Prohormone & Designer Steroid Articles

What is: Aromatase and Aromatase Inhibitors

Aromatase and Aromatase Inhibitors Aromatase is an enzyme found in the liver, responsible for the conversion of the androgens androstenedione and testosterone into the estrogens estrone and estradiol. Inhibiting aromatase can cause the body to produce less estrogen and maintain a higher testosterone state. The main side effect in men from too much estrogen is gynecomastia (bitch tits). In order to prevent gynecomastia, you hear bodybuilders talking about using anti-aromatase supplements to suppress aromatase and therefore prevent more estrogen from being produced.

Other factors known to increase aromatase activity include age, being overweight, insulin production and levels, gonadotropins, and alcohol consumption. Aromatase activity can be decreased by prolactin, anti-müllerian hormone, and smoking (but don't take that to mean you're supposed to start smoking!).

Clinically, aromatase inhibitors are in the management of patients with breast cancer whose cancer has been found to be estrogen receptor positive. In such a case, inhibiting aromatase and slow down or stop the growth of the cancer and enable more effective treatment. Aromatase inhibitors are also being prescribed to men on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) as a way to keep estrogen levels from increasing when testosterone is introduced.

Letrozole is an aromatase inhibitor marketed originally as Femara. Extracts of certain (white button variety: Agaricus bisporus) mushrooms can inhibit aromatase. (Anti-aromatase activity of phytochemicals in white button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus))

Increasing your testosterone results in aromatase working to convert some of that testosterone to estrogen, which in turn will shut off some of the testosterone effects. Aromatase is primarily concentrated in the skin, especially over adipose, in the scrotum, and around the nipples. Excess fat cells can contribute to an increased amount of aromatase, and nutrient deficiencies can also produce higher levels. Inhibiting the production and function of aromatase will preserve and stimulate more testosterone induced activity (which is what most lifters want).

Some common causes of increase aromatase activity:
  • Aging
  • Zinc deficiency
  • Obesity
  • Carbohydrate intolerance and insulin sensitivity
  • Overuse of alcohol
  • Liver function changes
  • Prescription drug side effects, especially diuretics and liver activity drugs
There's a recent opinion developing that prostate cancer has more to do with estrogen than with dihydrotestosterone, the theory being that many men, as they age, convert too much testosterone to estrogen and that this excessive estrogen is the cause of prostate enlargement or prostate cancer.

So, from reading all the above, it sounds as though inhibiting aromatase and/or blocking the production and effects of estrogen can be a good thing. That's where aromatase inhibitors come in.

Indole-3-Carbinols are found in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, collards and broccoli can help transform estrogen. The activity of Indole-3-Carbinols is recognized by the National Cancer Institute and have also been shown to stop the growth of breast-cancer cells by inhibiting the action of a specific enzyme.

Chrysin is a flavone compound found in the herb Passiflora incarnata and is a potent natural aromatase inhibitor. In a 1993 study, chrysin and 10 other flavonoids were compared to an the aromatase-inhibiting drug aminoglutethimide. Chrysin probed to be the most potent aromatase-inhibitor, similar in potency and effectiveness to the aromatase-inhibiting drug. Chrysin is also a potent antioxidantthat can provide an anti-inflammatory effect.

Apigenin, a flavone found in most species of Chamomile, is another safe and effective aromatase inhibitor with an inhibitory effect
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