Recently, media attention has been turned towards endocrinology quite more than in previous years. Luckily, it became increasingly apparent that hormones affect almost every process that is taking place inside our body, and moreover many conditions and serious illnesses are starting to show as a result of hormonal imbalance. What is also becoming increasingly apparent is the fact that estrogen levels constantly tend to go up due to unhealthy.
Excess estrogen is not only dangerous when it tips the scale, but in some cases it can dramatically influence other conditions and the way these develop. For example, hormone sensitive tumors depend on estrogen to grow, and trying to fix the hormonal rollercoaster by hormone supplementation may only worsen things. This is so because of an enzyme called aromatase which helps more testosterone to be converted into estrogen.
Aromatase is an enzyme needed in the final step of estrogen production through hormone conversion, where some hormones are converted into others. This enzyme converts androgen to estrogen. Without the aromatase enzyme, excessive production of estrogen stalls. Estrogen biosynthesis can be suppressed by the inhibition of aromatase activity. This process is what makes aromatase inhibitors effective against hormone-sensitive tumor growth.
And while there are pharmaceuticals usually prescribed to solve this issue, natural remedies are maybe a better bet.
Here is how inhibition of the aromatase activity can be easily achieved.
Include quercetin into your diet
Cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, onions and garlic, citrus fruits, apples, parsley, tea, and red wine are the primary dietary sources of quercetin. Olives and olive oil, grapes, black currants, cranberries, dark cherries, and dark berries are the fruits and veggie which contain this flavonoid.
Quercetin seems to work better when used in conjunction with bromelain, a digestive enzyme found in pineapples.
Include Chrysin into your diet
A flavonoid from bee propolis, bee pollen and raw honey. Chrysin has quite poor bioavailability so it is normally taken as a supplement along with piperine (from black pepper) which greatly enhances its bioavailability. Great habit would be to take a spoon of raw honey half an hour right before exercise. That way you get your daily dose of Chrysin, while also consuming natural sugar, as well as boosting your energy before working out. Which brings us to the next point.
Seeing how the aromatase enzyme resides in the adipose tissue (fat tissue deposits), this comes as no surprise. Fewer fat cells in the body means that less unbalanced estrogen is produced. However, knowing that the more testosterone is produced, the bigger portion of it can be converted into estrogen, trying to balance the scale at this stage by upping testosterone levels is not that wise. Hence, traditional strength workouts, and gym type exercises are better to be left aside for a while.
What is encouraged is enough cardio activity, mixed with some compound exercises that promote hormonal balance, but keep the scale from suddenly shifting. This can be achieved with either running and then adding some bodyweignt exercises, or following workout programs such as Beachbody On Demand (weight loss centered, with appropriate strength and compound exercises, thus supporting the inhibition of the aromatase enzyme).
Dietary sources include celery, parsley, artichokes, basil, chamomile, thyme, peppermint, and other herbs like horsetail herb, lemon balm herb, and yarrow. The highest concentrations of apigenin seem to be in chamomile and thyme. Another reason to put tea before coffee.
An essential fatty acid from the Omega-6 family, linoleic acid can be found in common mushrooms like button mushrooms, shitake, portabello and crimin, as well as vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and seeds. Good sources are oils made from safflower, sunflower, corn, pumpkin. It is considered to be quite effective for the inhibition of the aromatase enzyme.
Natural zinc supplementation
The best sources are wheat germ, oysters and liver. Less zinc-rich sources include meat, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, nuts like pecans and brazils, spinach, mushrooms etc.
Keep insulin levels steady
High levels of insulin, a big factor in weight gain and fat mass accumulation, promote production of the aromatase enzyme. Avoiding processed foods and foods with chemicals helps keep insulin levels under control, in turn resulting in lower levels of aromatase and as a consequence, lower levels of unbalanced estrogen in the body.
As to help with increased insulin sensitivity (hence forcing the body to produce less insulin), besides the usual processed food restriction, cinnamon supplementation is usually advised.
Fighting the hormone imbalance without knowing about the aromatase enzyme and how it can be controlled, you might tip the scale in the wrong direction even more. Thankfully, this enzyme can be suppressed by only leveraging natural remedies that are both easy to find and improve your overall health as well.