It’s natural for your testosterone levels to decrease as you grow older. However, if your testosterone levels decrease too drastically or too quickly, it may lead to hormonal imbalance. You may end up having extremely high levels of estrogen.
When your estrogen levels are much higher than your testosterone levels, it can cause a variety of problems such as significant weight gain, higher risks of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, as well as gynecomastia or breast enlargement. Hence, you’ll need to find ways to reduce your estrogen levels. Here’s how.
#1 Stinging Nettle (Uritica dioica)
Stinging nettle or wild nettle is a medicinal plant with a long history of usage as a diuretic and laxative. It is also well-known as a natural estrogen blocker since it contains compounds that can help regulate your body’s hormone balance.
Both the roots and the leaves of stinging nettle are used to make medicine. The root, for instance, is used for joint ailments, as an astringent, and to treat urinary problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
A high level of circulating estrogen is one factor that contributes to the enlargement of the prostate. Wild nettle or stinging nettle root helps treat BPH by reducing the body’s production of estradiol and estrone, two types of estrogen present in men. Chemicals in the root of the plant inhibit the production of aromatase, an enzyme necessary for estrogen synthesis.
BPH is often accompanied by frequent urination at night, irritable bladder, and painful urination. There are also times when a man who has BPH is unable to urinate. Stinging nettle root can help address these symptoms.
Stinging nettle leaves can also be used for urinary tract infections or inflammations and kidney stones. Stinging nettle is also used to treat hayfever, diabetes, anemia, and osteoarthritis. It can also help with respiratory diseases like asthma and lung congestion.
Stinging nettle is often used in skin and hair products since it can help with skin problems like eczema and rashes. It’s also great for hair loss and can be used to address oily scalp and hair.
#2 Grape Seed Extract
Grape seeds contain high concentrations of procyanidin B dimers, a compound that acts as a potent aromatase inhibitor. Experiments have shown that procyanidin B dimers can reduce breast cancer tumor growth by suppressing estrogen production.
Aside from preventing high levels of estrogen, grape seed extract is also known for its numerous health benefits. For instance, grape seed extract is known to help improve circulation, treat atherosclerosis, help lower cholesterol levels, and improve cardiovascular health. It has also been found to lessen eye diseases like macular degeneration.
Grape seed extract can, when topically applied, can help hasten wound healing. This is due to proanthocyanidin, a potent antioxidant found in grape seed extract. This important antioxidant can also help reduce UV-induced skin damage. Grape seed extract has been shown to lessen the severity of skin cancer.
Proanthocyanidin can also help facilitate bone formation and improve bone strength. Proanthocyanidin actually acts as a more efficient antioxidant compared to vitamins A, C, and E. Because of this, grape seed extract is helpful in preventing cognitive decline brought about by oxidative stress in the brain.
#3 Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
SERMs or selective estrogen receptor modulators work by acting either as agonists or antagonists. This means that they can selectively block estrogen, depending on where they’re needed.
For instance, SERMs used to treat breast cancer are those that act as antagonists on the estrogen receptors on breast tissue. On the other hand, SERMs used to treat osteoporosis act as agonists on estrogen receptors on bones.
Men can also use SERMs to block estrogen. Although SERMs are primarily formulated to treat breast cancer, men can use SERMs to treat low sperm count and infertility, gynecomastia, and osteoporosis.
For men receiving anti-androgen treatments for prostate cancer, the SERM tamoxifen can be used to prevent gynecomastia. Tamoxifen, which works by blocking estrogen in breast tissues, is also prescribed to male breast cancer patients.
#4 Restore Estrogen Balance
For men suffering from high estrogen levels, there are other ways to control estrogen levels aside from taking estrogen blockers. For instance, you can avoid environmental estrogens which can easily be absorbed by the skin. Personal care products that contain parabens are high in environmental estrogens so you should avoid those products.
Environmental estrogens can also be absorbed from the food you eat. Estrogen found in plants are called phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens mimic how estrogens act in the body, although phytoestrogens are not chemically the same as the estrogens produced by the body.
Foods that contain high concentrations of phytoestrogens include flaxseeds and sesame seeds. In fact, flaxseeds and sesame seeds are often consumed by breastfeeding mothers because they are believed to increase milk production. For men, however, these seeds can further disrupt hormonal balance resulting in even lower testosterone levels.
Legumes like peas and lentils are also known for their high phytoestrogen content. Soy products are also great sources of phytoestrogens so if you have low testosterone levels, you should avoid eating tofu and soy yogurt.
You can also control your estrogen levels by reducing your body fat. This means you need to work out to lose weight. When your body fat percentage is high, it can contribute to high estrogen levels. In addition, a high-fat diet can further increase your estrogen levels.
Alcohol intake is associated with impaired kidney and liver function. These two organs are both important for estrogen regulation. Hence, if your kidney and liver don’t function well due to high alcohol intake, it can interfere with your body’s estrogen regulation. This can lead to high estrogen levels. To lower your estrogen levels, you should stop drinking alcohol or, at least, minimize your alcohol intake.
Another way to reduce your estrogen level naturally is by increasing your consumption of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, maca, cauliflower, and bok choy. Cruciferous vegetables are great sources of zinc which your body needs for testosterone production. In addition, cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals that help inhibit estrogen production.