Estrogen has a few misconceptions and hopefully this article will clear things up.
As an example, coffee boosts testosterone, but increases cortisol, cortisol lowers SHBG, thus, you will lower your testosterone to estrogen ratio.
The problem is not just elevated estrogen and the reasoning behind this is simple. If estrogen is elevated, its likely Testosterone is too, and as long as the ratio for Testosterone to Estrogen is correct, EVERYTHING is ok, and there is no need to worry.
In our youth, a near perfect testosterone ratio is around 50.1. Anything in the 30-40 range is considered acceptable.
There are contributing factors as to why some males are more prone to Estrogen related sides on a cycle.
These factors include:
- High saturated fat diets.
- Carrying extra fat
- There are also MEDs that can produce a marked change in Testosterone to estrogen ratio.
- Using a PDE5 inhibitor
- Using an Aromatase inhibitor.
Why is excess Estrogen dangerous?
Estrogen itself does not cause Gynecomastia (Gyno).
Gyno is caused by an incorrect estrogen to androgen profile or ratio. The excess estrogen is trying to turn your body into a female. This can cause an increase in breast tissue in a male, as well as other feminine properties. As long as the ratio is correct then this will not happen. The reason why many people often suffer from rebound gyno, is they have very low test levels after their cycle due to a less than adequate PCT (post cycle therapy) and so the body will be predominantly female.
The biggest dangers and risks are listed below:
Excess estrogen doubles your stroke risk.
This is a quote from the Mayo clinic
" estradiol (a potent estrogen) were measured in a group of 2,197 men aged 71 to 93 years of age. Adjustment for age, hypertension, diabetes, adiposity, cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, and other characteristics were made. During the course of follow-up, men with the highest blood levels of estradiol had a 2.2-fold greater risk of stroke compared with those whose estradiol levels were lower.2
This study revealed that estradiol blood levels greater than 34.1 pg/mL resulted in this more than doubling of stroke incidence. Life Extension long ago warned men to keep their estradiol levels below 30 pg/mL."
Decreased Cardiovascular health
A study on middle aged men with high estrogen levels found out this very interesting observation made by researchers again at the Mayo clinic.
"Ultrasound measurement of the carotid artery wall provides an accurate prognostic indicator of arterial disease. The findings in this study show progression of carotid artery intima-media thickness in men with higher estradiol levels. Greater carotid artery intima-media thickness sharply correlates with increased risks of heart attack and stroke"
Increased risk of Rheumatoid arthritis
Levels of estradiol in rheumatoid arthritis patients are higher and DHEA levels lower compared with those who do not suffer from chronic inflammation. This corresponds to studies showing that high estrogen levels can increase C-reactive protein, which is the most accurate marker for systemic inflammation. Elevated C-reactive protein is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease in healthy individuals.
The list goes continues:
Low fat diets for better Test/estrogen ratios
Many of you may or may not be aware, but high estrogen levels cause you to store more fat, which is obviously not healthy. However, diets that are high in saturated fats, especially on steroid cycles, can play havoc with your Testosterone to estrogen ratio.
Most people think low fat diets are not good for keeping your sex hormones optimal, but research and science actually shows otherwise.
One study found that estradiol (the "bad" estrogen or E2) fell from 47.2 to 23.8 pg/ml on average, which is obviously a big change. This is a reduction of over 50% and cut their estrogen levels in half! And the remarkable thing is that their testosterone stayed steady before and after at 510 ng/dl.
So instead of damaging their testosterone ratio, their test stayed the same, and estradiol dropped! Improving their ratios, actually it nearly doubled the ratio in favor of Testosterone.
On a steroid cycle, high fat diets not only affect the amount of estrogen converted , but decrease the effectiveness of the steroid cycle, and the health implications of higher estrogen and excess fat have already been outlined above.
You would not be surprised to find that people with a BMI above 25 in comparison to ones below 25,
have an estrogen ratio difference of about 12 - 17, which corresponds to a 42 percent difference in estrogen.
Excess body weight is correlated with both lowered testosterone and increased estrogen. Stomach fat actually deactivates DHT, and it converts at greater amounts. 5alpha-androstane 3alpha 17beta-diol is a very potent estrogen as is 5alpha-androstane 3beta 17beta-diol,. The longer you've been fat, the greater the enzymatic deactivation of DHT and the greater the conversion into these potent estrogens, Both of these estrogens are responsible for increased water retention which leads to higher blood pressure! Have you ever wondered why your blood pressure often spikes on a cycle? If you are overweight, this might just open your eyes.
The less body fat you have, the better your testosterone to estrogen ratio will be during the steroid cycle as well as during and after PCT.
The benefits of a PDE5 inhibitor.
If your a little overweight, or struggling with your libido and erections, then your self esteem can be lowered. Time and time again, after completing a steroid cycle, many have a "crash" and this is generally due to excess estrogen. Estrogen is important for your libido and if your the libido is gone, it tends to be because your testosterone to estrogen ratio is off. You either have too much test and not enough estrogen or vice versa. Another contributing factor could include too little DHT conversion or activation. Prolactin is very rarely is the culprit unless you have used a Nor-steroid, like Deca.
Using a PDE5 inhibitor causes an increase in nitric oxide. This gives you the ability to have sexual intercourse. One study showed an improvement of the estrogen testosterone ratio by a staggering 24% after sex.
What is very interesting is that in the above study, testosterone only increased 5.5% on average but estrogen lowered by about 15%. So if you cant get an erection, a PDE5 inhibitor can really help your post cycle crash, if you don't need one, sex could be your biggest help.
Using an aromatase inhibitor
For arguments sake lets use Arimidex since it is a really well known A.I
In a well documented study it showed that in hypogonadal senior men, the T/E ratio was increased on average by 115%. It produced an increase of 62% in testosterone and a 24% decrease in estradiol.
On a cycle where there will be a large amount of conversion to estrogen, it might not be needed unless you see the signs of high estrogen levels, water retention, high blood pressure, and then dosing accordingly is extremely important. You do not want to kill your estrogen levels because not only will it hamper gains, but having no estrogen is extremely bad for your health, and can cause a tremendous amount of internal damage. The main goal is to keep your ratio at a healthy level so that nothing is left to chance. Regular checkups are recommended as well. If you destroy estrogen, it comes back with a bang when you stop taking your A.I, and that can pose a big problem, as it comes back much harder than testosterone does, throwing your ratio in favor of estrogen and leading to rebound gyno etc.
Tapering off your A.I during PCT is a must. It is not bro science, it is a fact and anyone who says otherwise should not be handing out guidance.
There are many other causes of GYNO but here we are just looking at excess estrogen.
As long as testosterone is always higher by about 35 percent than estrogen, your health and libido will rarely suffer. If you have a healthy bodyfat level, you will be surprised to see a large increase in your baseline testosterone levels.
Until next time, stay safe, and keep that excess estrogen under control.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Jul 2006, 3(4):716-722, "Testosterone:Estradiol Ratio Changes Associated with Long-Term Tadalafil Administration: A Pilot Study"
Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine, 2006, 52(2):97-102, "EFFECT OF BODY WEIGHT ON TESTOSTERONE/ESTRADIOL RATIO IN OLIGOZOOSPERMIC PATIENTS"3) Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 2008 Apr, 18(2):131-41, "Dose effect of caffeine on testosterone and cortisol responses to resistance exercise"
Am J Med, 1985 Jan, 78(1):23-7, "Effects of a high-complex-carbohydrate, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet on levels of serum lipids and estradiol"
The Journal of Urology, Feb 2002, 167(1):624-629, "AROMATASE INHIBITORS FOR MALE INFERTILITY