How to Reduce Estrogen in Men Through Diet
Even though estrogen is a hormone more often associated with women, the truth is, both men and women produce estrogen. And all men need to maintain a certain level of estrogen for proper reproductive and sexual function. Overproduction of estrogen, however, can have certain effects on the body that most men will want to avoid, such as reducing the amount of testosterone in the body, gynecomastia (the scientific term for man boobs) and obesity.
Small adjustments to your diet may be one way to naturally reduce estrogen production and improve your situation. A hormonal imbalance is a condition you should discuss with your doctor, though, because men can also experience an estrogen deficiency. Here are some tips that may help.
1. Increase your fiber intake.
Eating more fibrous foods (think: prunes, whole grains and berries) may increase the amount of estrogen you body flushed out by inhibiting absorption, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. The majority of studies on fiber intake and reducing estrogen have been done on women and breast cancer risk, and the effects on men have not been studied. Regardless, for most men, increasing the amount of fiber in their diet isn't going to do any harm and will have an overall positive effect on their health.
Read more: 19 High-Fiber Foods — Some May Surprise You!
2. Add more cruciferous vegetables.
Turns out, there's one more reason to eat your veggies. Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that alter estrogen production. Since elevated estrogen levels may put men at a higher risk for prostate cancer, you can counteract that with a plateful of veggies. According to 2008 research published in the Journal of Nutrition, dietary intake of phytochemicals from cruciferous vegetables decrease the risk of prostate cancer. Stock up on veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
3. Reduce your alcohol consumption.
Sure, happy hour with colleagues is a great way to blow off steam from the day. But maybe next time swap in a club soda with lime. Alcohol can affect liver function and may increase estrogen levels, says Kristie Leong, M.D. In males, alcohol increases the conversion of androgens to estrogens in the liver, increasing the amount of estrogen in the body, according to Endocrinology Metabolism Clinics of North America.
Read more: 9 Scary Side Effects of Social Drinking
4. Focus on a diet of whole foods.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains and limited in processed and sugary foods will provide a well-rounded diet and help prevent weight gain. Men who are overweight or obese have higher estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels, according to a 2008 article published in Medical Hypotheses. Fat can serve as a reservoir for estrogen, so reducing fat and increasing lean muscle may help reduce estrogen in men.
5. Try some mushrooms.
Mushrooms contain special phytochemicals that keep estrogen levels from getting too high. A 2007 study published in the International Journal of Cancer specifically looked at women and how mushrooms affect breast cancer risk by decreasing the amount of estrogen in the body. Mushrooms have not been studied for their estrogen lowering potential in men, but mushrooms are worth adding to your diet to give you vitamin D, B vitamins and fiber.
What Do YOU Think?
Have you been told your estrogen levels are high? What did your doctor recommend? Have you tried any of the above dietary changes? Remember to always consult your doctor first before radically changing your diet. Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!