Every bro knows that testosterone is that gives us our bar-bending, shirt-ripping alpha qualities. We also know that estrogen can hinder the T roaring through our veins. With that in mind, we need to know more about estrogen blockers and how they can keep us right in the alpha zone.
Ok bro, we know you’re right in that sweet spot. You’re ripped AF, you’re benching your mom’s car and you’re basically a testosterone fueled beast right now.
But that might not always be the case.
It might be known as the female hormone, but your body creates estrogen too. If you start producing too much, you’ll struggle to make gains, lose your alpha assertiveness and even shed the muscle you have.
Here’s the real kick in the teeth though. The more testosterone you produce, the more estrogen your body creates. Annoying right.
So, the question is, what can you do about it? Many, many bro’s have asked themselves that question since the dawn of time. As a solution, some are turning to estrogen blockers. But do they really work? And how do they work?
Bro, it’s time to look closer. We’ve created a definitive guide so you have all your questions answered.
- What is estrogen?
- Do you need estrogen blockers?
- What are estrogen blockers?
- How do estrogen blockers work?
- Are estrogen blockers safe?
- Natural estrogen blockers
- What else can you do to keep estrogen levels in control?
- The final word
What is estrogen?
As you may know, estrogen is the dominate sex hormone in women.
Although you may think you’re a perfect specimen of 100% testosterone fueled bro-power, the reality is, estrogen is pretty essential to every guy. It plays a vital role in keeping your brain and joints healthy. It’s also key to helping your sperm develop properly, so if you want strong little soldiers, you’ve got estrogen to thank.
Ok so, now we know we shouldn’t be hating on estrogen completely, it’s important we know how too much of this hormone can impact your carefully-crafted body.
A hormone imbalance occurs when we are lacking in testosterone and heavy on the estrogen front. If that happens there can be some pretty unpleasant consequences for you physically.
A hormone imbalance can cause:
- Gynecomastia, or man boobs
- Weight gain
- Prostate issues
- Cardiovascular issues
- Loss of libido
- Reduced sperm reduction
- Erectile dysfunction
With too much estrogen in the mix and not enough testosterone, you could be at risk of any of these consequences. If you think you’re experiencing these issues, you should speak to your doctor for a professional diagnosis and information on what to do next.
Do you need estrogen blockers?
When you’re going through puberty your body is coursing with testosterone, and you’ll continue to have high amounts throughout your 20s. Normal, healthy amounts of T sit between 300 – 1,000 ng.DL of testosterone, depending on your age. Anything below these levels is considered low.
Things start to change when you hit 30. At this point your T levels naturally start to drop at an average rate of around 1-2% a year.
Because of this, and the obvious muscle-growing results that testosterone naturally brings, a lot of bros are turning to T boosters to bring their levels up. The issue with that is, estrogen is created through testosterone conversion. So, the more male hormone you have, the higher your estrogen levels are. Catch 22 right.
As you grow older, a natural drop in testosterone levels is normal, typically around 1-3% after aged 30. So, if you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it’s just the way of the world bro, you’re unlikely to get a prescription for pharmaceutical blockers.
If you’re trying to give your lifting career an edge and lay on more muscle, you’re definitely not going to get a prescription bro.
However, if you are concerned, then speak to your doctor and see what the best form of treatment might be.
What are estrogen blockers?
An estrogen blocker is essentially a form of natural supplement or pharmaceutical that reduces the amount of estrogen in your body.
A pharmaceutical estrogen blocker can only be prescribed by a doctor if you have a clinical need for testosterone replacement therapy. Although initially designed for women, they can have an estrogen blocking effect in men, reducing the production of the hormone with very effective results.
However, as they’re prescription only, you need to have a medical condition. So, although they might do the job, you shouldn’t take estrogen blockers unless you genuinely need them.
Natural estrogen blockers are found in foods and work by inhibiting the production of estrogen within the male body. Currently, there isn’t a lot of research out there confirming whether they work as effectively as the pharmaceutical options. However, there is science indicating that this could be the case.[infobox]If you’re not in a position where you need to be prescribed an estrogen blocker, exploring natural options might be the best course of action.[/infobox]
How do estrogen blockers work?
Let’s get down with the science, bro. An effective estrogen blocker can work in one of two ways.
- They suppress the production of estrogen
- They stop your body from being affected by the estrogen you do produce
Let’s start with the first way. Your body produces estrogen through testosterone conversion. It does this by using an enzyme called aromatase. A number of blockers simply target this enzyme, so it can’t do its job, thus reducing the amount of estrogen produced in your body.
