8 Effective Ways to Lower Estrogen Levels Naturally and Safely

Estrogen or as it’s sometimes called; oestrogen is commonly referred as the “female hormone”. The three main active estrogens in the body are; estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3).

Despite being the female hormone – men also have it – sometimes in very high amounts. Women biosynthesize most of their estrogens in the ovaries, whereas in men nearly all of it comes from converting testosterone into estrogen by the actions of the enzyme aromatase within our adipose tissue, aka. body fat.

There are several reasons as to why low estrogen levels benefit men:

  • Excess estrogen suppresses LH release, and thus, testosterone production1,2.
  • Estrogen produces feminine sex characteristics (yes, even in men)3,4.
  • High levels of estrogen stimulate body-fat formation, inducing more estrogen5,6.
  • Estrogen lowers metabolic rate via boosting serotonin and lowering thyroid7.
  • Estrogen stimulates prolactin which induces ED via dopamine suppression8,9.

Among all the possible negative effects, there is only one real benefit I’ve found with estrogen in the male body, and that is; bone health. Some studies have associated estrogen with increased bone density and prevention of osteoporosis, and sure enough, men who use powerful estrogen blockers like Tamoxifen often find that their joints and bones start to ache when the dosage gets high enough.

However, even in this case, it’s debated whether this bone-protective effect is caused by estrogen10. Some research suggest it’s the more stable “female hormone” –  progesterone – that is responsible of the benefits instead11.

In any case, if you’re a man, you likely benefit from lowering estrogen levels, and here’s 8 ways to do so.

1. Work Towards Lower Body Fat

lower estrogen by losing weightThe easiest way to get into high estrogen problems as a male, is to eat your way into obesity.

You don’t even need to reach obesity status, as for every gained fat pound, your aromatase enzyme activity increases and this leads to higher rate of testosterone being converted to estrogen12.

Not only will the fat mass lower testosterone levels by turning it into estrogen, it will also demasculinize your body by turning the most potent male hormone – dihydrotestosterone – into less active metabolites13.

As your body fatness goes up, testosterone and DHT drop and estrogen increases. Since estrogen increases subcutaneous fat gain6, this will eventually create a vicious cycle where increased fat mass boosts estrogen and higher estrogen increases the accumulation of subcutaneous fat mass.

This first point is easily the most important of the eight. No matter how much you obsess over the smaller details in the 7 points below, your estrogen levels will likely still stay high if you’re rocking a 20%+ body fat.

2. Limit the Use of Plastics

decrease xeno-estrogens by avoiding plastic bottlesAlthough the increased use of plastics has made our lives much more easier in many aspects, they do also come with some drawbacks.

One is the obvious environmental problem, since many types of plastics aren’t biodegradable, and the other is the lesser-known endocrine disrupting chemicals that can leech out from plastic bottles, cooking utensils, microwave-food packaging, etc.

Quite many of these chemicals have been identified as xenoestrogens and antiandrogens, meaning that they are structurally similar to estrogens, so much so that many of them can directly bind estrogen receptors, causing feminizing effects, and suppressing testosterone production through disrupting enzyme functions or blocking androgen receptors.

Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthlates are two of the most notorious estrogenic compounds found in many common plastic bottles and containers, both have been linked to increased estrogen and lower testosterone & DHT in several human and animal trials14–17.

One study screening for commercial water bottles for their estrogen traces says18;

When comparing water of the same spring that is packed in glass or plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), estrogenic activity is three times higher in water from plastic bottles. These data support the hypothesis that PET packaging materials are a source of estrogen-like compounds. Furthermore, the findings presented here conform to previous studies and indicate that the contamination of bottled water with endocrine disruptors is a transnational phenomenon.Wagner et al.

It goes without saying that the simplest methods of avoiding exposure to BPA, phthlates & Co. is to drink from glass or metal bottles, avoid tupperware containers and especially microwaving your foods in them, and switching to non-plastic cooking utensils.

Below are some of my favorites:

3. Limit Polyunsaturated Fat Intake

lower pufa lower estrogen levelsPolyunsaturated fatty-acids (PUFAs) have been claimed as the “healthy fats” for quite some years.

