“Be a man!” A phrase echoed through generations, transcending color and creed, a call to action to the male human population.
But while the abstract definition of manhood and manliness may differ from culture to culture, the biology of the male remains constant and stable, viable levels of testosterone is one of these major factors.
Male secondary sexual characteristics (hairy face, manly voice, propensity to risk taking etc…) are brought on and maintained by high levels of testosterone, this hormone is also responsible for maintaining a healthy sex drive and erectile function.
As a man enters his 30s, the natural production and levels typically begin to decline.
What To Avoid to Maintain High T-Levels
We can agree that testosterone is vital for maintaining balanced male health.
It therefore goes without saying that estrogen, the hormone responsible for female secondary sexual characteristics stands firmly in the way of the availability, balance and benefits of testosterone and that avoiding it is tantamount to maintaining a balanced male system.
It is fair to note and remember that whether it’s testosterone or estrogen, all androgens (sex hormones) are vital to the optimum function and wellbeing of all human beings. Girls need testosterone and boys need estrogen.
The only concern is that males should sit at a testosterone dominance, meaning testosterone levels should be significantly higher than estrogen levels for correct biological function as a male.
Estrogen has the positive effect of assisting in bone development and formation, decreasing the risk of chronic heart failure in both men and women and lending itself to promoting healthy levels of cholesterol HDL.
In men however, estrogen should be kept at a bare minimum.
An excess in estrogen, especially one that leads to estrogen dominance, should be avoided by men. Most men take pride in their masculinity, so for this sake alone it is worth maintaining a significant testosterone dominance in the body.
Aside from this, excess estrogen poses some notable physiological risks to the function and wellbeing of the male human.
- Standing Up To The Occasion
Excess estrogen suppresses the natural effectiveness of testosterone. As we know, testosterone is one of, if not the leading factor in maintaining sex drive and erectile function, and an excess in estrogen invariably stands in the way of you standing at all.
- Mood Swings
Estrogen leads to mood swings. the psychological volatility a female experiences during her menstrual cycle can be attributed to the estrogen levels skyrocketing around this time.
- Lower BMR
An estrogen dominance can naturally lead to a lowered basal metabolic rate or BMR.
- Real Men Do Cry
With an increase in estrogen, the tear ducts often experience a decrease in tear secretion. This fluid is vital for the maintenance of eye health and good vision.
The list goes on and on. Memory loss, bloating, thyroid issues, body fat accumulation are just some of the other maladjustments a male would typically experience under the strain of estrogen dominance in the body.
There is always hope however, and as much as you can succumb to the woes of excess estrogen, you also have the power and resources to combat it.
How To Avoid High Estrogen
We’ve touched on the complications and risks surrounding estrogen dominance. How to avoid this excess is as simple as making a few pivotal lifestyle choices.
As mentioned, excess body fat can directly result from estrogen dominance, but at the same time, having excess body fat itself leads to an increase in estrogen. This is what’s known as a vicious cycle.
In the same vein, excess body fat leads to a decrease in testosterone, and a decrease in testosterone leads to an increase in body fat. Lower testosterone makes estrogen dominance all the more a reality.
Dangers of Plastic
In the modern world, we have developed many ways to process and store our food. Being health conscious about what we put in our body goes a long way.
But would you have thought that what our food is stored/served in can play just as much of a role, especially when it comes to effects attributed to estrogen?
Plastic food containers very commonly contain BPA, a chemical that mimics the effect of estrogen. Look out for the “BPA Free” label or just avoid having your food and drink being stored and served in plastic.
Go Easy on The Whiskey and Beer
Alcohol consumption plays a major role in estrogen availability. Estrogen is naturally filtered out by the liver. So in instances where alcohol is abundant in the body, estrogen excretion will naturally take longer leading to a prolonged build up.
Eat Foods Rich in DIM
DIM stand for 3,3 Diindolylmethane, a powerful compound which is produced from the digestion of indole-3-carbinol – which can be found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
Eating these specific foods will help and assist the body in metabolizing estrogen which then, in turn, leads to higher testosterone levels.
In conclusion, it’s easy enough to manage excess estrogen levels when armed with the correct knowledge.
It is just as vital to take steps in increasing natural testosterone production as it is to lower estrogen.
This can be achieved in a plethora of ways, both in how you work out (HIIT, strength based training and functional training) as well as what you put in (cruciferous vegetables, zinc, vitamin D and C).
All in all its worth remembering that each human body is unique and thus so are its needs.
It’s always wise to check up on yourself with relevant health care experts before embarking on any progressive attempts to alter your physiological state.