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Topic: Can some foods reduce estrogen in men? (Read 395 times)
Cecile J. Nason
Can some foods reduce estrogen in men?
February 09, 2021, 11:59:11 PM »
Estrogen and testosterone are hormones that occur naturally in male and female bodies. Some research suggests that certain foods can influence the levels of these hormones. Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. They play essential roles in libido, mood, health, fertility, and many other functions.
Some people think of estrogen as a “female hormone,” but male and female bodies produce it. High estrogen levels are associated with some health problems in males. Let's have a look at foods that may raise or lower levels of estrogen in the body and explore the evidence behind these claims.
FOODS THAT MAY LOWER ESTROGEN
Products made from soy are uniquely rich in compounds called phytoestrogens. These chemicals have a similar chemical structure to estrogen and may have estrogen-like effects in the body.
Soy products include edamame and some meat substitutes. Some studies report that soy products can increase estrogen levels in the body, while others suggest they have the opposite effect. Paradoxically, both are true. Different types of isoflavones may increase or decrease the levels of estrogen in the human body. Research indicates that phytoestrogens, particularly in soy and legumes, may lower the risk of prostate cancer. Estrogen likely plays a role in the development of prostate cancer, though more studies are needed.
Cruciferous vegetables contain a chemical called indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that may have anti-estrogen effects. This means that they could reduce estrogen levels in men. However, research has not directly shown that eating cruciferous vegetables reduces the levels of estrogen in the human body.
This group of vegetables includes:
Studies indicate that eating cruciferous vegetables may lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Oyster mushrooms contain compounds that may block aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. In doing so, they may reduce estrogen in the body. Hispolon, a micronutrient found in some medicinal mushrooms, may also block aromatase. At the same time, it may increase estradiol, a type of estrogen. Further research is needed on mushrooms and estrogen levels.
Curcumin and turmeric:
Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin. A 2013 study indicated that curcumin may reduce estrogen levels. However, the researchers noted this result in cells outside the body, so it is unclear whether curcumin has the same effect in people.
A study from 2014 found that large doses of curcumin increased levels of testosterone in rats. More research is needed on the effects of curcumin in humans.
FOODS TO AVOID
According to some research, the following foods may increase people’s estrogen levels:
Dairy and meat:
All animal products contain traces of estrogen because even male animals produce the hormone. Cow milk may also contain phytoestrogens.
Some research has linked eating red and processed meat with increased breast cancer risk in females. A possible reason is estrogen buildup from high estrogen levels in meat. There is no research to show similar effects in males.
Research suggests that chronic alcohol misuse can lead to low testosterone and increased estrogen. Both of these hormonal states can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Alcohol may also heighten some effects of low testosterone. For example, alcohol is high in calories, and can lead to weight gain.
Legumes, such as lentils, peanuts, and chickpeas, have many health benefits. For example, they contain relatively high amounts of protein, making them a popular meat alternative. Legumes also contain phytoestrogens, particularly in the form of isoflavones.
Research indicates that two isoflavones in yam beans, genistein and daidzein, may increase the production of estrogen in mice.
Notably, some isoflavones, particularly in soy, may lower estrogen levels. The type and amount of isoflavones likely change their impact on estrogen levels, suggesting the need for further research in this area.
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