15 Aug , 16

Aromatase and Testosterone Production

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When it comes to Aromatase and building Testosterone, guys tend to have a narrow view of optimizing this hormone. Although they recognize the need to boost T, they forget about Testosterone’s rival: Estrogen. If you ever want to achieve the most anabolic body possible, then keeping down estrogen is crucial.

There are a number of ways to do this. These may include eating anti-estrogen foods, focusing on habits that reduce estrogen, but also making sure to reduce aromatase in the body. A lot of guys may have never heard of aromatase, but it’s an important enzyme that can wreak havoc if not controlled.

What is Aromatase?

Aromatase is the enzyme that is responsible for the synthesis of estrogen in the body. To make matters worse, this estrogen is created by converting testosterone and other male androgens into estrogen—talk about a cruel joke. Your vital Testosterone is virtually stolen from you and you must not let this happen!

While it is a naturally occurring substance in the body, and plays an important role, too much aromatase can cause increased estrogen which is detrimental for men. The main issue with too much estrogen is well known. It leads a loss of that ‘manly’ edge guys are looking for in the way of muscle, strength, and vitality. However, estrogen also leads to other health issues for men like prostate issues, as well as gynecomastia (discussed below). Estrogens, both from synthetic products and dietary habits, are all too common and there proliferation can do a lot more damage than feeling weak.

Effects of Aromatase Inhibition

Aromatase inhibitors, as you may have guessed, are used to reduce the amount of estrogen in the body. They work by inhibiting the action of the aromatase enzyme, which prevents estrogen from proliferating in the body.

They are in fact used by medical professionals to target situations where excess estrogen is present One such example is gynecomastia (swelling of breast tissue) in men. You may have noticed this in men who are overweight or just looking ‘soft’. This is a clear-cut sign that aromatase and estrogen have taken over.

As you can see, aromatase is something that guys must pay attention to and do everything they can to reduce its presence in the body.

Making Use of Aromatase Inhibitors

Aromatase inhibiters are potent. They work by attaching themselves to the aromatase enzymes, rendering it useless, allowing testosterone to float freely in your body. And while these prescription aromatase inhibitors are effective, they are not that common as they are usually associated wit HRT protocols.

So although there are medications out there that can lower aromatase activity, it’s a good idea to start out with a natural approach. Not only is this easier, but it will allow you to focus on a more natural and wholesome lifestyle in general, which will do wonders for T levels.

Here are a few foods that inhibit aromatase and will help keep estrogen at bay:

  • Cruciferous Vegetables: Although not most people’s favorite tasting vegetable, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables are potent aromatase-inhibitors. Broccoli contains 3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM), a chemical compound, helps to break down and metabolize estrogen in the body. Additionally, these cruciferous vegetables help to detoxify the liver which helps to break down cells easier.
  • Celery: Despite its meek appearance, celery packs a punch. It contributes to T production through androtestrone, but also keeps down aromatase activity through a little known flavonoid named Luteolin.
  • Mushrooms (white Button): A number of studies have concluded that these mushrooms can limit aromatase activity. One study concluded that,” …diets high in mushrooms may modulate aromatase activity and function… by reducing the… production of estrogen.”
  • Red Wine: Scientists and health practitioners have been raving about the effects of resveratrol, a chemical compound found in red wine. You may know that excess alcohol consumption will do a lot of damage to hormone levels, but a glass or two of red wine may actually help combat estrogen. If red wine isn’t your thing, grab a quality resveratrol supplement.
  • Oysters: These are commonly known as the most powerful of the aphrodisiacs. The reason for this is that it contains a lot of zinc—more so than any other food. Zinc is a crucial mineral for men, and has strong effects on inhibiting aromatase. A zinc supplement works fine if you don’t like oysters.
  • Olive Oil: This is great for T levels as it contains monounsaturated fats which are great for men’s hormonal profiles. Olive oil also contains a natural phenol Oleuropein which has aromatase inhibiting properties. Olive oil is great on foods and salads, so there’s no reason you can’t get your fill.
  • Alium Family (E.g. Garlic and Onions): These foods are rich in amino acids with powerful antioxidant properties that allow the liver to break down estrogen at higher rates. Add them to your meals for a powerful punch.

What about herbs?

There are definitely some herbs and spices out there that will help at inhibiting aromatase production. The most common means of doing so is by ingesting spices that help promote a heath liver, which includes herbs like turmeric, thyme, and oregano. Consider adding these to your meals.

How to Use These Natural Aromatase Inhibtors

As you’ll notice, several of the foods listed above are packed with nutrients, and are nutritious foods that you should be eating anyway! Start by adding them to meals regularly, such as cooking broccoli for dinner, or pouring olive oils over foods.

Additionally, you can take supplements where necessary. If the foods above aren’t your favorite, then consuming a high-quality supplement will be okay, just know that natural, whole foods are the way to go. Just make sure to consult with a medical professional if you want to take something like resveratrol.


