The hormone optimization world is similar to any other world. There are many dissenting opinions and always some who purposely take contrarian views to whatever the current narrative is. When I first got interested in hormone optimization around 2005, I remember going to an anti-aging doctor in Santa Monica, CA who specifically stated the goal for men is to have testosterone as high as possible and to keep estrogen as low as possible. This erroneous information was standard at the time. Of course, we know better now and understand that optimal levels of estrogen (not too high or too low) are crucial for not just women but men as well. There is no such thing as a male hormone or a female hormone as both genders regardless of how they identify produce the same hormones and it is important to find the right balance to supercharge your health.
If a man’s estrogen levels subside excessively, it will have a delirious effect on sex drive, sex function (translation you won’t be able to get an erection if your life depended on it), cholesterol levels, heart health, bone health, and growth hormone production. As a result of the current understanding of the importance of ideal estrogen levels for men, several hormone optimization experts now state it doesn’t matter if estrogen levels rise. One well know hormone optimization expert states he doesn’t chase estrogen levels anymore and is not concerned about estradiol levels rising with his patients and only deems it an issue if patients report symptoms of excess estrogen levels such as nipple sensitivity or gyno. For example, if a patient goes from total testosterone of 300 ng/dl (very low number) and estradiol of 30 pg/ml (perfect range) to 900 ng/dl (excellent number) and 60 pg/ml (out of range) it is not an issue unless symptoms of elevated estrogen levels are reported.
I don’t agree with this line of thinking at all. Why wait for something to become a problem before taking action? Moreover, every hormone has an optimal range so it is worth taking some additional steps to optimize your entire hormone profile, not wait for issues to arise before addressing them. Elevated estrogen levels for men can cause issues for the prostate, and heart health, create an irritable mood, and similar to low levels of estrogen have a negative impact on sex drive and again sex function. Excessive estrogen levels also have a negative impact on physique composition. Building muscle and reducing body fat will become more arduous with excessive estrogen levels and once that happens there is no telling how messed up you can get. Why take your testosterone to 900 ng/dl and accept the excess conversion of testosterone to estrogen and tolerate high estradiol of 60 pg/ml when you can do something about it? Aromatase inhibitors such as Anastrozole or Letrozole can be too much and lower estrogen excessively. However, there are estrogen control supplements such as EC which when taken appropriately will assist in pushing your estrogen levels into the ideal range without any issues. The ingredients in EC also support liver health which is cardinal for estrogen metabolism as well as insulin sensitivity which is paramount for comprehensive hormone optimization and ideal physique composition. I gave my friend Dr. Mark Gordon a few bottles of EC to use with some of his TRT patients with elevated estradiol levels. One patient’s estradiol went from 67.4 pg/ml to 23.7 pg/ml after taking two caps for 90 days! Another patient went from an excessive level of 117 pg/ml to a vastly improved 42.4 pg/ml in once again three months. They now have superior testosterone-to-estrogen ratios and are not trending in the wrong direction.
If you have high blood pressure, should you wait until it gets worse to do anything about it? 140/90 for example is not a great blood pressure but is probably not life threatening. However, with a few lifestyle modifications, most can get it to a much healthier range below 125/80. Both of my parents died from heart disease so I make a point of keeping my blood pressure in the optimal range as well as ensuring my insulin sensitivity, c-reactive protein, and homocysteine are ideal. The right levels of testosterone and estrogen are also supportive of heart health and at nearly fifty my testosterone is over 700 ng/dl and estradiol is 26 pg/ml. Excellent ranges for both.
Controlling estrogen is also crucial for overweight men who want to lose fat and build muscle. Especially if they get on TRT or any strategy to increase testosterone such as taking ASTB or Clomid. When you carry excess body fat, you have excess aromatase and this enzyme will convert testosterone into estrogen further compounding your issues. You need to lose body fat to reduce estrogen levels but the catch twenty-two is you need to reduce estrogen levels to reduce body fat. If you have excess body fat in particular in the pecs and lower body, you’re definitely estrogen dominant. I could walk out my front door now and almost guarantee that the first ten men I see are visibly estrogen dominant. I see men often that are so visibly estrogen dominant that they hold body fat like an overweight woman does. This is disconcerting, to say the least, and not something that is amusing in any way. It is a serious problem that needs to be addressed if you want to hold onto what little masculinity you have left and more so move back in the direction of looking and feeling your best as a man. It is not remotely healthy for men to have high estrogen levels and low testosterone no matter how socially acceptable it becomes.
Waiting for things to get worse is a flawed fatalistic mindset that will only be to your own detriment. Ever wonder how people became one hundred pounds overweight? It’s because they didn’t take action when they were 10lbs overweight, not even thirty pounds overweight, and sadly not even when they become fifty pounds overweight. The same thing happens to people who accumulate massive debt over many years. When you see something trending in the wrong direction whether it’s your blood pressure, body fat, testosterone levels, or estrogen levels take action. I don’t wait for my car to break down leaving me sitting on the side of the road with my thumb up my ass to take action. I get my car checked regularly to avoid having issues. My mind and body are far more important than my car. I can replace the latter easily but you only get one brain and body. It is paramount to take charge of your health and avoid waiting for issues to become serious problems.
Improving estrogen balance
- EC contains ingredients that block the conversion of testosterone to estrogen and improve the ratio of good to bad estrogens. Supports liver health and liver detox as well. EC info here
- Consume turmeric, green tea, cruciferous vegetables, vegetables, flaxseeds, hemp seeds,
- DIM improves the ratio of good to bad estrogens after testosterone has been converted to estrogen. It does not lower overall estrogen effectively and is not an ideal estrogen blocker.
- Kelp is high in iodine and helps improve levels of estriol the safest and healthiest estrogen
- Progesterone helps balance estrogen levels and addresses estrogen dominance
- Vitex is useful for women with PMS symptoms as it increases progesterone and helps lower excess estrogen
- All Alcohol consumption converts testosterone into estrogen
- Too much coffee increases harmful estrogen metabolites 4 and 16 hydroxy estrone. Avoid consuming more than five cups per day.
- Take 1-6mg of melatonin before bedtime to lower night time production of estrone
7.6 to 42.6 pg/ml, ideal is 20-30 pg/ml
Follicular phase 12.5 to 166 pg/ml
Ovulation phase 85.8 to 498 pg/ml
Luteal phase 43.8 to 211 pg/ml
Post menopause 5.0 to 54.7 pg/ml
less than 60pg/ml
less than 200pg/ml
The Hormone solution, Dr. Thierry Hertoghe
Traumatic Brain Injury, Dr. Mark Gordon