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Effects of Lignans on Estrogen and Testosterone

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  1. #1
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    Phred's Avatar

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    Question Effects of Lignans on Estrogen and Testosterone

    I just came back from my local health food store with my usual goodies. While there, I picked up some flaxseed meal for its roughage properties and omega oils. The sales person also said that Lignans (and a lot are in flaxseed meal) will reduce the amount of free estrogen in the body and increase the testosterone levels at the same time. For someone trying to increase lean body mass and reduce fat, this seemed like a good thing. I was wondering, just how much of an impact Lignans have on the estrogen and testosterone levels. Will it significantly reduce estrogen levels? Or only reduce them a little bit? Will it significantly or only slightly increase testosterone levels?
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  2. #2
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    "Lignans can be beneficial for both men and women. Lignans can act as antioxidants. Lignans are phytoestrogens."

    "Lignans have many potential benefits for men, specifically in areas related to prostate health. A great deal of attention is being focused on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) because it is a growing public health problem. The American Urological Association estimates that BPH affects 50 percent of men aged 50 to 60 and up to 90 percent of men over the age of 80. Simply stated, BPH is a non-cancerous condition where the prostate becomes enlarged. This can be a problem because the urethra, the tube carrying urine from the bladder to outside the body, runs through the prostate (see illustrations). A growing prostate can pinch off the urethra and cause uncomfortable symptoms, like a frequent and overwhelming urge to urinate, and painful urination. The exact cause of BPH is unknown, but male hormones seem to play a role. Hormones also play a role in another prostate condition—prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death among men. In the body, testosterone is converted to a more potent form called dihydrotestosterone or DHT. Normal, healthy prostate cells require DHT for growth. However, it is thought that too much of this hormone can cause abnormal growth—leading to BPH or causing prostate cancer cells to divide. Therefore, compounds that interfere with the conversion of testosterone to DHT could reduce a man's chances of developing these diseases.

    Lignans have been shown to block the action of the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT.2 Lignans may also reduce the amount of testosterone available for the body to use. In the average male, only a small amount of testosterone roams free in the blood. Most testosterone is bound to a protein called SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). People who consume large amounts of lignans have been shown to have increased blood levels of SHBG.3 An increase in SHBG leaves less testosterone available to stimulate prostate cell growth."

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