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Gut Health 101

Aromatase Enzyme Manipulation

How It Can Help Muscle Growth &Fat Loss!

Posted by pridiciero - September 7th, 2014

Aromatase is an enzyme that is responsible for a key step in the biosynthesis of estrogens (female hormones) in both men and women and excess estrogens can be of concern for a number of reasons.

Estrogen is a fat-storing hormone that occurs naturally in women and in smaller amounts in men. Small levels of estrogen are important for men in order to regulate libido, ensure brain function and heart health.

The human body naturally converts testosterone into estrogens (estriol, estrone and estradiol) and the aromatase enzyme complex governs this conversion which takes place mainly in the liver, brain and fat tissue. Since testosterone is a critical hormone for muscle gain and fat loss, excess conversion of testosterone into estrogen may hinder you gains in the gym.

In order to manipulate this process, it is common practice amongst bodybuilders and fitness conscious people to reduce the conversion of testosterone to DHT or estrogens by using nutritional supplements that block 5-alpha reductase and aromatase.

Another method of manipulating aromatase levels, is by maintaining low body fat. Fat cells, especially in the stomach area, increase estrogen levels because they produce aromatase creating a vicious cycle of fat accumulation.

So naturally inhibiting aromatase, which reduces levels of estrogens, can help you achieve your fitness goals by increasing muscle mass and aiding with fat loss but how exactly can you do this?

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Aromatase Reduction Tips:

  • Work to reduce your overall body fat. It is particularly important to minimize visceral adipose tissue (VAT), which is often the fat around your waist, because VAT produces aromatase.
  • Address hyperinsulinemia. Insulin stimulates aromatase production.

oFocus on a low glycemic load diet which means eating carbohydrates with lower glycemic index such as sweet potatoes and brown rice. These carbohydrates take longer for your body to break down preventing insulin spikes.

oExercise regularly.

oMake sure your diet includes nutrients and phytonutrients such as vitamin D, magnesium, ECGC in green tea, green coffee extract, omega-3s, chromium w/ biotin, chrysin and lipoic acid.

  • Decrease inflammation in your body. Inflammation stimulates aromatase production causing belly fat accumulation:

oPromptly treat inflammation in general and pay special attention to oral health and nagging injuries.

oTake natural anti-inflammatories such as fish oil, bromelain, curcumin with piperine and quercetin on a regular basis.

  • Decrease stress. Chronic stress elevates cortisol which leads to inflammation stimulating aromatase production.

oTake plenty of Vitamin C and phosphatidylserine which help control hypercortisolemia.

oGet plenty of sleep.

Examples of Natural Aromatase Inhibitors:

There are countless substances in plants that inhibit aromatase. Some of these are chrysin, naringenin, apigenin, and genistein. Since research has not yet clarified which phytochemicals are the most effective, the best way to reduce aromatase activity is to consume a variety of these compounds:

  • Dietary fiber
  • Chrysin
  • Green tea
  • Lignins from flax seed
  • Genistein and daidzein from soy (note: soy is not for everybody as it could make the issue worse for some people)
  • Resveratrol (can be found as a supplement or in grape juice)
  • Grape seed extract (proanthocyanidins)
  • White button mushrooms
  • Brassaiopsis glomerulata

There are also drugs that inhibit aromatase production such as AMINOGLUTETHIMIDE, ANASTROZOLE, LETROZOLE and EXEMESTANE but always consult with your physician before taking any drugs.

Unfortunately, the bio-availability of many "bioflavanoid" compounds when ingested is poor. Some cutting-edge supplement companies have trick "delivery systems" to address this issue by combining nutrients and using high dosages of the compounds.

Also, as a last comment, it is very important that you maintain the health of your gastrointestinal tract to ensure that these nutrients are absorbed efficiently.

Make sure to consult with a Sports Nutritionist if you would like to know more about the risks and benefits of using aromatase inhibitors supplements.

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