It takes a master comedian like Jerry Seinfeld to make gynecomastia – an enlargement of male breast tissue – seem funny. That’s just what he did in February 1995 in an episode where Kramer and Frank Costanza invented the “Bro” or “Manssiere” to support Frank’s “man boobs”.
In real life – not so funny.
Gynecomastia is the end result of an out-of-balance level of estrogen and androgen in the male system. When estrogen dominates over testosterone, a number of things happen: diminished libido, energy drain, and yes, man boobs.(1)
Not a joking matter unless you have a mega-hit TV comedy show.
Michael Flemming, MD, a physician in Shreveport, LA, says, “I get questions about man-boobs often. But it’s always behind closed doors. It’s not the kind of thing most guys want to talk about openly.”(2)
Needless to say, this is a sensitive topic that can really shake a guy’s confidence. A topic you might be curious about, but very hesitant to discuss.
Surprising Sources of Estrogen
Think only women take estrogen? Well, think again. You’re getting it, too, but not like you’d expect. Testing has confirmed that pharmaceuticals, including sex hormones, have been found in the drinking water of at least 41 million Americans.(3)
Ground water becomes contaminated by the waste materials of both humans and domestic animals that have ingested hormone therapies. Then there’s the huge waste streams from hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, some of which make it into the water supply. Additionally, the meat from livestock fattened with hormones still contains traces of those hormones when you eat it.
Another way you are taking in estrogen is by means of plastic food and drink packaging. One study of waters in plastic bottles found evidence of estrogenic compounds in 78% of those tested. Researchers concluded that this result might be just “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to estrogens leaching from plastic packaging.(4)
Finding a Natural Balance
A natural estrogen balancer, which you may again find surprising, is cruciferous vegetables. Yep, those very ones your mother had to make you eat: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. She said they were good for you and here’s why…
This vegetable family contains a compound known as Diindolylmethane (DIM) which blocks estrogen receptor activity. The result is a higher ratio of testosterone to estrogen and that means more free testosterone available for muscle-building and increased libido. DIM also balances estrogen metabolism in a beneficial way by reducing levels of 16-hydroxy (the cancer-promoting type of estrogen) and increasing formation of 2-hydroxy (the anti-carcinogenic type).(5)
Testosterone levels decline naturally as a man ages. But excess exposure to estrogen makes the situation worse and tips your system into estrogen dominance along with weight gain, loss of muscle mass and decreased sex drive.
Do consult your personal physician before you make any changes to your regular diet, exercise or supplement routine.
- Allee, MR, “Gynecomastia”, emedicine.medscape.com/article/120858-overview
- Divito, Nick, “Beware the Dreaded Man-boob”, weightwatchers.com
- “Grad student uses EPA Fellowship to study drugs in water supply”, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Feb 8, 2009
- Wagner et al. “Endocrine disruptors in bottled mineral water: total estrogen burden and migration from plastic bottles”, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2009
- “diindolylmethane”, NCI Drug Dictionary, National Cancer Institute, cancer.gov
Dr. Blankstein has been practicing for over 30 years as a leading Cardiologist. Trained in traditional medicine and Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease, he knows the importance of good medical care. This consideration has allowed him to discover safe and natural ways of healing. His dedication to bringing the latest and best in health solutions to his patients and the public has given him the experience to research and develop proven natural remedies for many illnesses.
© 2009 Chesapeake Nutraceuticals