How to Boost your Oestrogen Levels Naturally:
Author: ANCP Date Posted:23 July 2015
Oestrogen is a type of hormone found in humans and animals. In plants it is in the form of phytoestrogen.
In humans, this hormone is largely present in women rather than men. Oestrogen is released from a woman's ovaries, while in men it is released from cells in the testes. Oestrogen is an umbrella term for three different types of oestrogens occurring in women: oestrone, oestradiol and oestriol.
Importance of Oestrogen:
In women, healthy Oestrogen levels are:
- Required for the female sexual characteristics.
- Needed for a regular menstrual cycle.
- Stimulate vaginal thickness.
- Regulate fat storage particularly around the hips, abdomen and breasts.
- Enhance vaginal lubrication.
- Support endometrial growth.
- Contribute to a healthy sex drive.
- Boost uterine growth.
- Speed up metabolism.
- Reduce a woman's muscle mass so that she appears feminine.
- Help bone formation.
In men, oestrogen is produced in small quantities to improve fertility and enhance bone mineralization. It is also crucial for producing healthy sperm and preventing the death of sperm which is known as Apoptosis.
Symptoms of low Oestrogen Levels:
In women, the main symptoms of low oestrogen are hot flushes, weight gain, mood swings, headaches and low sex drive. Other symptoms may include trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, irritability, wrinkles, bloating and low bone mineral density. In men, the main low oestrogen symptoms are male impotence and osteoporosis.
Some causes of Low Oestrogen Levels:
Menopause: As women age, their ovum supply declines which can cause hormonal imbalances. Around a year before a woman’s periods stop, her Oestrogen levels start to drop and continue to lower from then on. Menopause can start at any age but usually occurs from late 30s up until around early 50s.
Testosterone Insufficiency: Testosterone insufficiency in women can lead to low oestrogen. Testosterone is important for oestrogen synthesis which in turn prevents menopausal symptoms like vaginal dryness, hot flushes, urinary urgency, low sex drive and incontinence.
Lifestyle and Exercise: Like many processes in the body, oestrogen production is impacted by unhealthy habits - namely a lack of fruit and vegetables, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, excessive sugar, excessive caffeine and consumption of unhealthy fats. Extreme exercise activities such as weight lifting and body-building or professional athletics, particularly those where a participant has a low percentage of body fat, have been linked to a drop in oestrogen levels.
Foods that help boost your Oestrogen Levels Naturally:
Although it is not thought that you can gain oestrogen from eating certain foods, some foods are being researched as possibly having an impact on your body’s ability to make oestrogen or act like oestrogen in the body.
Vegetables and Fruits: These foods have phytoestrogens which have strong oestrogenic effects. 100g of vegetables like green beans, broccoli, garlic and winter squash have 94-604mcg worth of phytoestrogens. Some other fruits and vegetables that have good phytoestrogen levels include cranberries, peas and sweet potatoes.
Seeds and Whole Grains: Flaxseed and sesame contain phytoestrogens and help to increase the levels of oestrogen. Rice and barley also boost the body's oestrogen levels.
Soy: It has long been believed (especially in Asia) that soy products have an effect on oestrogen levels. You could try incorporating more soy into your diet for example edamame.
Herbs that help boost your Oestrogen Levels Naturally:
Chaste berry or Vitex: Has been used traditionally for many years as a women’s health tonic. It is thought that the active compound Linoleic acid may help to regulate female hormones and assist with symptoms of PMS and menopause.
Red Clover: This herb consists of an oestrogenic compound known as isoflavone. Red clover can be used to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. Other herbs that may help alleviate menopause symptoms include: black cohosh, shatavari, sage, zizyphus, Dong Quai.