The (Surprising) Necessity for Estrogen in Men

Written by Professor Anna Gray, Updated on June 24th, 2022
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Most men would say that estrogen is not that important for men, or even, harmful to men. All we need is testosterone! Estrogen is for women ONLY. This is most definitely not true, however. Just like with almost everything in life, there is balance -- the same goes for hormones especially, and even with estrogen and testosterone in the male body. The day-to-day wellness of men is drastically affected by estrogen, believe it or not.

Estrogen and Testosterone: The Two Main Sex Hormones

The main form of estrogen is estradiol. There is also estrone and estriol, but when we say estrogen, we mean estradiol, specifically in this article. For men, estrogen plays an important role in several bodily functions. Here is the surprisingly extensive list:

  • muscle and strength gains
  • preserving bone strength
  • stabilizing the nervous system and emotions
  • maintaining proper metabolism
  • preventing muscle hypoxia (loss of oxygen) even when working out hard

The Important Functions of Estrogen in Men

Testosterone can be converted into estrone and estradiol using the enzyme aromatase and estradiol is the stronger hormone of the two – it binds with estrogen receptors more easily. We all know that women tend to be a lot more emotional than men and can let their emotions run wild at times, therefore there is no surprise that estrogen affects cognition and mood. There are a lot of estrogen receptors in the area of the brain where emotions are processed, such as the hippocampus (memory) and amygdala (emotion). They are also found in cortical regions that involve higher-order functioning.

Specifically, estrogens control the neurotransmitters that process emotions, as demonstrated in rats. According to the research, it also appears that estrogens can protect against neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Ideal Amount of Estrogen for a Man

There is no one-size-fits-all for estrogen in men, or even testosterone. Hormone balance can be a tricky thing since we are all unique. Estrogen levels depend on age as well as medical and lifestyle history of the patient. On average, an adult man should have estradiol levels of 10-40 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL) and estrones at 10-50 pg/mL.

If estrogen is too high in a man, he will experience adverse effects such as gynecomastia (or, man boobs), erectile dysfunction or even infertility. This is why it is essential for men to have proper levels of both estrogen and testosterone, and to be tested regularly, especially as they get older. Too much estrogen typically leads to increased fat gain and lower muscle mass – something that no man wants.

In summation, men need estrogen just as much as they need testosterone in their bodies. However, the key is that they need to be at the correct and ideal concentrations and in balance with each other. Otherwise, increased estrogen levels and decreased testosterone levels will wreak havoc on a man’s health, sex life and confidence in himself.

At our clinic, we understand the importance of this balance and are here to help you get regular testing done as well as both natural and doctor-mediated hormone balance programs. Contact us if you are interested in ensuring optimal hormone health for yourself now and in the future.


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