The second way focusses in on the receptors that allow estrogen access to your cells. The receptors will stop accepting the hormone, so it becomes useless and eventually lost as waste.
Are estrogen blockers safe?
A number of testosterone treatments out there, including testosterone replacement therapy, can lead to sterility. By adding synthetic T to your body, your brain tells your testes to stop producing the hormone, which is a bad sign if you want to start a family at any point in the future.[infobox]Abuse of synthetic androgen hormones can also lead to a number of other health complications. These include the risk of heart problems and strokes.[/infobox]
By opting for an estrogen blocker instead, you’re going for a much safer option, that doesn’t have an impact on your sperm production. Unfortunately, a lot of the time estrogen blockers are paired with anabolic steroids, as more testosterone, even when it’s synthetic, means more estrogen production. This is clearly dangerous, as any type of un-prescribed, un-regulated steroid use can have serious health implications.
When used alone, an estrogen blocker can be safer. Pharmaceutical blockers are growing popular in men, as they can block estrogen without impacting fertility. However, we’re not pharmacists, so always speak to your doctor about your prescription to see if there are any side effects you need to be aware of.
Many synthetic estrogen blockers have been linked to a number of issues, specifically to do with bone strength and structure. You could also be at risk of heart disease, stroke and even deep vein thrombosis. However, speak to your doctor, because they’re the pros.
In terms of natural options, these are usually healthy foods or minerals your body is completely prepared to deal with. This means you’re very unlikely to experience any adverse symptoms.
Generally, research has indicated that estrogen blockers are safe, when taken for just a short period of time .
Natural estrogen blockers
There are a few natural ingredients out there that could be used as estrogen blockers.
As we’ve said before, there isn’t extensive research supporting the effectiveness of natural estrogen blockers. However, there is some science which does indicate they can really help to either slow the production or stop your body being affected by the hormone.
Here are the most popular natural estrogen blockers:
Hailing from Peru, this cruciferous plant has been linked to enhanced fertility, increased sperm count and estrogen blocking in some studies. However more research is needed to verify what direct impact Maca actually has on hormone control.
Wild nettle root:
This has long been used in traditional and modern natural medicine to treat prostate issues. It’s also commonly used in prostate medicine. It contains essential compounds that naturally block estrogen by inhibiting the production of aromatase, the enzyme that converts T into E.
Grape seed extract:
Science has shown this ingredient to work as an aromatase inhibitor, in postmenopausal women. Although it hasn’t yet been verified, this indicates it could have the same impact on men.
We also know that Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) and Diindolylmethane (DIM) are common compounds found in the vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. These work together to influence enzyme production, which then translates into estrogen disruption. However, any research around this is purely confined to a petri dish, rather than in a real-life situation.
What else can you do to keep estrogen levels in control?
If you’re worried about your estrogen levels, bro, there are a few things you can do to help keep the levels down. Before you start turning to blockers, get on the preventative hype and try these tips to keep your T high and your estrogen in control.
- Reduce your alcohol intake. Don’t get us wrong, bro we all like to crack open an ice-cold beer every now after a long week bending the bar. But the truth is, if you’re over doing it, it can actually completely mess up your testosterone production.
- Avoid T blocking foods. Some foods aren’t good for you and some just outright zap your testosterone levels into submission. Check out our article to find out which you should be avoiding.
- Add more cruciferous veggies to your diet. No that wasn’t a sick-ass Harry Potter spell. Cruciferous veggies, as we’ve mentioned contain compounds that can help keep the T on the up. Regularly eat them to maintain healthy levels.
The final word
So, bro, what’ve we learned today.
Basically, the prescribed estrogen blockers do in fact do the job. But you should only be taking them if you have a condition that requires the hormone, and trying to boost your gains ain’t a good enough reason bro.
Although science indicates that natural ingredients can help to block estrogen and keep your testosterone levels high, there’s no definitive proof out there yet. They could help you bro, but we can’t guarantee anything. The best way to find out is to try them out for yourself.
Overall, if you’re really worried about your testosterone levels, we recommend you speak to your doctor. If you’re just looking for an edge to your bodybuilding program, we got one simple tip bro…
Train harder, eat right and don’t cut corners
You’re welcome bro.
References: Winer EP, e. (2005). American Society of Clinical Oncology technology assessment on the use of aromatase inhibitors as adjuvant therapy for postmenopausal women with ho… – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.