I tend to carry my heaviest deposit of bodyfat (the old spare tire) in my lower abdominal area. My goal is of course to drop as much bodyfat as naturally possible by the middle of May, because my first show is June first. I now weigh 205 pounds at 17% bodyfat in my attempt to put on more muscle. Any advice would be GREATLY apprciated. At the risk of further infuriating those who are tired of hearing about the importance of nutrition and hormonal balance, I post again. I'm not a bodybuilding competitor, never have been and never will be but as a rule I maintain my body fat in the 7-8% range. I have my best results in either gaining weight or cutting fat when adhering to a balanced diet of 30% protein, 40% carbohydrates and a good supply of essential fatty acids. I merely eat more or less, depending on my goals. With my particular genetic makeup, maintaining this protein/carbohydrate ratio of 0.75 balances insulin and glucogon (hormones) which forces my body to burn stored fat rather than stored carbohydrate or protein under all normal circumstances. I control the rate by the amount of calories I consume. This has been shown to work for the majority of those who adhere to this philosophy. It enables a body to burn fat for fueling concurrent muscular growth or maintenance. Abdominal fat is indicative of estradiol levels that are too high. This fat becomes quite persistent until yet another hormonal balance issue is addressed. This being testosterone/estrogen. One of the best ways to assist in loss of ab fat and maintain hormonal balance is to consume ground flax seed in the amount of an ounce or two per day. Ground flax seed contains high amounts of omega 3 oils and lignans that will work to balance hormones and assist in fat loss. The EFA's in flax change our fat cells from the inside out. They reduce the storage of fat into fat cells, increase the breakdown of fat within the cells and increase the oxidation of fat for fuel. These are just the benefits when trying to alter body fat levels. Among other things, EFAs also decrease inflammation, heart disease, circulatory problems, prostate difficulties, joint pain and protect our brains from disease caused and enhanced by inflammation. ---- As we go into our 30s and 40s the estrogen begins dropping, even if just a little, and our bodies very effectively manufacture it in places other than the ovaries. What other places? In the fat. Which fat? Do you mean that estrogen is actually produced in the fat from hormonal precursors or merely aromatized from other steroid hormones? Either way, is it only estradiol that is produced? I understand that a lot of hormonal difficulties (and various female cancers) occur because of loss of beneficial estriol to the much more volatile estrone and estradiol which creates the proverbial hormone imbalance, female style. Any thoughts? In the fat of the abdomen, mostly, where estrogen is most effectively produced as the ovaries begin slowing down. This causes us to retain abdominal fat more and more as we age, making it harder to get the flat stomach of our younger years. This is very much what men experience in the aromatization of their testostrerone to estradiol. Estrogen seems to love fat because the more fat that can be piled on, the more aromatase enzyme is produced to aromatize ever more testosterone to ever more estrogen, ad naseum. The more estrogen we build, the more difficult it is to lose the abdominal fat because ab fat is the most potent synthesizer of aromatase enzyme and the situation tends to snowball and we get fatter and fatter without aggressive action. You girls are strange and intriguing creatures and your hormonal systems remain pretty much a mystery to me. As my wife is approaching mid-40's and lost an ovary last year, I would certainly appreciate a comprehensive discussion on all these factors between you ladies of the list. ---- I think a number of us, I know I would, like this information. I asked my internist if she knew of anything that would inhibit the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. She hadn't a clue! Here are some links to commercial sites that will provide you with a little information that is easier reading than the LEF male hormone modulation protocol I sent out earlier: http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcls-txt/t-prtcl-130.html Try these: http://www.collegepharmacy.com/nathrt/andropause.html http://www.dadamo.com/napharm/store3/template2/aromastat.htm Please pardon the commercial nature of the links, the information presented is the reason I'm sending these. I wouldn't order products from them although I've done nothing to check into their efficacy. With only a cursory glance, I suspect one to be totally ineffective. I'm simply providing the links for some easier reading on the subject at hand. I would guess that every male my age is in hormone imbalance due to the decrease in his FREE Testetostone leaving him with too much Estrogen because it, the Testosterone is being aromatized to Estrogene by these enzymes. I'd say the problem is very widespread. Someone provided a statistic in the thread "man boobs" that gynecomastia is seen in 40-60% of men. Guess what's the only cause of "bitch tits"? BTW, estrogen overload has little to do with advancing age. Sure, it's more prevalent as we get older but it can happen at a young age as well. It's an equal opportunity destroyer. ---- Here's another good reference on female hormone modulation: http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcls-txt/t-prtcl-133.html There's a lot of controversy about soy isoflavones (phyto-estrogens) these days but phyto's displace bad estrogens from the receptors and promote their metabolism They work the same way in men as in women. Supposedly, since estradiol is 1000 times more stimulative to breast and uterine tissue than estriol it seems to make good sense to displace as much of the two bad guys as possible. Estradiol causes cancer (in men and women). Degeneration from aging causes rises in estradiol. Depending on who you ask, estrone or estradiol is the most dangerous but estradiol is the most potent of the estrogens. In women the normal ratio of estrone/estradiol to estriol increases with age and with that comes most of the ill effects of the estradiol. Estriol, the weakest of the estrogens, has the anti-aging benefits of the dangerous estrogens but apparently with none of the cancer causing properties. In fact, estriol has been shown to protect against the types of cancers that more potent forms of estrogen (estradiol and estrone) appear to cause. Here's a little tidbit Marty posted a few months ago and the only reference I've ever seen that actually implies that phytoestrogens are the same as estriol. I don't know but is something worth looking into a bit further. Makes sense but I've not taken the time to confirm that phyto's are indeed, estriol. The qouted source of this info was http://www.drcity.com. GOOD VERSUS BAD ESTROGEN You've probably heard of "good" and "bad" cholesterol by now. Just as there is good and bad cholesterol, there are "good" and "bad" estrogens. Bad estrogens are responsible for the promotion of tumors, and are found in high proportions in synthetic estrogen used in birth control pills or prescribed for the "treatment" of menopause. (Bad estrogens contain a low amount of a substance called estriol, and a higher amount of estradiol. The ratio of estriol to estradiol determines whether estrogen is harmful or not.) Good estrogens (containing a high amount of estriol) are found in a surprisingly wide variety of foods, including raspberries, strawberries, soybeans, sweet potatoes, yams and eggplants. Genistein, for example, is one of the good natural estrogens, found in soy, a staple of the Japanese diet. Incidentally, Japanese women have one fifth the risk of breast cancer as do their Western counterparts." