Men, Women, and too Much Oestrogen
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Low sperm count, low libido, oestrogen overload and testosterone drop are big threats to our health and reproductive system today, and mostly caused by our modern lifestyles, plastic and the food industry.
Contents of this blog
How we transform testosterone into oestrogen
Oestrogen overload in men
Oestrogen overload in women
Other reasons for oestrogen overload
where the Xenoestrogens hide
How to break down and prevent oestrogen overload
The body’s endocrine system is concerned with keeping blood levels of testosterone and oestrogen at normal homeostatic levels – and is very good at this. However what our endocrine does not do is check to see if there are elevated levels of Xenoestrogens.
Thus the case for males and females might be:
- Normal Real Oestrogen levels
- Normal Real Testosterone levels
- Abnormally HIGH Xenoestrogens levels (undetected by standard blood work)
Both men and women produce oestrogen and testosterone - the difference is the amount. Women have a higher amount of oestrogen; men have a higher amount of testosterone. Women have a higher amount of oestrogen receptors. And men have a higher amount of testosterone receptors. The amounts of receptors are the key - you can give a woman testosterone injections, but she will never get as big as a man, because she doesn’t have the receptors that a man has; and putting oestrogen into a man will not turn him into a woman because he lacks those receptors.
Xeno means “foreign” and xenoestrogens are potent chemical oestrogens that can mimic the activities of the Endogenous oestrogens - the natural kinds produced within the body in both males and females. Xenoestrogens are not biodegradable so, they are stored in our fat cells.
Xenoestrogens attach to oestrogen receptors in the body and stimulate them.
Xenoestrogens pass into our cells from plastic water bottles, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, plastics, fuels, car exhausts, dry cleaning chemicals, industrial waste, meat from animals (which have been fattened with estrogenic drugs), and countless other household cleaning and personal products like hair care, creams, lotions, makeup, detergent etc.
The most ever-present xenoestrogens include BPA (bisphenol A), phthalates, and parabens. Phthalates are found in chemical fragrances such as perfume, air sprays, and candles, whereas parabens are in personal care products like lotion.
BPA is a chemical that is used to make certain plastics and is found in everything from plastic bottles, the coating in aluminium cans to new furniture.
2. How we transform testosterone into oestrogen
Regardless of gender, oestrogen is stored in fat cells, and fat tissue increases levels of an enzyme called aromatase that turns testosterone to oestrogen. Thus men with a higher body fat percentage will produce more aromatase and therefore have higher oestrogen levels and lower testosterone, and since testosterone helps a man burn fat and build lean muscles, xenoestrogens also contribute to obesity in men.
A series of studies have shown that the more BPA people had in their bodies, the fatter they were. People with the most BPA in their urine had a 34 percent chance of being obese compared to only a 23 percent chance in people who had the least urinary BPA. Eating canned soup for dinner for five days has shown to increase BPA levels by 1,223 percent!
Bottom line: The more fat you have, the more oestrogen you’ll have.
3. Oestrogen overload in men
In men, xenoestrogens disrupt the natural balance between male and female hormones, causing men to lose some of their manly traits. Xenoestrogens are believed by some researchers to be the primary cause of a worldwide decrease in male fertility. They are both reducing male sperm count and reducing the quality of male sperm.
Xenoestrogens are also believed to be a major factor in the rise of prostate diseases. The prostate has oestrogen receptors, so these chemicals over stimulate prostate tissue resulting in the overgrowth of the prostate and contribute to inflammation and prostate cancer. They may cause men to develop more breast tissue (a very common problem with modern men) and to experience erectile dysfunction (we've become the Viagra generation). Clearly, any man who values his manhood ought to do all he can to avoid xenoestrogens.
Other male side effects from Xenoestrogens overload:
- Loss of ability to concentrate
- Great timidity
- Feeling weak
- Inner unrest
- Oestrogen overload in women
- Loss of ability to concentrate
- Great timidity
- Feeling weak
- Inner unrest
- Oestrogen overload in women
4. Oestrogen overload in women
Xenoestrogens maintain oestrogen levels at double the normal values for the entire adult life of the human female. As the complementary hormone that’s supposed to balance the delicate system of sex hormones, progesterone is simply overwhelmed by the dominant oestrogens.
The oestrogen overload results in over stimulation of breast and uterine tissue. It causes early puberty, rapid bone maturation, which causes the growth zones at the ends of the long bones, the epiphyseal growth plates, to close too soon that stops bone length growth and reduces adult height.
More women than ever are experiencing reproductive disorders, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. Painful menstrual cramps, persistent acne and cyclic breast tenderness are so common that they are taken for granted as a normal aspect of female physiology.
A note on menopause: In Japan as well as in many other cultures with basic, unrefined diets, there is no word for “hot flashes.” The unpleasant symptoms of menopause are directly related to the stress, the diet and the amount of oestrogen a woman has maintained during her adult life, prior to menopause. And menopause symptoms are not caused by too little oestrogen, but by too much.
Other female symptoms from Xenoestrogens overload:
- Thyroid Dysfunction
- Weight Gain
- Low Sex Drive
- Fluid Retention
- Breast Cancer
- Mood Swings
- Memory Loss
- Hot Flashes
- Thinning Hair
- Dry Skin
- and more…
5. Other reasons for oestrogen overload
You may also have too much internally produced oestrogen for a number of other reasons including the following:
- Deficient in certain nutrients (magnesium, vitamin D, selenium, zinc). Nutrient deficiencies elevate aromatase significantly. For example, men with vitamin D deficiency have low testosterone and elevated oestrogen due to increased aromatization.
- Too much alcohol. Especially beer increases aromatase and it’s been repeatedly linked to low testosterone and high oestrogen in men.
- Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. Both can elevate oestrogen or cause an imbalance between oestrogen and other hormones.
- Low inability to metabolize oestrogen effectively due to poor gastrointestinal health, lack of certain nutrients or probiotic, or low fibre intake.
6. where the Xenoestrogens hide
The list is long but here are few of the most important ones to watch out for:
- BPA (Bisphenol A) is found in plastic bottles and plastic food containers along with tin cans and register receipts
- Pesticides used in bug spray and to treat produce
- Phthalates—most commonly found in air fresheners, scented candles, and perfumes.
- Parabens—found in personal beauty care products such as shampoo, lotion, and soap
- Flame retardants—found in furniture, fabrics, electronics, household materials
- Household cleaning products.
- Paint and vinyl
- Cosmetics and nail polish
Note! As mentioned previously. The more fat you have, the more oestrogen you’ll have because fat tissue increases levels of the aromatase enzyme that turns testosterone to oestrogen. Decreasing body fat and building lean mass are key to prevention many forms of cancer and the elimination oestrogen.
- Are found in conventional meat and dairy products
Unlike previous, all cows that produce milk today are pregnant 70% of the time and their milk contains over 20 different hormones without anything being added to it. If you drink non-organic cow’s milk you also ingest antibiotics, steroids, pesticides and the likes.
Replace with organic meat and organic goats-, rice-, almond-, coconut or/and soy products.
7. How to break down and prevent oestrogen overload
1. Eat organic
Switching to organic fruits, veggies and animal products will help to stop the flooding of chemicals into the bloodstream and throughout the body.
2. Level the blood sugar
Protein, healthy fats, and high-quality carbs are essential to balance blood sugar levels.
To avoid excess oestrogen in the body and to keep healthy thyroid, adrenal, and pancreas functions the blood sugar needs to be in a normal range. Persistently high insulin increases inflammation and produces a poor endocrine profile that can inhibit oestrogen metabolism. On the other hand when your blood sugar drops, it tells your body you are starving – and this is perceived as danger by your adrenal system. Keeping your blood sugar steady lets your adrenals know you are not in survival mode
The most important step to blood sugar balance is starting your day – every day – with a high protein breakfast, and then eating a diet high in protein, good quality fats, and vegetables regularly throughout the day.
Protein has a stabilising effect on blood sugar level, as it helps pull sugar into the cells so your body can use it for energy. Fat slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream and prevents sugar highs and sugars crashes, but skip anything that requires a factory to produce it. Corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and margarine are all highly processed and highly inflammatory. As a rule of thumb, enjoy fats that allowed your ancestors of 10,000 (and even 100,000 years ago!) to thrive. These include fats from grazing animals, like butter, ghee, egg yolks, lard and tallow. Unrefined (virgin) coconut oil and cold pressed virgin olive oil are another excellent options. Those fats don’t clog arteries - blood sugar problems do.
