Estradiol is the main "female" hormone. The full name is 17-beta-Estradiol, which is also available in several medications for ERT therapy. Current research indicates that, in some people, this hormone may play a role in the loss of bone density, prevents male bodies from clearing DHT out of the prostate gland, and can stimulate estrogen-sensitive tumor growth (if estrogen-sensitive cancer cells are already present).
Women synthesize most of their estrogen in their ovaries and other reproductive tissues.
Since men lack this female anatomy, they need to produce estrogen through a process involving an enzyme called aromatase that transforms testosterone into estradiol.
Aging men sometimes have too much aromatase activity, which causes their testosterone to convert to excess estradiol. This results in depletion of vital testosterone while spiking estradiol to unsafe ranges.
Low levels of estradiol in men affect bone density, raising men’s risk for fractures as their estradiol level decreases.
In men, estradiol is a minor hormone that plays a role in male sex hormone physiology and is synthesized from testosterone and androstenedione.
High levels of estradiol in men are associated with:
- abdominal obesity,
- an increased risk of cardiovascular disease,
- insulin sensitivity,
- and blood sugar dysregulation.
The most common symptoms of high estrogen in men include these:
- Sexual dysfunction (low libido, decreased morning erections, decreased erectile function)
- Enlarged breasts
- Lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Increased abdominal fat (can also be a symptom of low estrogen)
- Feeling tired
- Loss of muscle mass
- Emotional disturbances, especially depression
- Type 2 diabetes
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