Prostate Enlargement Estrogen Dominance – Does estrogen dominance cause prostate enlargement?
Estrogen is not only for women. Estrogen is not a single hormone, but a group of closely related chemicals that includes estradiol, estriol, and estrione. These chemicals are synthesized from cholesterol primarily in the ovaries during a woman’s fertile years. Men and post-menopausal women make estrogen too: the adrenal cortex and fat cells in the omentum are their main sources.
Estrogens act on target cells all over the body. In addition to sex organ function, they also influence the growth, health, and activity of many other tissues, including bones and the cardiovascular system. They also influence cell production and differentiation, mood swings, and emotional responsiveness.
The liver makes estrogens chemically able to stimulate biological activity in their target cells. This metabolism can occur in a variety of ways, which have great implications for long-term health. Some bad estrogen metabolites are associated with tissue proliferation of the breast, uterus, cervix, ovaries, and thyroid. Good estrogen metabolites are associated with healthy bone maintenance and cardiovascular protection.
High-fat, low-fiber diets do several things to estrogen production. Excessive dietary cholesterol provides the materials for the body to manufacture more estrogens. Diets with insufficient fiber prevent the binding of excessive estrogens to the molecules that would inactivate them. And by disrupting healthy balance of bacteria in the intestines, poor diets allow some estrogens to reenter the circulation.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a condition in which the prostate gland of mature men becomes enlarged. This growth late in life is not related to prostate cancer. BPH is extremely common in older men. Indeed, just the act of aging seems to be an important risk factor.
Nearly 50 percent of all men over sixty years old have some level of BPH; 70 percent of men over seventy have it; and 80 percent of men over eighty have it. Many men don’t have significant symptoms, however, and don’t pursue treatment.
It is unclear why some prostate glands grow in old age, but most theories suggest that age-related hormonal changes are powerful triggers. For instance, as men age they produce less testosterone to balance out their endogenous and exogenous estrogen.
This may lead to hyperplasia, as estrogen is also associated with prostate growth. If a man is exposed to high levels of exogenous estrogens, it makes sense this would increase his risk of developing prostate problems, too.