Many studies however have questioned these claims, and when it comes to hormonal health, PUFA surely seems like one of the worst things you can consume.

While saturated fats (SFA) and monounsaturated fats (MUFA) are stable in the body, PUFAs with their multiple volatile carbon-carbon chains are prone to lipid peroxidation in presence of heat, oxygen, and light. This essentially means that PUFA goes rancid quickly in the body (if not rancid already before consumed), leading to oxidative damage and hormonal disturbances in the body.

The problems only accumulate when we eat high-PUFA diets for years and our fat cells store the unstable fatty-acids.

fatty acids and testosterone

I talk more in detail about the testosterone and DHT suppressing effects of polyunsaturated fatty-acids and the research behind the topic in my earlier post titled: “Fats and Testosterone Production“.

When it comes to estrogen, multiple studies in isolated cells and humans show that polyunsaturated fatty-acids stimulate estrogen production and increase its activity towards the estrogen receptor19–22.

The unsaturated fatty acids, but not the saturated fatty acids, free estrogen from the serum proteins that bind it, and increase its availability and activity in tissue cells.Dr. Raymond Peat

4. Limit Estrogenic Food Sources

avoid mycoestrogen and phytoestrogenCertain foods and foodstuffs can be fairly estrogenic.

Mainly these include foods that contain phytoestrogens (estrogen like compounds in certain plants) or mycoestrogens (certain type of mold/fungi that is estrogenic).

Myco and phytoestrogen both exert their effects through the estrogen receptors alpha and beta. The more structural resemblance a food has with estrogen (ie. low molecular weight, isoflavone rings, hydroxylation pattern, phenolic rings) the more potent it is at activating the receptors23.

Most notable sources of phytoestrogen include:

  • Lignans in flax produce.
  • Isoflavones in soy and oily seeds.
  • Coumestans in alfafa and many legumes.

Most notable sources of mycoestrogens include:

  • Fusarium, which is used to produce Quorn, a vegan meat substitute.
  • Zearalenone found in the mold of maize, barley, oats, wheat, and sorghum.
  • Zearalenol and Zearalanol produced by ruminants eating stored moldy grains.

5. Consume More Anti-Estrogenic Foods

anti estrogenic foods can reduce male estrogenThere’s a handful of foods that have anti-estrogenic effects in the body.

They work either by blocking estrogen from binding the receptors or by acting as aromatase enzyme inhibitors and thus reducing the peripheral conversion from testosterone to estrogen.

White button mushrooms are good example of food that do both24, olive oil and oysters can inhibit the aromatase enzyme25,26, citrus fruits contain narignening and apigening which naturally block estrogen and aromatase27, the ellagitannin-derived compounds in pomegranates can block estrogen receptor binding28, and dark pigmented berries have calcium-D-glucarate which binds estrogen from the gut and helps the body remove it29.

Including the above foods into your diet (as well as avoiding phyto and mycoestrogens) can do wonders for your hormonal health.

6. Supplement with Vitamin E

vitamin e for lowering estrogen levels naturallyVitamin E is perhaps one of the most important nutraceuticals to supplement within the Western World.

Due to the fact that we have eaten high-PUFA diets for years and store those fats in our tissues, we are walking lipid peroxidation powerhouses that effectively rancify the polyunsaturated fats that we burn from our own tissues as well as the ones that we consume.

This as mentioned above is not good, since the lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fats – among many other harmful things – is estrogenic and can significantly lower testosterone.

This is where vitamin E steps in. It’s a peroxyl radical scavenger that protects polyunsaturated fatty acids in membranes and lipoproteins. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that prevents (to some extent) the peroxidation of PUFA and the vast array of harmful effects that would result of it30–32.

Because of this, it’s not a big surprise that vitamin E supplementation has led to significant increases in testosterone levels of human and animal subjects, and that it’s a direct estrogen receptor antagonist that also lowers circulating estrogen levels33,34.

7. Prioritize Liver Health

liver and estrogen levelsLiver plays a crucial role in the health of the endocrine system as it excretes toxins and estrogen from the bloodstream.