Reducing the amount of aromatase in your body is one of the best things you can do as a man to boost our T levels. And the best way to do this is by consuming the aforementioned foods and supplementing where necessary to ensure that you are limiting aromatase in the body


Todd Lamb is one world's most trusted sources of Health and Fitness information and programming. He has dedicated his life to the service of others having served as a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment in the Special Service Force and as 17 year veteran Police Officer with 10 years on SWAT and 4 as a Team Leader. Todd is dedicated to transforming the lives of 1,000,000 men through honest science based information backed up with years of practical experience in Tactical Operations. Todd is a Best Selling Author of multiple best selling fitness programs and the book STAND APART

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4 thoughts on “Aromatase and Testosterone Production

  1. Eric

    Todd, (or whomever), I’m curious about what happens if a guy takes Arimistane at low levels for long periods of time. I’ve been taking it at 25 mg, 2 x daily, for about 4 months. I haven’t noticed any signature side effects I’ve heard about. No joint pain. Libido is still very high. I sleep like the dead, and typically I need at least 7 hours. I don’t think my health insurance would cover a T/E test, so I don’t know what those levels are. I’m 54 years old, 5’8″ tall, 180 lbs. Free weights lifter since age 23. Body fat is low for my age group, but still too high for my preference. Also more muscle mass than other guys in my age group. I’ve been trying to bust a slab of stubborn fat centered on my navel. No luck yet.

    1. Todd Post author

      Hey Eric, yeah its Todd! So Arimistane is an aromatase inhibitor and cortisol inhibitor which works to reduce circulating estrogen in your system BUT the question is why do you think you need this? If you are above 18 or so % body fat then yes you may be converting available testosterone into estrogen… but without knowing your free testosterone numbers you are really just guessing. Your safest and most effective way to balancing your male hormones (again this is just one of many areas that could be the focus of a protocol, because we don’t know your numbers) is to ensure your gut health is optimal. So a start would be to get your body fat % to 15% or below, ensure gut function and liver clearance has been optimized and then supplement.
      To support Liver clearance
      a. 500mg of N-Acetyl Cysteine, 2x daily with food
      b. 150mg of the actual Silymarin extract found within milk thistle, 2x daily with food
      c. 3g of glycine taken daily, 60mins prior to bed time
      d. Hit water intake goal (0.5oz per pound of body weight per day, or 1.1oz per kilo of body weight per day)
      4. Anti-aromatase compounds specifically, DIM has been shown to reduce aromatase but also improve estrogen ratios. 75- 150mg, 2x daily is more than enough.

      Your nutrition protocol will eventually eliminate that abdominal fat once you drop below a certain BF% fat but its slightly different for each guy. You have to stay committed to your eating program…to that end… know your daily caloric intake for maintenance… then try a macro breakdown of around 25% Healthy Fats, 180 gms of protein/day and the remaining amount carbs… or you could always do our TCycle diet which explains all of this in more detail. Hope that helps my friend.. Take Care – ~ Todd

  2. Dennis L Stevens

    Hi Todd. I am a 70 year old male and I have been taking .5 mg of testosterone cypionate once per week by injection for 5 years. I am genetically prone to be muscular and at present I am 6 feet tall and I weigh 235. The younger guys say I am muscular and ‘beefy’ even though I don’t do much more than dumbbell curls and butterflies once a week. Even though I have some fat around my middle it is nothing like a ‘gut’. I guess I am lucky. My doctor started me on Anastrozole not long after starting me on my TRT program. I take one pill 1mg once a week. In fact, when I 1st started TRT he prescribed 1 shot per week of 1 mg testosterone but after 2 years I decided to reduce the dosage to .5 mg and I feel fine. I told the doctor that I wanted to take less because of certain fears of testicle issues. So, my concerns here are concerning my dosage of 1 pill 1 mg of Anastrozole weekly. Is it possible that I could take 2 pills per week and feel better? I read on the other post here that the guy was taking a much higher dosage of another AI and he slept like a rock. I have PTSD and I don’t sleep well at all….lots of bad dreams and frequently waking up. I realize that I should maybe be discussing this wiith my doctor but since the COVID issues he hasn’t asked me to come in for over a year. I am a veteran and I see a VA doctor.
    Thank you for any information concerning this issue.

    1. Todd Post author

      Hey Dennis,

      Yes I cannot comment specifically as this is outside my scope of expertise. Anecdotally, I can say your prescription seems consistent with what many docs prescribe. The Anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor meaning it should assist in preventing the conversion of the testosterone to estradiol , so increasing this would only be necessary if you are not converting the TRT dose to useable Testosterone… BUT you must discuss this with your physician and probably in increase in the Testosterone would have a more favourable effect on sleep patterns and mental health if your estradiol numbers are fine.

      Take Care


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