3 Ways To Avoid The Oestrogen Dominance Affecting Men and Women

Both men and women are at risk when environmental and lifestyle factors expose them to excess oestrogen.


Oestrogen is a primary female hormone, but it is can also affect men as the concern over ‘man boobs’ in recent years has shown. Women need oestrogen but they need it balanced by progesterone to reign in its more damaging consequences when it is unopposed.

Why the excess?

Excess oestrogen was first remarked by the late Dr John Lee who called it oestrogen dominance as he saw it in so many of his female patients, generally from exposure to the Pill and HRT but in more recent years with the widespread use of plastics and pesticides, this excess oestrogen is now a serious issue for both men and women. Excessive levels not only increase the incidence of breast, colon and prostate cancer, but also foster weight gain, fatigue, irritability and mood issues. Men in particular are at risk of a lowered sperm count and it has been reported widely in the last few years that this has seriously declined over the last two generations, affecting their fertility.

You will find these xenoestrogens as they are often called in a variety of consumer goods like cosmetics, shampoos, oil-based coatings and animal products and it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid chemical oestrogens in the environment. The most common sources are BPA (bisphenol A) an industrial chemical that has been used to make polycarbonate plastics and resins since the 1960s and often used in containers that store food and drink such as water bottles. There has been some research indicates exposure to BPA is a concern because it is a substantial endocrine disrupter, causing serious hormonal imbalance and possible health effects on the brain, behaviour and prostate gland of foetuses, infants and children. As a petroleum-based chemical that imitates oestrogen it is one of the most damaging sources of xenoestrogens.

Another common source are phthalates, another environmental chemical oestrogen, which is found in plastics along with personal care products, and pesticides which also have an oestrogenic effect on the body when consumed.

3 things you can do to reduce oestrogen dominance

Minimizing the damaging effects is a three-fold process: limit exposure, detoxify and balance with progesterone.

1. Limit exposure by first switching to glass containers for water and food storage rather than plastics. Check any canned foods as although BPA has been banned from baby bottles it remains in use to line food cans. Intended as a protective barrier between the metal and the can’s contents, BPA can actually leach into the food and the effects are most detrimental for pregnant women, babies and children. Many manufacturers are phasing it out but it is worth checking every label and writing to the manufacturer if necessary to get confirmation if you are a frequent consumer of canned goods. The same applies to cosmetics and shampoos, check the ingredients and ask the company if they are BPA and phalate free, there are specific companies that have such products.

2. Detoxify your body of any xenoestrogen residue through diet and with specific supplements. Oestrogen is metabolized by the liver, so a liver detox is a good first step. You can do this by eating plenty of leafy greens as well as superfoods like spirulina, wheat or barley grass and chlorella help to keep the liver clear and functioning properly. Milk thistle is also an excellent cleansers to supplement in this process. Avoid processed foods and focus your diet on fruit, vegetables (especially cruciferous) and omega-3 rich foods and include a high quality probiotic along with flax and plenty of fibre as it sweeps excess oestrogen from the intestinal tract.

If you are following a high carbohydrate and low protein diet that has been shown to decrease activity of cytochrome P450 that detoxifies estrogen so is counterproductive in this instance. The amino acids lysine and threonine, found in meat, fish, beans, eggs, can help get rid of estrogen from the body. If you are carrying a few extra pounds then try to lose them as the more fat tissue one has, the more oestrogen is present due to higher levels of aromatase, an enzyme that transforms testosterone to oestrogen.

3. Reduce oestrogen dominance with progesterone to achieve hormone balance. The most effective way to offset the damaging influence of excess oestrogen is to restore hormone balance with bioidentical progesterone. Women have lower levels as we age and stress also plays an important part in reducing it and if oestrogen is not balanced by sufficient progesterone then oestrogen dominance will occur. When progesterone levels are balanced, energy, mental stability, libido and healthy weight return. Hormonal cancer risks of the breast and endometrium are also reduced so supplementing with a topical bioidentical progesterone cream with a good level of naturally occurring USP bioidentical progesterone has been found effective.