Workout Tips

Q&A: Estrogen Blockers, Glutamine and Peptide, Whey, and Fiber

We examine estrogen blockers, the difference between glutamine and peptide, the how's and why's of whey and fiber.


Estrogen Blockers

Question: I train hard and feel masculine, so don't understand the big deal about estrogen blockers. But I wonder if they might help me harden up the muscles I've been working so hard to build.

Answer: The estrogen question is a conundrum. You do train hard, which increases testosterone. But sometimes the body converts that testosterone into effeminate estrogen. This used to be something that applied mostly to men who used steroids.

With the advent of prohormones to boost testosterone, however, more men could benefit from products that keep the male hormone from converting. Even the average bodybuilder who doesn't use androgenic supplements may get a relative testosterone boost from estrogen blockers. Reducing estrogens may help the man with a lot of fat on his thighs and glutes trim down and reduce water retention.

Calcium D-glucarate helps your body eliminate excess or undesirable estrogens. Normally, your body gets rid of estrogens, toxic chemicals and other steroids, though sometimes the estrogen is reabsorbed before your gut has a chance to eliminate it. Calcium D-glucarate helps block reabsorption so estrogen gets eliminated as originally intended by your body. That makes this compound a most useful estrogen-buster, although it will also enhance removal of other steroids your body wants gone, including excess testosterone and cortisol.

Chrysin, a flavone from a plant, has been researched for its ability to block the aromatase enzyme from converting testosterone to estrogen in vitro (cell culture). Unfortunately, large doses are needed for chrysin to be moderately effective at aromatase-blocking. Data also show that chrysin is very poorly absorbed, so getting an effective dose is difficult if not impossible.

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is a potent anti-estrogen compound found in cruciferous vegetables. I3C tweaks estrogen metabolism in the liver, the upshot being that strong estrogens are converted into weaker estrogens. I3C has been studied as a potential breast cancer preventive, and 300-400 mg converts about 50% of some stronger estrogens to weaker estrogens in healthy men and women. So far, it hasn't been researched directly on improving muscle growth. I3C also forms diindolymethane (DIM) in the stomach. DIM has similar properties to I3C.

6-OXO (4-Androstene 3,6,17-trione) has been shown to bind to aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. The result is the production of less estrogen and more testosterone.

Formastane (4-hydroxyandrostenedione) also inhibits aromatase, with slightly more aromatase-blocking activity but less testosterone enhancement.


NEXT: More of Your Bodybuilding Nutrition Questions, Answered >>