Updated: 2019, Jun 12

What Is Estrogen Dominance? How To Prevent It

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
Estrogen Dominance

Oestrogen dominance refers to the condition whereby oestrogen production exceeds that of progesterone and testosterone.

The resultant imbalance of the bodies hormonal homeostasis can result in fat gain, fertility issues, aromatization (conversion of testosterone to estrogen), anxiety and has also been linked with cancer formation.

What Are the Causes of Estrogen Dominance?

This issue has increased in prevalence in recent years due to the saturation of xenoestrogens (man-made estrogens) in our environment – from the plastics of water bottles, carpet fibres, medication, body wash, beer, pesticides, the water supply and hormones in food.

There is no escaping these toxins due to their ubiquitous presence in our environment, but that is not to say there is nothing we can do about them in terms of protecting ourselves from their impact, or in detoxifying them as best we can.

The estrogens that negatively impact on our body either settle in the receptor sites reserved for natural estrogen production or can have very damaging effects on the body as the liver attempts to detoxify them.

So, whilst we have little or no control over our exposure to these hormonal disrupters, the positive aspect is that they are mediated by detoxification pathways, and therefore dietary considerations and supplemental protocols can help in their detoxification.

Estrogen Dominance Info

What Are the Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance?

The symptoms of oestrogen dominance are extremely varied, and this can often result in misdiagnosis, they include, but are not confined to:


  • Difficulty putting on muscle
  • Low libido
  • Fatigue
  • Excess fat and redistribution of fat
  • Breast growth (“man boobs”)

In Women The Symptoms Can Be…

What Can You Do To Prevent Oestrogen Toxicity?

Prevent Oestrogen Toxicity

As I stated earlier, unfortunately, these toxins are ubiquitous to living on planet earth nowadays, indeed fire-retardant chemicals and the like were discovered in the umbilical cords of Inuit tribespeople in pristine Alaska, so you can only imagine the damage modern living does to the human body.

Detoxification of these negative estrogens, specifically xenoestrogens, can be enhanced and expedited by normal food sources, taken in abundance.

The gold standard of estrogen detoxification is watercress, but also any dark cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli.
This is because of the high content of diindolylmethane (or DIM). The mechanism of action in removing estrogens from the body is due to the increase in hydroxy estrone, thereby improving the 2/16 hydroxy estrone ratio.

The estrogens can be characterized by E2:E4:E16 (or The Good, The Bad and The Ugly as my mentor, hormonal optimization expert Charles Poliquin once described them).
Improving this ratio is a key strategy in reducing your risk factors of the issues listed previously.

Other beneficial compounds to consume are green tea, curcumin (from turmeric) and lycopene (from tomatoes).

Green Tea – Acts to inhibit breast tumour growth, improves liver detoxification of estrogen[1], reduces aromatase and lowers levels of damaging oestrogens, protects against oestrogen-specific free radicals and carcinogens

Curcumin – Improves detoxification of oestrogen by supporting safe, tissue-protective oestrogen metabolite, reduces oxidative damage, inhibition of the growth of breast cancer cells[2]
Lycopene- Powerful antioxidant, inhibition of cancer cell proliferation[3], reduction of DNA damage from estrogen[4],

D-Limonene – Suppresses tumours, reduces tumour size, prevention of mammary, liver, lung and other cancers[5], carcinogen removal, reduction in breast tumour growth[6], inhibition of mammary carcinomas[7], breast carcinoma regression in both early and late stage development[8].

I would also recommend increasing your intake of zinc, this is critical in improving your hormonal balance and dosages as high as 100mg per day may be required in the short term, but this would need to be validated by blood tests.

If this amount is required I would personally recommend staggering the dosage as taking too much in one, go can cause nausea.

Also, it goes without saying that quality trumps quantity every time – if you are going to take curcumin, ensure it contains bioperine (black pepper) to optimise bioavailability, if you are taking green tea to ensure that it has a high EGCG level, and for zinc I would recommend bisglycinate, gluconate, or aspartate.

Why? Because chelated minerals invariably are more bioavailable than ones that are oxides (a chelated mineral will usually end with -ate).

What Should Be the Lifestyle Considerations for Estrogen Dominance?

Parabens Ratio

Consider removing the following from your toiletries – anything that contains parabens (methylparaben etc).

These are environmental toxins that are absorbed in the bloodstream and take up residence in the receptor sites reserved for normal estrogen activity. They promote fat gain and are damaging to the metabolism as they skew the E2:E4:E16 ratio


  • Plastics
  • Lotions
  • Pesticides
  • Shampoos
  • Carpet
  • Fumes
  • Receipts

What Should Be the Dietary Considerations for Estrogen Dominance?

It is a good idea to increase your consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and watercress as these are potent detoxifiers of estrogens

Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea per day in unbleached tea bags can help detoxification pathways and green tea is also a fantastic antioxidant.

Consider adding Maca (a Peruvian superfood and excellent carbohydrate) into your diet (into smoothies or full fat yogurt)

Drinking a glass of red wine every night (preferably Spanish pinot as it is higher in resveratrol, as the grapes are grown high up in the hills under intense sun and therefore have thicker antioxidant skins).

Read More: Hormone Imbalance: A Comprehensive Overview

This is because red wine contains resveratrol which reduces receptor uptake of estrogen, increases luteinizing hormone levels to increase testosterone. It is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

As you can see protecting, detoxifying and inhibiting your exposure to estrogen can be a relatively easy task when you know what items help and which hinder.

Inevitably a lot of little improvements in your lifestyle can make a huge impact overall when all areas are well balanced and a considered approach is taken.

Image Credits
Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
In-Post Image: Shutterstock.com & thefamilythathealstogether.com
1. Toxicol Sci. 2003 Dec;76(2):262-70. Epub 2003 Nov 4 Epigallocatechin gallate modulates CYP450 isoforms in the female Swiss-Webster mouse.
2. Verma SP, Salamone E, Goldin B. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Apr 28;233(3):692-6
3. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2007 Aug;104(2):221-30. Epub 2006 Oct 19 Hirsch K, Atzmon A, Danilenko M, Levy J, Sharoni Y.
4. Jpn J Vet Res. 2005 Feb;52(4):173-84. Muzandu K, El Bohi K, Shaban Z, Ishizuka M, Kazusaka A, Fujita S
5. Environ Health Perspect. 1997 June; 105(Suppl 4): 977-979
6. http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/limonene.php
7. CANCER RESEARCH 54, 3540-3543, July 1, 1994 Michael N. Gould2, Cynthia J. Moore, Rong Zhang, Bingcheng Wang, Wendy S. Kennan and Jill D. Haag
8. CANCER RESEARCH 52, 4021-4026, July 15, 1992 Jill D. Haag, Mary J. Lindstrom and Michael N. Gould
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