The thought about estrogen side-effects makes every man feel shivers. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody, as the scope of estrogens’ influence on the male organism is incredibly wide and the effects of their excessive activity are very troublesome and hard to reverse. Therefore, it is worth taking a closer look at the ways to control this potentially harmful factor.
What are estrogens?
Estrogens are steroid hormones, most often called female hormones. It is not totally true, as they play a vital role also in man’s health. Their synthesis mainly takes place under the influences of the conversion from androgens, such as testosterone or androstendiole in the reaction with the enzyme – aromatase. They provoke their effect by activating specific nuclear estrogen receptors, creating transcription factors and initiating the synthesis of appropriate proteins.
Excessive concentration of estradiol and other estrogens may cause a range of unpleasant symptoms.
The most troublesome are the visual effects of excessive aromatization, which are not conducive to esthetic appearance. Skin changes, appearing as substantial acne and high activity of sebaceous glands in skin tissue are characteristic to high estrogens. Increased subcutaneous water retention is also not beneficial for the silhouette, as it causes the “blearing” of the details that could be noticed on the fit body, masking the effects of hard work performed during training sessions. The most brutal effect of high estrogen concentration maintained for a long time is gynecomastia, i.e. breast hypertrophy. This ailment makes a male chest visually resemble female breasts and advanced stages are treated only by means of surgical intervention. Despite the fact that probably every man would like to have some breasts within reach, they would probably not want their own.
From the point of view of sport, the influence of estrogens may also have an unfavorable effect on slowing down the reduction of fatty tissue, especially in certain characteristic places, such as thighs or buttocks. A popular procedure is reducing the level of estrogens, especially in the period directed to reducing spare fat.
Apart from the visual aspect, the psyche may also suffer. High estrogen level in men may cause the drop of sexual drive and erection disorders, causing discomfort during intimate situations. Life energy and general mood may also be lowered, which with the simultaneous growth of emotionality leads to mood swings and worse functioning.
ATD, also known as 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione is a suicide aromatase inhibitor. It means that after binding to an aromatase molecule, it deactivates it, without the possibility of restoring its functionality. This mechanism is analogous to the effect of exemestanum (Symex, Etadron), one of the most popular products of this type, enjoying great recognition especially among bodybuilders using doping with aromatizing anabolic-androgen steroids.
The lack of the rebound effect is very beneficial, which is characteristic to non-suicide AI, such as letrezole or anastrozole. Thanks to this, we limit the probability of intensifying estrogen effects after ending the therapy.
Because of inhibiting testosterone transformations, ATD treatment may potentially cause the growth of this androgen hormone, especially in case of disturbed proportion between testosterone and estradiol. The influence of ATD on the increased secretion of testosterone and luteinizing hormone has been proven in the studies on rhesus monkeys. As it turns out, ATD may save testosterone not only by inhibiting its aromatization, but also by lowering its reduction to DHT. ATD is also willingly used during post-cycle therapy in order to support the organism’s return to homeostasis.
ATD is a very attractive product for sportsmen using hormonal doping, especially testosterone. It is speculated that inhibiting aromatase by ATD may decrease impulsive behaviors in people using increased doses of testosterone. Maintaining optimal concentrations of estradiol and estrone during the cycle may be reflected also in obtaining effects quicker and maintaining higher-quality silhouette, thanks to lower water retention and more effective fat reduction.
ATD supplementation should be started reasonably, taking into consideration certain safety measures.
It should be borne in mind that although the excess of estrogens is harmful, their deficit also is not beneficial. Therefore it is important to perform appropriate tests (on the level of estradiol in blood) during the therapy in order to precisely adjust dosing and achieve maximum benefits that this preparation offers. When we reduce estradiol excessively, we may expect problems with bones and joints, worse well-being and lower libido. Because of anabolic properties of estradiol, its deficit may also slow down the effects of strength training directed to developing musculature.
An important piece of information, especially for professional sportsmen, is the fact that using ATD may entail a positive result in anti-doping control of urine sample, indicating boldenone and its metabolites.
Summing up, ATD is a preparation worth attention of people who deal with excessive androgen aromatization, especially during steroid cycles, when supplements such as zinc or resveratrol may not be sufficient. It allows to maintain higher skin quality, better mood, more esthetic silhouette and it may influence quicker progress in developing body, without the rebound effect, characteristic to other products inhibiting the activity of aromatase.
2 Ellinwood, W.E. et al. Inhibition of aromatization stimulates luteinizing hormone and testosterone secretion in adult male rhesus monkeys. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1984)
3 Alexandre C, Balthazart J. Inhibition of testosterone metabolism in the brain and cloacal gland of the quail by specific inhibitors and antihormones. The Journal of Endocrinology [01 Feb 1987, 112(2):189-195]
4 Svensson AI The aromatase inhibitor 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione (ATD) reduces disinhibitory behavior in intact adult male rats treated with a high dose of testosterone. Behav Brain Res. 2010 Jan 20;206(2):216-22. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2009.09.020. Epub 2009 Sep 17.
5 Parr MK et al. Metabolism of androsta-1,4,6-triene-3,17-dione and detection by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in doping control. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2009 Jan;23(2):207-18. doi: 10.1002/rcm.3861.