twice daily on an empty stomach.
- Take a 1 mg folic acid supplement and a B-complex vitamin to help improve your liver function. This can be especially helpful if you drink alcohol on a regular or semi-regular basis.
What to Avoid to Lower Estrogen Levels
1. Red Meat
Red meat can contain hormone additives, and these additives can increase estrogen levels in your body or behave like estrogen in the body.
- Look for meat labeled as “natural” or “organic”. Consuming this meat will still cause you to consume the estrogen left over from the animal’s natural stores, but you will not consume any excessive amounts of estrogen this way.
Roughly 80 percent of estrogens acquired through diet come from cow’s milk and dairy products made with cow’s milk. Cows are often milked during pregnancy, when their estrogen levels are highest, which is why cow’s milk can contain such high doses of estrogen. Opt for non-dairy milk products, like almond milk, instead.
- When you do consume dairy, choose helpful dairy sources. Yogurt can be especially beneficial since it contains probiotics.
3. Unfermented Soy Products
Soy products contain compounds called isoflavones that mimic estrogen, so if you have high estrogen levels in your body, consuming unfermented soy can aggravate the estrogen’s effects.
- Unfermented soy products include soy milk and tofu.
4. Junk Food
Caffeine, fat, and sugar can all increase estrogen levels in the body, so you should limit these foods as much as possible.
- Even one cup of coffee can increase estrogen levels. Drinking up to four cups a day can increase your estrogen levels by as much as 70 percent.
Estrogen is metabolized by the liver, but high levels of alcohol can decrease liver function. When liver function decreases, estrogen levels can increase.
- If you have borderline high estrogen levels, limit your alcohol consumption to one glass per day or less. If you are already experiencing estrogen dominance, however, cut alcohol out of your diet completely.
Lifestyle Changes to Lower Estrogen Levels
Stress less. Elevated levels of stress create more cortisol, the stress hormone. A by-product of this process is a relative excess of estrogen.
- Remove any avoidable yet predictable source of stress you face on a regular basis. To counteract the effects of unavoidable stress, find activities that help you relax.
Exercise more often. Moderate to high intensity exercises have the greatest impact on estrogen levels. Try to get 15-30 minutes of moderate exercise each day to begin lowering your estrogen quickly.
- Exercise can also lead to weight loss. Since estrogen can hide out in the body’s fat cells, fewer fat cells can mean less estrogen.
- Instead of doing muscle toning exercises, focus more on aerobic exercise, like walking, running, and cycling.
Avoid handling items that could contain toxins. Certain plastics and cosmetics can contain xenoestrogens, and these estrogens can find their way into your body when you handle them on a regular basis.
- Ceiling and floor tile glues can contain dangerous carbons.
- Metal cans can contain high levels of hormone-altering BPAs.
- Perfumes and perfumed products are one possible threat, and many toiletries contain harmful parabens.
- Gases produced by bleach and strong chemical cleaners can also negatively impact your hormones.
- Plastic bottles and cups can cause you to consume harmful phthalate.
Get plenty of sleep. Poor sleep habits can decrease the amount of melatonin hormone in your body. Melatonin hormone helps protect your body against estrogen dominance, so decreased melatonin levels can lead to increased estrogen levels.
- Keep the room as dark as possible as you sleep. Darkened rooms allow you to sleep more deeply, and a deeper sleep will help you produce more melatonin.
- Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Ask your doctor about stopping certain medications. You should never quit taking any medication without consulting your doctor first. However, if you are concerned about high estrogen levels in your body, you may want to talk to your doctor about certain medications linked to increased amounts of estrogen and ask if you can limit or avoid them.
- Antibiotics can kill or damage the helpful bacteria in your digestive tract. That bacteria helps flush estrogen out of your system, so destroying it can cause estrogen to build up.
- You should always consult your doctor before making any dramatic changes to your diet, lifestyle, or medications.
- This article is only meant to provide general guidelines and direction. If you think you might have dangerously or disruptively high levels of estrogen in your body, talk to your doctor to work out the best treatment plan possible for your individual health needs.