Man boobs, which are referred to medically as gynecomastia, are becoming increasingly common in America. In fact, the swelling of breast tissue is estimated to effect approximately 40% of all men at some point in their lives, causing physical tenderness, and unnecessary anxiety and social discomfort. Plastic surgeons are cashing in on the embarrassment and shame associated with man boobs and many charge over $10,000 to surgically remove the excess breast tissue. Surgery should not be your first line of defense however; not only is it expensive, invasive and painful, it also fails to address the root cause. Besides, why waste the money when most men can both prevent and reverse gynecomastia by balancing estrogen levels through simple diet and lifestyle tweaks.
How Estrogen Causes Man Boobs
Estrogen is responsible for the growth of breasts and other female sex characteristics, and gynecomastia is caused when there is a decrease in the ratio of testosterone-to- estrogen (a condition called estrogen dominance). One contributor to estrogen dominance in men is exposure to xenoestrogens, which are environmental estrogens that mimic the estrogens which are naturally produced in our body’s. Xenoestrogens are found in plastics, pesticides, insecticides, our water supply, cosmetics, paint, furniture, and in many of our conventionally grown food products. Phytoestrogens are a subset of xenoestrogens that contribute to estrogen dominance, and they are found naturally in plant-based foods such as soy, flaxseeds, alfalfa sprouts and legumes. All of the above xenoestrogens contribute to estrogen dominance; however, the biggest source of estrogen is actually animal products.
Estrogen in Animal Products
Most conventional farmers inject their livestock with estrogen in order to increase their size and mass, which allots them a higher selling fee. But it’s not just artificially injected animals that contain estrogen; all animals contain naturally high levels of an extremely potent form of estrogen called 17-beta estradiol. Most animals produce between 100 and 500 mcg of potent estrogen every single day, and a pregnant female cow produces a whopping 100,000 mcg daily. Compare that to menstruating females, who only produce 16 mcg daily, and you get a good understanding of just how highly estrogenic animal products really are. If you eat animal products, there is no avoiding the estrogen; it’s in our eggs, chicken, lamb, turkey, pork and red meat; and it’s in all of our dairy products. In fact, eating animal products exposes you to between 10,000 and up to a million times more estrogen molecules.
The Manly Diet
For some reason our society has linked eating meat with being a big, strong alpha male; but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Meat is the biggest contributor to man boobs, and other estrogen dominant symptoms which are anything but ‘manly’ including: muscle loss, belly fat, low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and depression. If you really want to ‘man up’ and reverse those man boobs, concentrate on eating a low fat, high fiber diet and eat like the gladiators did. According to medical literature, gladiators used to eat a plant-based, wholefoods diet, high in vegetables, fruits, beans and barley. Cut out all animal products and oils, consume nuts and seeds for protein and fat; and switch from dairy to almond, rice and coconut milks and yogurts. These foods are free from 17-beta estradiol and other potent estrogens. As mentioned above, some plant foods contain phytoestrogens, however these phytoestrogens are far weaker in action than the animal based estrogens. In fact, studies have found phytoestrogens may actually go to estrogen receptor sites and prevent the body from taking up the dominant estrogens that contribute to man boobs and prostate disease.
Although we don’t recommend doing so, if you’re going to use testosterone replacement therapy to enhance your muscle mass, make sure you are monitored by an anti-aging doctor or physician who understands hormonal intervention. Although it may seem counterintuitive, too much testosterone can actually lead to estrogen dominance, because your body will convert the excess testosterone into estrogen. You should work with your doctor to achieve testosterone levels that are within the upper tier of normal physiological levels and be careful not to supersede them.
Supplements for Reversing Estrogen Dominance
Supplements that are rich in indole-3- carbonal (I3C) and DIM can help to block and clear out harmful estrogens. EstroBlock and EstroBlock Pro (http://estroblock.com/) are rich in both I3C and DIM and can be tremendously beneficial. Liv-D- Tox (https://unitynaturals.com/product/liv-d-tox-2/) is also beneficial because it contains a proprietary blend of herbs that stop the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, and simultaneously help remove excess estrogens from your body. Progesterone creams may also be of benefit because they help to increase and enhance the effects of testosterone in the body.
The right kind of exercise can also help to reverse man boobs and you should include a combination of aerobic exercise and interval training; push-ups and inclined presses with dumbbells. Finally, when monitoring hormone levels, make sure to use a urine test in addition to the standard blood tests that are used. Urine tests help to identify many harmful estrogen metabolites that aren’t identified in blood tests.
*You can get a urine test kit from Delgado Protocol HERE