Estrogen seems to be everywhere and on everyones mind. It’s in our food, it’s in our water and it’s even in most lotions. Modern men also seem to make more of it than they would like. Estrogen at too high a level can make you soft and fat and emotional.
Too little estrogen and you can suffer from arterial damage, reduced muscle gain and reduced fat loss. So, when you see bodybuilders munching on Arimidex like candy, you are seeing a bodybuilder who isn’t at peak levels.
WHAT IS AROMATASE AND WHAT’S IT’S FUNCTION
Aromatase is the enzyme that converts hormones like testosterone and androstenedione into estrogen. Estrogen is a generic term for an 18 carbon hormone that binds and activates the estrogen receptor. There is also a class of compounds called “Xenoestrogens” which are foreign estrogens that are found in nature such as those in soy protein and soy flour.
Aromatase is the enzyme that takes your active testosterone, androstenediol, DHEA and converts it into estrogens like estradiol and estrone. Having the right balance of aromatase in your system is what every bodybulder’s goal should be.
Too much aromatase and you are a soft bloated mess and you won’t gain muscle mass as easy but too little estrogen and your joints hurt, you don’t gain muscle as easily.
Fat cells make localized aromatase and fat is responsible for converting much of your testosterone to estrogen.
TWO AROMATASE INHIBITORS
To combat estrogen conversion bodybuilders will take aromatase inhibitors. There are two basic kinds of aromatase inhibor and they have advantages and disadvantages.
First you have “SUICIDE INHIBITORS” these compounds are called “suicide” because they PERMANENTLY disable aromatase in the body, forcing it to make more if it wants estrogen. This class is my favorite for men to use because I believe that levels change over time and men’s systems adjust as needed. This was shown to be true in the study of Novadex XT where testosterone was increased without an unhealthy lowering of estrogen.
Second you have “COMPETITIVE INHIBITORS” which don’t destroy the enzyme and seem better suited for women. These “run interference” by taking up space and preventing testosterone from binding.
Both work, but for men I suggest mainly suicide inbibitors because I believe fat cells are tough little buggers and hold on to their aromatase and shield it, so if you we get a shot at it, we need to make it a kill shot. 😉
I will provide a short list of aromatase inhibitors on the market:
- ATD-hea – Suicide
- Arimistane – Competitive
- 7,8 Benzoflavone – Competitive
- 4,6 DHEA – Theorized Moderate Suicide
- Androsterone – Suicide
- 6-OXO – Suicide
- Butein – Competitive
- Chrysin – Competitive
WHAT TO USE AS A BODYBUILDER
There are lots of theories but my opinion is that its best to use a suicide inhibitor daily to boost testosterone for up to 8 weeks with a 2 week break in between. The suicide inhibitor is best taken upon waking and before bed.
I don’t suggest one is taken prior to cardio since estrogen can have fat mobilizing effects in the presence of exercise. So take your AI right upon waking and right before bed and you should be golden to achieve your best testosterone boosting benefits while reducing your estrogen load.
Arimistane is sold in numerous products but I haven’t found it strong enough to have a lasting effect. 7,8 Benzoflavone is excellent as a competitive inhibitor however it needs to be complexed with things to help absorption. 6-OXO is all but off the market however it was very good at boosting testosterone. 1,4,6 DHEA is a legal isomer to ATD and is currently the most potent AI on the market. 4,6 DHEA is a newcomer and looks good on paper but isn’t tested in REAL BODIES where such things truly matter. Androsterone is excellent but does require high doses to have an effect since it doesn’t have a strong Ki compared to the others.
Like anything science and theories evolve and each body processes androgens to estrogens differently. Some people are fast metabolizers of hormones while others are slow metabolizers. That’s why one person can see an effect from 75mg of prohormones while other people require 600mg (like the author).
My recommendation which is obviously biased since I work for Hi-Tech, is to use Novedex XT from Gaspari if you want to reduce estrogen just remember not to take the product prior to cardio. It contains 1,4,6 DHEA (ATD) along with 4,6-DHEA and finally Arimistane. These three AI’s provide a triple punch when reducing aromatase.