Genetic Study Reveals 25% of Men are Likely to Develop "Man Boobs" from Testosterone Treatment
How to make testosterone treatment effective for you
Have you ever felt like you don’t have as much testosterone as other men? Maybe you hit the gym every morning but you just can’t seem to gain muscles. Or you make every effort to eat healthy but you keep on the extra weight while your best friend consumes nothing but beer and wings and still maintains his six-pack.
Having low testosterone levels can be a sensitive topic for men. They might feel embarrassed to talk to a doctor about it. Some attempt to overcome this problem by receiving testosterone treatment. Adding more testosterone should fix everything, right?
Here’s the problem: 25% of men have a gene variant that rapidly converts their testosterone into estrogen. That means the more testosterone they pump through their system, the more estrogen their bodies produce. This overabundance of estrogen often results in a condition called gynecomastia, colloquially known as “man boobs.”
If this sounds like you, there might be a better solution for increasing your testosterone levels without adding extra estrogen. Start by getting your genes tested to determine if you have this common gene variant.
The hormone genes at work
Think back to your high school biology class for a minute. You probably learned that men have testosterone while women have estrogen, right? Let’s start by busting that myth.
Testosterone and estrogen are part of a hormone cycle that occurs in all genders. That is to say, both men and women have testosterone and estrogen in their bodies. The amount of testosterone tends to be higher in males and estrogen is usually higher in females, but both hormones are present in all bodies. Having a hormonal imbalance can cause various problems for both men and women.
The amount of testosterone and estrogen that your body produces depends on your genetics. There are several genes involved in the hormone cycle, but we’re going to focus on just two for now.
The hormone cycle begins when your body creates progesterone, the parent hormone of other sex hormones. Next, your body converts the progesterone into testosterone. The speed at which your body does this is determined by the CYP17A1 gene. The faster your CYP17A1 gene, the more testosterone your body produces.
Once the testosterone has been created, your body will either clear the testosterone from the body or convert it into estrogen. The gene that enables your body to convert testosterone into estrogen is the CYP19A1 gene. If you have the fast version of this gene, your testosterone gets turned into estrogen almost immediately.
Are you beginning to see it? For someone with the fast version of the CYP19A1 gene, adding more testosterone (i.e. testosterone treatment) only results in increased estrogen levels. This typically leads to man boobs, cellulite, and a less defined physique in males. For females, this results in larger breasts and wider hips.
In case you’re jealous of people who have high testosterone, know that they can have issues as well. Men with excess testosterone can experience hair loss and prostate enlargement. Women with too much testosterone may have cystic acne, thinning hair, and missed menstrual cycles.
Case study: Manuel
As far back as he could remember, Manuel’s* testosterone levels were always low. He was never able to maintain his physique as easily as his peers. As a hockey player, he needed his testosterone levels to be higher so he could perform at a peak level.
By the time he came to us for help, Manuel was frustrated after visiting numerous doctors who were unable to solve his problem. He had begun testosterone treatment at the recommendation of one health clinic, but he had nothing positive to show for it.
The clinic was giving him AndroGel packs, which are placed on the stomach and cause your body to absorb more testosterone. The clinic was as confused as Manuel was when this testosterone treatment had the opposite effect of what they were hoping for–it gave him man boobs and lowered his libido. He went back to the clinic for more treatments, and that only made it worse.
When we tested Manuel’s genes, we found that he has the fast version of the CYP19A1 gene. That means he was converting all of his testosterone into estrogen at a rapid pace. Rather than increasing his testosterone, the treatment had a net result of increasing his estrogen. He was finally able to understand why he was facing these issues related to excess estrogen.
Once everything became clear, we were able to give Manuel strategies for bringing his hormones into balance and increasing his testosterone levels. At last, he was able to get rid of the man boobs and have a more masculine body.
How to increase your testosterone levels
Are you concerned about your low testosterone levels? There are steps you can take to increase them. Of course, you don’t want to overcorrect and end up with too much testosterone and the problems that come from that.
If you’ve already undergone testosterone treatment and you have developed man boobs, you should stop this treatment immediately. Get your genes tested and then consult with your doctor to make a healthy plan for increasing your testosterone.
To increase your testosterone levels, you’ll want to eat plenty of diindolylmethane (DIM), indole-3-carbinol (I3C), and sulforaphane. These ingredients are found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower. Doesn’t sound manly enough? Pair these veggies with a steak or burger.
You also might want to consider taking certain supplements such as epigallocatechin (EGCG), diindolylmethane (DIM), sulforaphane, genistein, resveratrol, and calcium-D-glucarate. These supplements promote hormone balance.
The most important thing for you to do is to talk with your practitioner before you start changing your diet or taking new supplements. He or she can give you guidance on how to bring your hormones into balance in a healthy way.
Are you wondering whether you’re genetically predisposed towards low testosterone levels? The best way to find out is by decoding your genes through our 360 DNA Report. You’ll discover whether you’re likely to develop man boobs from testosterone treatment as well as 37 other custom reports surrounding sleep, diet, nutrition, hormones, fitness, cardiovascular health, immunity, and behavior.
Each custom report includes your genetic tendencies as well as practical steps you can take to optimize your health and wellness. You are a unique individual, and you deserve health strategies that reflect your unique genome. Get started today.
*Client’s name is withheld to protect his privacy.
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