The thought of estrogenic side effects makes every man shiver. High levels of oestrogen are a bad sign. It should not be anybody’s surprise, because the range of oestrogen activity on the male organism is extremely wide, and the effects of their excessive activity are extremely annoying and heavy to be reversed. It’s therefore worth looking at ways to control this potentially harmful factor.
What are oestrogens?
These are steroid hormones, most commonly referred to as feminine. This is not entirely true as they play an important role in the health of a man as well. Their synthesis is mainly due to the conversion of androgens, such as testosterone or androstenedione in response to the aromatase enzyme. Their effect is triggered by the activation of their own nuclear oestrogen receptors to form transcription factors and initiate the synthesis of the corresponding proteins.
Excessive estradiol and other oestrogen levels can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms.
The visual effects of excessive aromatization, which are not conducive to aesthetic appearance, are most distressing. Characteristic for high oestrogens are skin lesions, manifested by abundant acne and high sebaceous glands activity in the skin tissue. Increased subcutaneous water retention is also not aesthetically pleasing as it blurs the details of the athletic body, masking the effects of hard work done on training. The most violent effect of high levels of oestrogen over a long period of time is gynecomastia, the enlargement of the mammary gland. This ailment makes the male chest visually start to resemble female breast, and advanced stage is treated only by surgical intervention. Although probably every man would like to have breasts at his fingertips, it would be better for them not to be their own.
In the athletic aspect, the effect of oestrogen on the slowdown of body fat reduction can also be unfavourable, especially in certain characteristic areas such as the thighs and buttocks. Popular treatment is lowering oestrogen levels especially during the period of fat reduction.
Beyond the visual aspect, the mind can also suffer. High oestrogens in men can cause a decrease in sexual desire and erectile dysfunction, causing discomfort in intimate situations. The energy of life and the general mood can also be lowered, which at the same time increases the emotionality leading to mood swings and worse functioning every day.
What is ATD and how does it work on the body?
ATD, also known as 1,4,6-androstatic-3,17-dione is an irreversible (suicidal) aromatase inhibitor. This means that when added to the molecule the aromatase deactivates it without being able to restore functionality. This mechanism is analogous to the action of exemestan (Symex, Etadron), one of the most popular remedies of this type, which is highly appreciated especially among bodybuilders using doping flavouring anabolic-androgenic steroids.
It’s very beneficial to have no “rebound” effect characteristic of reversible AI such as letrozole or anastrozole. This reduces the likelihood of oestrogen effects after treatment.
Due to the inhibition of testosterone conversion, ATD therapy may potentially cause an increase of this androgen hormone, especially in the case of impaired testosterone-estradiol ratio. The effect of ATD on increased secretion of testosterone and luteinizing hormone has been demonstrated in rhesus patients. As it turns out, ATD can save testosterone not only by inhibiting its aromatization, but also by reducing its reduction to DHT. ATD is also readily used during post-cycle therapy to aid homeostasis recovery.
ATD is a very attractive agent for athletes using hormonal doping, especially testosterone. It’s speculated that inhibition of ATD aromatization may reduce impulsive behaviour in subjects taking increased doses of testosterone. Maintaining optimum levels of estradiol and oestrone during the cycle can also translate into improved athletic performance and a higher body image, thanks to reduced water retention and improved fat reduction.
For ATD supplementation, it’s wise to take reasonable precautions, taking into account certain safety rules.
It should be borne in mind that while excess oestrogen is detrimental, their deficiency will also not be favourable to us. It’s therefore important that you perform the proper tests (estradiol levels in the blood) during treatment to accurately select the dosage and maximize the benefits that this medication provides. When we overdose estradiol we can expect issues with bones, joints, poor mood and lower libido. Due to the anabolic properties of estradiol, its deficiency can also slow down the effects of strength training focused on the development of muscles.
Important information for professional athletes is that the use of ATD may result in a positive test result from the urine sample, indicating boldenone and its metabolites.
In conclusion, ATD is a valuable remedy for people who struggle with excessive aromatization of androgens, especially during steroidal cycles, when supplements such as zinc or resveratrol may not be sufficient. It allows to maintain a higher quality of the skin, a better mood, a more aesthetical silhouette and to improve the progression of the body without causing the “rebound” effect of other aromatase inhibiting agents.
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.