How to lower estrogen and increase testosterone

I’m amazed at how some people try to run faster, and they clinch their teeth and they force their legs, but they don’t achieve much success because they are carrying a bag rocks. My philosophy is simple, you will run faster if you drop the bag, don’t you?

Same thing happens with testosterone, you will increase your testosterone if you cut the crap before trying anything else. You will get more results if you stop eating so much sugar and processed food and if you stop killing yourself being seated all day.

In the same spirit, and if you are a man, one of the best things to increase testosterone is, first, to lower the estrogen that’s running around inside your body.

Modern diets and lifestyles tend to be estrogenic. Estrogen is the “female” hormone, and we, males, have it too. In fact, estrogens are needed by some of our brain functions. Males create estrogens from testosterone, using the enzyme aromatase.

But we create only a little, so the ratio between testosterone / estrogens is about 50:1 in males. If we have a lower ratio (meaning: more estrogen) we don’t “feel that good”.

Ok, get this, estrogens are not the bad guys, almost everything has a role, but what we want is a good balance, so we are going to make sure that we keep that balance and check our estrogen levels. We must have the minimum needed (but no more) and they must be the nice kind of estrogens.

How can we avoid too much estrogen? Our main weapons are zinc and broccoli. Yes, broccoli is back to your life with a vengeance, so we will start with it.

Learn these words: indole–3-carbinol

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, and the thing is that cruciferous vegetables are rich in indole–3-carbinol (I3C), a phyto-chemical known to turn “bad” estrogens (which shut down our testosterone production) into good ones. Eating them helps to restore testosterone production, improving your hormone balance[1].

In studies, “bad estrogens” were cut in half when seven healthy men took 500 milligrams of I3C a day for a week. So if we are surrounded by estrogens we can fight clubbing them to death with a bunch of broccoli.

Cruciferous vegetables are so ridiculously healthy that you know life has a sarcastic sense of humor; it puts the better things next to the worse flavors (and viceversa). Oh, and they are rich in zinc too (the other anti-estrogen weapon).

You can research cruciferous vegetables, start buying them and eat them too. My main choice is arugula (“Rocket” if you are English), it has a bitter taste, but it can be delicious when put into salads.

Zinc as an anti-estrogenic substance

Zinc inhibits aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogens, so a diet rich in zinc will keep estrogens in check, while a zinc deficient diet can plummet your testosterone levels[2].

Zinc is a “manly” component, so we must get plenty of it in our diet. That means: meat, oysters, seafood, peanuts and dark chocolate (yes, chocolate is good, but take it as dark and pure as you can, not diluted with sugar, milk and trans-fats…). In fact, dark chocolate is good for your circulation, which means fewer heart attacks and better erections.

You can take zinc in supplements too, because many diets can be zinc deficient. If so, you are in luck, zinc is cheap, but, and it’s a very big but, don’t overdose. As always, balance is key, so don’t eat zinc pills as candy, and always follow medical guidance when taking some supplement.

Studies referenced

[1] Induction of Estradiol Metabolism by Dietary Indole–3-carbinol in Humans, JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (1990) 82 (11): 947–949. doi: 10.1093/jnci/82.11.947

Jon J. Michnovicz and H. Leon Bradlow

[2] Effects of dietary zinc depletion on seminal volume and zinc loss, serum testosterone concentrations, and sperm morphology in young men

CD Hunt, PE Johnson, J Herbel and LK Mullen 
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, ND 58202.