Aromatase inhibitors like acacetin play a crucial role in improving testosterone levels in men.
Aromatase is the enzyme that converts androgens into estrogens. As you may already know, androgens are the male hormones while estrogens are female hormones.
When aromatase creates too much estrogen in the body, it can cause problems like low testosterone levels, estrogen dominance, and even the dreadful gynecomastia, meaning breast growth in males. In other words, it's a big deal.
That's why it’s so important to prevent excessive aromatization in your body at all costs. For this natter, one of the most powerful natural aromatase inhibitors out there is acacetin.
But what exactly is acacetin? Can you find it in foods? Are there any acacetin supplements worth trying?
Keep reading to find out why acacetin is such an effective natural aromatase inhibitors. Of course, we'll also tell you about its other benefits—as well as possible side effects.
What is Acacetin?
Acacetin is a phytochemical from the flavonoid group with a wide range of pharmacological effects. This compound is produced by many plant species such as the Turnera diffusa (damiana), a plant often used as an herbal aphrodisiac.
Although acacetin is used in several dietary supplements, it still remains largely unknown and underappreciated by the general public.
Acacetin as an Aromatase Inhibitor
A study on Turnera diffusa revealed two compounds that could significantly suppress aromatase. This study focused on natural compounds with aromatase inhibitory activity.
The discovered compounds were acacetin and pinocembrin, both quite powerful even at minimal doses. Of course, this is awesome because sticking to low doses is often the best way to prevent unwanted side effects—while reaping all the benefits for your health at the same time.
In general, natural and synthetic aromatase inhibitors are used to treat low testosterone levels, estrogen dominance, and gynecomastia. In postmenopausal women, these compounds are also used in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer.
Other Inhibitory Effects
Ravaging enzymes are like a wildfire. If you don't put it out, it will cause massive damage to anything and everything it touches.
Aside from aromatase, acacetin also has strong inhibitory effects against the following enzymes:
- Glutathione Reductase (GR)
GR is responsible for maintaining the supply of glutathione in its reduced form. This antioxidant converts oxidized glutathione into reduced glutathione.
When there’s too much GR in the body, it can lead to reductive stress. Reductive stress has been linked to heart disease, according to studies.
- Cyclooxygenase (COX)
COX is responsible for the formation of prostaglandins, levuloglandins, and thromboxane. All of these compounds are pro-inflammatory in nature, so you don't want to have too much of them.
Inhibiting COX provides relief from various ailments by reducing the levels of pro-inflammatory compounds. This includes oncological, neurodegenerative, thrombotic, pyretic, and inflammatory conditions.
- Acetylcholinesterase (AChE)
AChE is responsible for the inactivation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Inhibiting this enzyme allows the acetylcholine neurotransmitter to accumulate and work better. That's why AChE inhibitors are used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions of the nervous system.
AChE inhibitors also aide in smooth muscle atony, glaucoma, and myasthenia gravis.
Other uses include increasing motor activity in the gastrointestinal tract. They also help to increase intestinal, pancreatic, gastric, and salivary secretions.
- Aldose Reductase (AR)
AR is responsible for limiting the rate of the polyol pathway in the presence of NADPH. It also causes the conversion of glucose into sorbitol, its reduced alcohol form.
AR inhibitors play a crucial role in preventing many diabetic complications based on several studies.
They also help to prevent or delay the onset of cardiovascular complications. This includes atherosclerosis, atherothrombosis, and ischemia.
- Xanthine Oxidase (XO)
XO is responsible for causing the oxidation of hypoxanthine to xanthine. It also causes the oxidation of xanthine to uric acid.
This enzyme is vital to the catabolism of purines. Catabolism is the process of breaking complex molecules down into smaller molecules. In this setup, XO reduces molecular oxygen and produces O2-.
XO inhibitors have a significant role in treating various forms of ischemic and other types of vascular and tissue injuries. They are also used in treating inflammatory diseases and chronic heart failure.
Aside from these, they also help to improve endothelial dysfunction (ED) in diabetic patients.
Its enzyme-inhibiting properties make acacetin a promising flavonoid with plenty of health benefits. Here are just a few of them:
- Cardioprotection. Inhibiting glutathione reductase may prevent reductive stress that may lead to heart damage.
- Neuroprotection. Acacetin may help to treat disorders of the nervous system like Alzheimer’s disease. This is thanks to the COX- and AChE-inhibiting properties of this compound.
- Anti-inflammatory. Blocking xanthine oxidase and glutathione reductase may have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Studies show acacetin pre-treatment may prevent sepsis-induced acute lung injury. This is credited to the compound’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties.
- Antidiabetic. Research suggests that acacetin may help in improving diabetes complications such as ED. This is thanks to its AR- and XO-blocking properties.
- Antibacterial. One study found that acacetin is the main antibacterial compound present in the leaves of the Combretum vendae plant.
- Anticancer. A study on mice reported that acacetin may have antitumor potential against prostate cancer. In this matter, acatein works by targeting the Akt and nuclear factor (NF)-kb signaling pathways.
Acacetin Side Effects
Right now, evidence is limited. The safety profile of acacetin is far from well-researched. In other words, the scientific community will need more clinical trials (and probably some 5-10 years) to determine the side effects of acacetin accurately. However, a few possible risks of using acacetin may include:
The abovementioned hazards are based on aggregated GHS information from 30 companies, a unified system that looks into and classifies potential dangers of chemicals products. Most likely, these effects would be seen only in case of direct contact (for example, eye irritation if some acacetin gets in your eye, lung irritation if you inhale it, etc.)
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a powerful natural aromatase inhibitor, acacetin is a great choice. This verict is based on reliable studies on natural compounds with aromatase-blocking properties.
Not only acacetin is a powerful aromatase inhibitor, but it also has strong inhibitory effects on various other enzymes. You've seen the list. The potential health benefits are huge.
While more research is needed to determine the exact side effects of this flavonoid, acacetin is already a promising compound.
To summarize, if your goal is to fight off estrogen dominance and bring your testosterone levels back to normal—acacetin could be a powerful solution. Keep in mind, though, that it's always better to confirm you have this kind of hormonal imbalance to begin with. Otherwise, acacetin won't be effective for you.