Estradiol Level in Men and Its Effects
We’ve always had this notion that estrogen is for women as testosterone is for men. However, recent studies on estradiol level in men show that both hormones are considered important for both genders.
That's right, your estradiol level can greatly influence your wellness. Low levels promote the development of osteoporosis while high levels can increase the risk of cancer, arterial plaque, and prostatitis.
This means that the levels of estradiol in your body should hit the so-called Goldilocks zone – the “just right” zone. Not scarce, not over-the-top, but just right. However, before we discuss what level of estradiol you should maintain in your body, let’s learn more about this hormone in general.
Estradiol is a hormone that the human body synthesizes from cholesterol, just like all other steroids (testosterone included). It is a type of estrogen, a female sex hormone. There are abundant amounts of this hormone in the female breasts, ovaries, and adrenal glands. The placenta also produces estradiol during pregnancy.
The human body needs estrogen to survive. As men don't have organs that synthesize enough of it (like the ovaries in women), they produce estrogen through the action of the aromatase enzyme.
The problem is that due to age and other health reasons, the human body can end up with too much aromatase activity. In turn, this leads to testosterone in the bloodstream getting converted to estradiol even if the body no longer needs estrogen. This decline in T levels can have unpleasant consequences including low libido, gynecomastia (the so-called "man boobs"), mood swings, and other manifestations of estrogen dominance.
The good news is that if your estrogen production is in overdrive due to obesity and other factors, there are supplements and natural ways to inhibit aromatase and lower estrogen levels. And, of course, get your testosterone levels back to normal.
How is Estradiol Important to the Male Body?
As mentioned bove, estradiol is also present in males, although in much lower levels than in the female body.
In the human male body, estradiol is produced by the testes and the adrenal glands. This hormone protects sperm cells, although it is less important in sexual function in males than in females.
There is a reason why nature created estradiol. Although it’s been proven that estradiol is important for bone density, the role of this hormone in the male body composition, sex drive, and other elements is still under study.
One medical fact is certain, though. High levels of estradiol can cause breast tissue growth in males because of the decreased production of testosterone in the HPT (Hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid) hormonal axis.
What Are the Effects of Low Estradiol Level in Men?
We already know what high levels of estradiol can do the male body. But what about when they are abnormally low?
In addition to decreased bone density, studies show that low levels of estradiol can result to even more serious illnesses.
A recent study on the effects of high testosterone and low estradiol levels on the male body brought some surprising findings. The goal of the study was to evaluate the impact of these hormonal fatures on fat mass, erectile dysfunction, and libido.
In the study, male participants were subjected to an increased testosterone level through Androgel supplementation. Half of the participants were subjected to suppressed estradiol by administering anastrozole which blocks the hormone from being converted from testosterone.
Those subjected only to high testosterone levels showed decreased body fat in the subcutaneous and abdominal areas. Sexual desire and erectile function were also significantly increased.
Those subjected to suppressed estradiol showed increased body fat in the subcutaneous and abdominal areas. There was also decreased improvement in erectile function and sexual desire.
This clinical study shows that estradiol plays an important role in sexual function and body fat regulation, as well as bone density in males. Higher estrogen levels also can lead to a hormonal imbalance in men. To suppress estrogen, there are supplements that can help you.
Another study has shown that simultaneous low estradiol and serum testosterone levels can increase mortality in males.
Here are other common signs of low estradiol levels:
There is a recent study that seems to point to the effect of low estradiol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. These patients show lower than normal levels of testosterone and estradiol.
All of these studies show that estradiol plays an important role in men's health and may even reduce mortality. Therefore, maintaining the proper level of this hormone is essential. To boost the levels of free testosterone in your body, supplements like DIM can help.
What's the Healthy Level of Estradiol in Men?
According to studies, the healthy estradiol levels are between 10 to 40 pg/mL and 20 to 55 pg/mL, depending on the source. The latter study also indicates that the healthy range of free estradiol levels are at 0.3 to 1.3 pg/mL.
What Tests Are Available?
The only way to check your estradiol levels is through a blood test. It can be the same blood test you do during your annual physical checkup, but this time your estradiol and free testosterone levels will be checked as well.
Similar to keeping track of your blood pressure, blood chemistry, and cholesterol levels, regularly checking estradiol levels is important. Early detection of low levels of this hormone can help in preventing strokes, heart attacks, and bone fractures.
There are medications, however, that can affect the test results like glucocorticosteroids, some antibiotics (like ampicillin and tetracycline), and phenothiazines which are mental disorder medications.
Now that you have the results and you are below or above the range, there’s no need to worry. Each person reacts differently to low levels of estradiol.
As long as you don’t feel the symptoms discussed in this article, you are safe. But if you do get the symptoms, it won’t hurt to consult your physician and get hormone treatment to increase your estradiol levels.
A healthy estradiol level in men might be crucial to prevent and cure a lot of nasty illnesses. There are continuing studies about this hormone, and doctors are developing new methods of estradiol treatment.