The Book

Giving Testosterone: Aiming Short of the Cause

Anyone who wants more testosterone also wants less estrogen. The symptoms of estrogen being too high in men match up to the symptoms of lower testosterone. In addition, a man may have increased emotional lability in addition to the inability to build muscle and burn fat.

When I say emotional lability, just imagine a grown man crying at The Fox and the Hound. The Fox and the Hound was very sad, but estrogen might be a problem if a waterfall of tears comes from a grown man as a result.

So estrogen can be bad if it is too high and low testosterone we know is bad if it is too low.

This fact makes something called aromatase extremely bad for individuals battling low testosterone.

What does aromatase do?

Well, it tries to turn your testosterone into estrogen. Yep, it turns your good hormone into another hormone that the person doesn’t necessarily want more of in their situation. Aromatase isn’t bad. But it is for someone with low testosterone.


In a nutshell, the reason is inflammation. A lot of times, aromatase activity is worse in obese individuals, and people with insulin resistance and/or reactive hypoglycemia. The reason is because of the differences between brown fat and white fat.

White fat is less metabolically active than brown fat. Brown fat is used to burn for heat so commonly people think of it as ‘good’. It isn’t used for storing fat. The problem can come when the white fat gets too abundant. When this happens, particular white fat cells can be completely surrounded by other white fat cells. The middle cells become ‘quarantined’ so to speak and stop getting nutrients. It basically is getting crowded and strangled by the other cells. This makes the cell become necrotic. It becomes like a leftover that is left in the fridge for too long. It starts smelling and becomes rotten. This necrotic cell just sits there and stirs up the immune system to fight. The immune system starts pumping out NF-kB which is an inflammatory molecule in the body. This inflammation can increase the production of aromatase which will cause an unnatural rise in estrogen.

Worse yet is that rise in estrogen is coming from the stores of testosterone. Aromatase uses the pieces of your testosterone to build up the estrogen amounts. This is most unwelcome for someone with a low test to begin with. Blood glucose problems, stress, and chronic disease can increase the amount of aromatase as well.

The last blog post we talked about lowering cortisol to increase in testosterone. Now we’re talking about lowering aromatase to help out the imbalance of estrogen and testosterone.

Remember that a person can have low testosterone and need help with cortisol, or aromatase, or both. The next blog post we will talk about how inflammation of the testes can cause low testosterone as well.