If liver health is not optimal and/or your liver is overburdened, then estrogen is retained in the body and the levels can quickly increase to the point where your overall health – not to even mention the male health – get compromised.

There are two things of utmost importance to making sure that your liver stays lean and does its job without any issues; choline and reducing your intake of polyunsaturated fatty-acids. This is because choline is necessary for the exportation of fat from the liver35, and PUFA directly prevents this exportation36. Obviously, alcohol is also bad for liver health and this is one of the many reasons it can increase estrogen levels.

Maintaining high-carb diet with somewhat lower fat intake (10-25% preferably from SFA and MUFA) also helps through reduction of free-fatty acids from the bloodstream (which if high enough tend to build up in the liver ducts and cause non-alcoholic fatty-liver disease)37–40.

8. Check your Personal Care Items

avoid parabens and xenoestrogens to lower natural estrogen in menMany store brought personal care items like moisturizers, soaps, shampoos, and sunscreens are loaded with estrogenic chemicals.

These are commonly called as environmental estrogens or xenoestrogens. To be one, a compound has to share enough structural similarity with estrogen to activate the estrogen receptors.

The Bisphenol A and phthlates as mentioned above are the primary xenostrogens in plastics, but when it comes to personal care items, parabens (methyl-, butyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, heptyl-, etc) are the most known ones with estrogenic testosterone lowering properties41–43.

Parabens are not the only xenoestrogenic offenders in personal care items, which is why I recommend that you read my earlier more detailed posts about antiandrogens and personal care item xenoestrogens.

Conclusion

Although estrogen has a biological role even in the male body, it’s best to keep the levels relatively low.

How low you ask? Well, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact number, but staying close to the bottom quartile of the “low end” on most blood tests seems to be like a good place to be as a man.

Following the eight steps above should be more than enough to get you there, and unless you’re using synthetic estrogen-blockers like Tamoxifen, I wouldn’t worry about getting too low.


If you are looking for a natural supplement to boost your testosterone, I would recommend TESTRO-X. 

Click Here To Learn More

Ingredients:

Ashwagandha Root Extract (Organic KSM - 66), Magnesium, Zinc, Boron, Forskolin Extract, Inositol, Glycine, L-Theanine, Black Pepper Extract




