Estrogen

Known as the female hormone, 'Estrogen' is a group of compounds that tends to work in opposition to androgens (like testosterone) and mediate fat metabolism, cognition, blood flow, and female reproduction. Men sometimes wish to lower estrogen via aromatase inhibition.

Our evidence-based analysis features 89 unique references to scientific papers.


Research analysis by and verified by the Examine.com Research Team. Last updated on Apr 29, 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers regarding Estrogen

Q: Is soy good or bad for you?

A: Moderate consumption of soy foods is unlikely to have adverse effects in adults; it may even benefit cardiovascular health and reduce cancer risk. Eating large amounts of soy foods for 6 months or more, however, may cause problems. Also, the use of soy infant formulas should probably be minimized.

Read full answer to "Is soy good or bad for you?"


Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect estrogen

Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
Dehydroepiandrosterone
All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.
The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.
Maca  
Red Clover Extract  
Saffron  
7-Keto DHEA  
Alcohol  
Black Cohosh  
D-Aspartic Acid  
Fenugreek  
Gamma Oryzanol  
Garcinia cambogia  
Green Tea Catechins  
Horny Goat Weed  
Melatonin  
Panax ginseng  
Royal Jelly  
Vitamin K  
Boron  
Grape Seed Extract  
Licorice  
Pueraria lobata  
Punicalagins  

Scientific Research

Skeletal Muscle and Hypertrophy

Mechanisms

Both the alpha subset (ERα) and beta subset (ERβ) of the estrogen receptor are present in the skeletal muscle tissue of rats[1][2] and humans[3][4][5] of both sexes.

Estradiol is known to attenuate the rate of inflammatory processes following damaging exercise[6] (also seen in ischemia/reperfusion[7]) by reducing neutrophil accumulation, which is thought to explain the reduce rates of muscle tissue regeneration in ovarectomized rats (model of menopause) relative to those given estrogen[8][9] with similar effects in male rats[10] and is thought to explain the higher than average rates of sarcopenia observed in menopausal women relative to premenopausal women[11] which is alleviated with hormone replacement therapy.[12] This anti-inflammatory response does not appear to be mediated by either estrogen receptor.[13]

Treatment of male[14] and female[15] rats with estradiol results in increased muscle cell recruitment following damaging exercise by an estrogen receptor dependent mean[13] and particularly satellite cell recruitment is mediated through the alpha subset (ERα).[16]

Selective activation of the β subset (ERβ) results in muscle protein synthesis, as ablation of the receptor exacerbates damage from exercise while treatment with agonists causes satellite cell activation and proliferation;[17] Activation of ERβ appears to enhance IGF-1 related anabolic pathways.[17]

Both estrogen receptors and injections of estrogen (to reach a higher circulating level) are associated with increased recovery rates of skeletal muscle secondary to anti-inflammatory effects and increased satellite cell activation

Scientific Support & Reference Citations

References

  1. Milanesi L, Russo de Boland A, Boland R. Expression and localization of estrogen receptor alpha in the C2C12 murine skeletal muscle cell line. J Cell Biochem. (2008)
  2. Milanesi L, et al. Expression and subcellular distribution of native estrogen receptor beta in murine C2C12 cells and skeletal muscle tissue. Steroids. (2009)
  3. Wiik A, et al. Oestrogen receptor beta is expressed in adult human skeletal muscle both at the mRNA and protein level. Acta Physiol Scand. (2003)
  4. Wiik A, et al. Expression of both oestrogen receptor alpha and beta in human skeletal muscle tissue. Histochem Cell Biol. (2009)
  5. Wiik A, et al. Oestrogen receptor beta is present in both muscle fibres and endothelial cells within human skeletal muscle tissue. Histochem Cell Biol. (2005)
  6. Tiidus PM, et al. Estrogen effect on post-exercise skeletal muscle neutrophil infiltration and calpain activity. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. (2001)
  7. Stupka N, Tiidus PM. Effects of ovariectomy and estrogen on ischemia-reperfusion injury in hindlimbs of female rats. J Appl Physiol. (2001)
  8. Sitnick M, et al. Ovariectomy prevents the recovery of atrophied gastrocnemius skeletal muscle mass. J Appl Physiol. (2006)
  9. McClung JM, et al. Estrogen status and skeletal muscle recovery from disuse atrophy. J Appl Physiol. (2006)
  10. Sugiura T, et al. Estrogen administration attenuates immobilization-induced skeletal muscle atrophy in male rats. J Physiol Sci. (2006)
  11. Walsh MC, Hunter GR, Livingstone MB. Sarcopenia in premenopausal and postmenopausal women with osteopenia, osteoporosis and normal bone mineral density. Osteoporos Int. (2006)
  12. Sørensen MB, et al. Obesity and sarcopenia after menopause are reversed by sex hormone replacement therapy. Obes Res. (2001)
  13. Enns DL, Iqbal S, Tiidus PM. Oestrogen receptors mediate oestrogen-induced increases in post-exercise rat skeletal muscle satellite cells. Acta Physiol (Oxf). (2008)
  14. Tiidus PM, Deller M, Liu XL. Oestrogen influence on myogenic satellite cells following downhill running in male rats: a preliminary study. Acta Physiol Scand. (2005)
  15. Enns DL, Tiidus PM. Estrogen influences satellite cell activation and proliferation following downhill running in rats. J Appl Physiol. (2008)
  16. Thomas A, Bunyan K, Tiidus PM. Oestrogen receptor-alpha activation augments post-exercise myoblast proliferation. Acta Physiol (Oxf). (2010)
  17. Velders M, et al. Selective estrogen receptor-β activation stimulates skeletal muscle growth and regeneration. FASEB J. (2012)

Via HEM and FAQ:

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  5. Egounlety M, Aworh OC. Effect of soaking, dehulling, cooking and fermentation with Rhizopus oligosporus on the oligosaccharides, trypsin inhibitor, phytic acid and tannins of soybean (Glycine max Merr.), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) and groundbean (Macrotyloma geocarpa Harms). Journal of Food Engineering. (2003)
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  8. Adeyemo SM, Onilude AA. Enzymatic Reduction of Anti-nutritional Factors in Fermenting Soybeans by Lactobacillus plantarum Isolates from Fermenting Cereals. Nigerian Food Journal. (2013)
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  11. Lu Z, et al. S-equol, a Secondary Metabolite of Natural Anticancer Isoflavone Daidzein, Inhibits Prostate Cancer Growth In Vitro and In Vivo, Though Activating the Akt/FOXO3a Pathway. Curr Cancer Drug Targets. (2016)
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  16. Zamora-Ros R, et al. Dietary intakes and food sources of phytoestrogens in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) 24-hour dietary recall cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr. (2012)
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Cite this page

"Estrogen," Examine.com, published on 12 March 2013, last updated on 29 April 2017, https://examine.com/topics/estrogen/