Estrogen plays an essential role in male as well as female health. Without estrogen, men have a greater risk of osteoporosis, bone fracture, memory loss and increased mortality from all causes of death. Normal estrogen levels in males may prevent a plethora of age related disease. Estradiol is the most potent estrogen and when not optimal is the one that is most often associated with illness. If estrogen is too high or too low, it can cause problems.
Atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries may lead to heart attacks and strokes. Normal estrogen levels in males may slow that process. Men with slightly higher levels of estrogen doubled their risk of coronary artery disease. Studies in men with heart failure showed that those with normal estrogen levels had a lower incidence of dying from the illness. The fewest deaths occurred when estradiol levels were between 21.8 and 30.11 pg/ml. Death rates increased by 133% when estradiol levels were less than 12.9 pg/ml.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy otherwise known as an enlarged prostate is associated with low testosterone and high estrogen levels. Men with prostate cancer also have the same hormonal picture. This begs the question would normal estrogen levels in males slow or prevent these disorders? It is thought that specific estrogen metabolites promote hormone related cancers and managing estrogen and testosterone levels as well as their metabolites may prevent these conditions. More studies are necessary before jumping to conclusions, however data shows an increased incidence of these disorders when estrogen is high and testosterone is low.
While osteoporosis is more common in menopausal women who lack estrogen and other hormones, it is also a risk for men. Men are more likely to die after a suffering from a hip fracture than women. Normal estrogen levels in males is important to prevent bone fractures. If estrogen is too high or too low, the risk increases and if testosterone is also low, the risk of hip fractures is even higher.
Normal estrogen levels in males
The sweet spot for normal estrogen levels in males is about 20 – 34 pg/ml. Estrogen levels are strongly influenced by body fat mass especially belly fat and nutrition. Fat produces an enzyme called aromatase that turns testosterone into estrogen. Losing weight can combat this. Zinc deficiency is also associated with a high level of conversion of testosterone into estrogen by this enzyme so supplementing with zinc if levels are low may be helpful.
Maintaining normal estrogen levels in males
Losing excess fat and good nutrition are essential to maintaining normal estrogen levels in males. Eating cruciferous vegetables and taking indole 3 carbinol (I3C) or diindolylmethane (DIM) can neutralize toxic estrogen metabolites. When these measures don’t work, supplementing with chrysin or getting a prescription for an aromatase inhibitor can lower estrogen. Since testosterone can convert into estrogen, maintaining balance can improve testosterone levels as well. The combination of high estrogen and low testosterone can be deadly and debilitating for men so it is important for you to be sure your hormones are balanced.
Schedule a consultation with an anti aging, functional medicine doctor to have your hormone levels measured. There is an intricate balance that must be maintained to ward off illness and to live younger and healthier.