References

1.
Charlesworth M, Schwartz N. Estrogen inhibition of LH and FSH secretion: effects of a GnRH antagonist. Am J Physiol. 1986;250(4 Pt 1):E341-5. [PubMed]
2.
Strobl F, Levine J. Estrogen inhibits luteinizing hormone (LH), but not follicle-stimulating hormone secretion in hypophysectomized pituitary-grafted rats receiving pulsatile LH-releasing hormone infusions. Endocrinology. 1988;123(1):622-630. [PubMed]
3.
Johnson R, Murad M. Gynecomastia: Pathophysiology, Evaluation, and Management. Mayo Clin Proc. 2009;84(11):1010-1015. [PMC]
4.
Hormone replacement therapy (male-to-female) – Wikipedia. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormone_replacement_therapy_(male-to-female). Accessed April 8, 2017. [Source]
5.
Nimrod A, Ryan K. Aromatization of androgens by human abdominal and breast fat tissue. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1975;40(3):367-372. [PubMed]
6.
Krotkiewski M, Björntorp P, Sjöström L, Smith U. Impact of obesity on metabolism in men and women. Importance of regional adipose tissue distribution. J Clin Invest. 1983;72(3):1150-1162. [PubMed]
7.
Peat R. Serotonin, depression, and aggression – The problem of brain energy. Ray Peat. http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/serotonin-depression-aggression.shtml. Accessed April 8, 2017.
8.
Gudelsky G, Nansel D, Porter J. Role of estrogen in the dopaminergic control of prolactin secretion. Endocrinology. 1981;108(2):440-444. [PubMed]
9.
Zeitlin S, Rajfer J. Hyperprolactinemia and Erectile Dysfunction. Rev Urol. 2000;2(1):39-42. [PMC]
10.
Manolagas S, O’Brien C, Almeida M. The role of estrogen and androgen receptors in bone health and disease. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2013;9(12):699-712. [PMC]
11.
Seifert-Klauss V, Prior J. Progesterone and Bone: Actions Promoting Bone Health in Women. J Osteoporos. 2010;2010:845180. [PMC]
12.
Lee H, Lee J, Cho B. The Role of Androgen in the Adipose Tissue of Males. World J Mens Health. 2013;31(2):136-140. [PMC]
13.
Blouin K, Richard C, Brochu G, et al. Androgen inactivation and steroid-converting enzyme expression in abdominal adipose tissue in men. J Endocrinol. 2006;191(3):637-649. [PubMed]
14.
Li D, Zhou Z, Qing D, et al. Occupational exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) and the risk of self-reported male sexual dysfunction. Hum Reprod. 2010;25(2):519-527. [PubMed]
15.
Ferguson K, Peterson K, Lee J, et al. Prenatal and peripubertal phthalates and bisphenol A in relation to sex hormones and puberty in boys. Reprod Toxicol. 2014;47:70-76. [PubMed]
16.
Nakamura D, Yanagiba Y, Duan Z, et al. Bisphenol A may cause testosterone reduction by adversely affecting both testis and pituitary systems similar to estradiol. Toxicol Lett. 2010;194(1-2):16-25. [PubMed]
17.
Meeker J, Ferguson K. Urinary phthalate metabolites are associated with decreased serum testosterone in men, women, and children from NHANES 2011-2012. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014;99(11):4346-4352. [PubMed]
18.
Wagner M, Oehlmann J. Endocrine disruptors in bottled mineral water: estrogenic activity in the E-Screen. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2011;127(1-2):128-135. [PubMed]
19.
Reed M, Beranek P, Cheng R, James V. Free fatty acids: a possible regulator of the available oestradiol fractions in plasma. J Steroid Biochem. 1986;24(2):657-659. [PubMed]
20.
Bruning P, Bonfrer J. Possible relevance of steroid availability and breast cancer. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1988;538:257-264. [PubMed]
21.
Reed M, Dunkley S, Singh A, Thomas B, Haines A, Cruickshank J. The role of free fatty acids in regulating the tissue availability and synthesis of sex steroids. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1993;48(1):111-116. [PubMed]
22.
Benassayag C, Rigourd V, Mignot T, et al. Does high polyunsaturated free fatty acid level at the feto-maternal interface alter steroid hormone message during pregnancy? Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1999;60(5-6):393-399. [PubMed]
23.
Turner J, Agatonovic-Kustrin S, Glass B. Molecular aspects of phytoestrogen selective binding at estrogen receptors. J Pharm Sci. 2007;96(8):1879-1885. [PubMed]
24.
Grube B, Eng E, Kao Y, Kwon A, Chen S. White button mushroom phytochemicals inhibit aromatase activity and breast cancer cell proliferation. J Nutr. 2001;131(12):3288-3293. [PubMed]
25.
Ismail A, In L, Tasyriq M, et al. Extra virgin olive oil potentiates the effects of aromatase inhibitors via glutathione depletion in estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013;62:817-824. [PubMed]
26.
Om A, Chung K. Dietary zinc deficiency alters 5 alpha-reduction and aromatization of testosterone and androgen and estrogen receptors in rat liver. J Nutr. 1996;126(4):842-848. [PubMed]
27.
Scherbakov A, Andreeva O. Apigenin Inhibits Growth of Breast Cancer Cells: The Role of ERα and HER2/neu. Acta Naturae. 2015;7(3):133-139. [PMC]