Good protein sources:
A high-protein diet will produce a better body composition for most people. Plus, low protein diets have been shown to decrease activity of something called cytochrome P450 that metabolizes oestrogen.
The amino acids lysine and threonine have been shown to support liver function and since oestrogen is metabolized by the liver, it is thought that these proteins can help get rid of excess oestrogen from the body.
Lysine and threonine are found in fish, chicken, turkey, pork, beans, eggs, and some seeds (sesame, fenugreek). Sesame seeds also provide fibre and fenugreek helps lower the insulin response to carbs, making both good additions to your diet.
Five quick to make protein and fat rich breakfast smoothies
3. Improve Gastrointestinal Health
Probiotic is essential because it will increase the “good bacteria” in the gut and support neurotransmitter function and healthy bacteria that can actually improve production and regulation of key hormones like insulin, ghrelin and leptin.
Furthermore. As oestrogen is heading out of the intestine, it needs to be bound to glucuronic acid, but there is a “bad” intestinal bacteria called glucuronidase, that uncouples the bond between oestrogen and glucuronic acid, oestrogen then re-enters circulation and damage tissue. To avoid this, you need a healthy gut, which you can get by supporting the probiotic bacteria in your gut with plenty of probiotic foods (kombucha is the easy choice – contains plenty of glucuronic acid), fermented vegetables, kefir, bone broth or taking a probiotic supplement.
4. Get plenty of Omega 3
Omega-3 foods are believed to help lower the risk for heart disease due to their inflammation-reducing abilities. They also are needed for proper neurological function, cell membrane maintenance, mood regulation, metabolizing excess oestrogen and hormone production.
Good Omega 3 sources:
- Cod Liver Oil
- Chia Seeds
- Salmon (wild-caught)
- Flaxseeds (ground)
- Natto (fermented soy super food)
- Egg Yolks
5. DIM your veggies
Cruciferous vegetables are rich in glucosinolates – a large group of sulphur-containing compounds. These powerhouse chemicals support detoxification and prevent cancer cells growth.
DIM - also a compound found in cruciferous vegetables - helps the body to get rid of excess oestrogen. DIM is often taken in supplement form because you would need to eat large quantities of these vegetables daily in order to provide sufficient effect on oestrogen elimination.
List of cruciferous vegetables:
- Bok Choy
- Brussel Sprouts
6. eat your soy man
Include foods with phytoestrogens in your diet because they will take natural and chemical oestrogens out of play in the body. Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that bind to oestrogen receptors, but they have about 1/1000th of the effect on the body as real or chemical oestrogen. When phytoestrogens bind to oestrogen receptors they basically take up the parking sport of the true oestrogen, and keep it from exerting its effect.
Lignans and isoflavoner are the main phytoestrogens, and in addition to binding with oestrogen receptors, they can increase SHBG levels (protects the body by binding to oestrogen), decrease aromatase (prevents testosterone turning into oestrogen), and help the body with eliminating.
The best phytoestrogens to include in the diet are organic soy products like tofu and miso, edamame, flax (crushed), sesame, leafy greens, alfalfa, red clover, liquorice root, and legumes.
Very important about soy products like tofu:
Eat only organic soy! Just as healthy soy may be in organic form, as toxic is the conventional soy, which is very often genetically modified and loaded with pesticides and xenoestrogens - and then we are back to square one…
7. Prefer as much as possible natural skincare- haircare- and cleaning products.
Want tips to lose weight, get radiant skin, feel happy and make more love? Then read my post about balancing hormones.
All information in this blog is strictly for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The statements made in this book have not been evaluated by The Danish Health Authority. The products linked to in this blo and any information published in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided by this blog is not a substitute for a faceto-face consultation with your physician, and should not be construed as medical advice. The entire contents of this blog are based upon the opinions of Hanne Robinson. By reading and using this blog, you agree to only use this publication for personal informational use and not as a substitute for medical or other professional advice.