Although estrogen is primarily thought of as a “women’s hormone”, it is actually present – and necessary – in the bodies of both sexes. It has many vital responsibilities, including proper brain function and the development of nerve cells. The proper use of estrogen by the body relies on its ratio of estrogen to progesterone. Although the actual ratio is different in men and women, it is equally important for good health in both sexes.
Estrogen Dominance in Women
In women, estrogen has other function as well. It forms the female body and reproductive organs, including the breasts, ovaries, and uterus, during puberty. It is also involved – along with the hormones progesterone and testosterone – with the menstrual cycle. Estrogen is clearly vital to many life functions. As mentioned above, however, the level of estrogen in the body is not nearly as important as the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.
As women age, their bodies release progressively less estrogen and progesterone. During perimenopause (the period of transition before menopause) and menopause, however, the decrease in the body’s hormones becomes drastic. Progesterone levels usually decrease by as much as 75 percent – while estrogen levels tend to decrease by only 35 percent. Although the presence of both hormones has been reduced, the significantly greater drop in progesterone levels can cause estrogen dominance. Unfortunately, estrogen dominance – which occurs in many women at some point in their lives – can result in a host of different illnesses, such as osteoporosis, fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease, and breast cancer. The following supplements can help treat this common yet potentially serious problem.
Supplements to treat estrogen dominance in women
• Flaxseed – May interfere with anticoagulants, work as a laxative, or affect blood sugar levels.
• Indole-3-carbinol (I-3-C)
• Progesterone, natural
USANA Vitamins supplements PhytoEstrin contains a unique combination of herbs that
complement the activity of the soy isoflavones: black cohosh, dong quai, licorice-root extract, and chasteberry powder. For women over the age of 40, symptoms associated with the onset of menopause may begin to occur. USANA Women’s Health products are designed to support menstrual health and help improve quality of life during the transition to menopause.
Estrogen Dominance in Men
Men make estrogen out of testosterone, with the help of an enzyme called aromastase. They require estrogen – although in smaller amounts than women – in large part because it helps the brain function properly. Yet an elevated level of this hormone can be very dangerous. It increases the risk of both prostate cancer and heart disease. The following list explains the reasons because of which a man’s estrogen levels can become dangerously high. Then, the succeeding list provides various nutrients that can help lower these levels.
Causes of Estrogen Elevation in Men
• Alcohol abuse
• Consumption of grapefruit
• Drug abuse (amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine)
• General dietary deficiencies and malnutrition
• High doses of vitamin E
• Increase in aromastase activity
• Ingestion of estrogen-enhancing food or environmental substances
• Medications including pain relievers and anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, propoxyphene), antibiotics (sulfas, tetracyclines, penicillins, cefazoline, erythromycins, floxacins, isoniazid), antifungal drugs (miconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole, ketoconazole), statin drugs, antidepressants (fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline), antipsychotic medicines (thorazine, haloperidol), heart and blood pressure medicine (propranolol, quinidine, amiodarone, Coumadin, methyldopa), and calcium channel blockers (antacids, omeprazole, cimetidine)
• Poor liver function
• Zinc deficiency
Causes of Decreased Estrogen Levels in Men
Consumption of the following has been found to lower estrogen levels in men.
• Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale)
• High-dose vitamin C
• Resveratrol (grape skin compound)
• Shellfish (oysters)
• Soy products
• Vegetarian diet
USANA Vitamins supplements Palmetto Plus is a convenient, effective way to obtain a comprehensive men’s health formulation at a reasonable price. USANA is one of only a few major manufacturers to combine saw palmetto with lycopene and soy isoflavones in a single product. As men age, many are at risk for developing prostate problems. A healthy diet and exercise, combined with supplements specifically formulated for prostate health, can help minimize this risk. USANA Men’s Health products are designed to provide long-term support for prostate health.