28.
Adams L, Zhang Y, Seeram N, Heber D, Chen S. Pomegranate Ellagitannin-Derived Compounds Exhibit Anti-proliferative and Anti-aromatase Activity in Breast Cancer Cells In Vitro. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2010;3(1):108-113. [PMC]
29.
Calcium-D-glucarate. Altern Med Rev. 2002;7(4):336-339. [PubMed]
30.
Krajcovicová-Kudlácková M, Pauková V, Baceková M, Dusinská M. Lipid peroxidation in relation to vitamin C and vitamin E levels. Cent Eur J Public Health. 2004;12(1):46-48. [PubMed]
31.
Wagner B, Buettner G, Burns C. Vitamin E slows the rate of free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation in cells. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1996;334(2):261-267. [PubMed]
32.
Valk E, Hornstra G. Relationship between vitamin E requirement and polyunsaturated fatty acid intake in man: a review. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2000;70(2):31-42. [PubMed]
33.
Chamras H, Barsky S, Ardashian A, Navasartian D, Heber D, Glaspy J. Novel interactions of vitamin E and estrogen in breast cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2005;52(1):43-48. [PubMed]
34.
Siler U, Barella L, Spitzer V, et al. Lycopene and vitamin E interfere with autocrine/paracrine loops in the Dunning prostate cancer model. FASEB J. 2004;18(9):1019-1021. [PubMed]
35.
Corbin K, Zeisel S. Choline metabolism provides novel insights into nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and its progression. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2012;28(2):159-165. [PubMed]
36.
Pan M, Cederbaum A, Zhang Y, Ginsberg H, Williams K, Fisher E. Lipid peroxidation and oxidant stress regulate hepatic apolipoprotein B degradation and VLDL production. J Clin Invest. 2004;113(9):1277-1287. [PubMed]
37.
Zhang J, Zhao Y, Xu C, et al. Association between serum free fatty acid levels and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a cross-sectional study. Sci Rep. 2014;4:5832. [PubMed]
38.
Feigelson E, Pfaff W, Karmen A, Steinberg D. THE ROLE OF PLASMA FREE FATTY ACIDS IN DEVELOPMENT OF FATTY LIVER. J Clin Invest. 1961;40(12):2171-2179. [PMC]
39.
Free fatty acids, not triglycerides, are associated with non-alcoholic liver injury progression in high fat diet induced obese rats. Lipids in Health and Disease. https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12944-016-0194-7. Accessed April 10, 2017.
40.
Hernandez T, Sutherland J, Wolfe P, et al. Lack of suppression of circulating free fatty acids and hypercholesterolemia during weight loss on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(3):578-585. [PubMed]
41.
Oishi S. Effects of propyl paraben on the male reproductive system. Food Chem Toxicol. 2002;40(12):1807-1813. [PubMed]
42.
Byford J, Shaw L, Drew M, Pope G, Sauer M, Darbre P. Oestrogenic activity of parabens in MCF7 human breast cancer cells. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2002;80(1):49-60. [PubMed]
43.
Darbre P, Harvey P. Paraben esters: review of recent studies of endocrine toxicity, absorption, esterase and human exposure, and discussion of potential human health risks. J Appl Toxicol. 2008;28(5):561-578. [PubMed]
8 Effective Ways to Lower Estrogen Levels Naturally and Safely was last modified: July 13th, 2017 by Ali Kuoppala
Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala is the founder of Anabolic Men, and an Independent Researcher that has been credited with organizing the findings that have helped thousands of men reach hormonal balance.
Ali Kuoppala
  • JD

    Ali, what is it like to be a saint? Do you walk around all day knowing that you know everything?

    I don’t know too much about your personal life but what is it like for your girlfriend to sleep with a saint? Is it special? If I was a woman I would beg you to sleep with me. I would say please just a chance to be wrapped in the arms of a saint.

    Seriously, does your girlfriend appreciate you?

  • Manos Vr

    Could you do a thred on pumpkin and sunflower seeds? They are loaded with the most essential minerals for T production and also have Vitamin E (which helps counteract their high PUFA content).They are also great to mix with some other T boosting fruits such as blueberries,raisins and cranberries to make them more pallatable

  • Miglat Barfola

    Many of the xenoestrogens found in plastics and personal care products have very long Half-Lives. They may be problematic is total fat reduction if you are starting to care past 40 and may even bring about a “fatty liver.” There are plenty of good “Liver Cleanse” on Amazon and by Private Practitioners. Most are based on three primary ingredients; Milk Thistle, Seleno-Excel (Selenium) and Turmeric. There are also a bunch of other good items to add in to the mix.

  • Bren

    I think lowering your bodyfat is by far the most effective way. Especially if you’re above 18% +