Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Estrogen: A Man's Weight Loss Nightmare


  1. Jeremy:

    Sorry but estrogen does not saturate testosterone receptors. It does, however, feedback to the pituitary gland and hypothalamus to reduce the production of LH & FSH, which in turn decreases testosterone production. The key to this issue seems to be the testosterone to estradiol ratio. There should be more than 10X more testosterone than estrogen in the healthy male.

    I have a protocol for my hypogonadal males (lower testosterone, higher estrogen & male factor infertility) wherein I give them an aromatase inhibitor to increase the low testosterone: estradiol ratio by blocking the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.

    The main problem is an abundance of fat often found in obese and morbidly obese men, although an occasional overweight male may present with the same issues. My protocol should be considered investigational and not standard of care as there are only a handful of articles on the subject. There are theoretical increased risks of heart disease, osteoporosis and prostate cancer, so the males have to be carefully monitored as they are in my practice. The end goal in my practice is improved sperm production and not increased muscle mass.

    Unfortunately, the aromatase inhibitors are now being abused by some of the male body builders I see who are juicing up. Not a good idea, to say the least.

    By the way, human estrogen is not found in plastic bottles. The nonsteroidal estrogenic compound bisphenol a (BPA) is found in many plastics but is about 10,000-fold less potent than the 17-beta-estradiol, the normal human estrogen he is speaking of (Eubin BA, et. al. perinatal exposure to low doses of bispenol A affects body weight, patterns of estrous cyclicity and plasma LH levels. Environ health Perspect 2001;109(7):675-80.)

    With the hypogonadal male, diet, exercise and the right amount of the aromatase inhibitor with careful monitoring is key to improvement of the metabolic disorder.

    Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
    Reproductive Endocrinologist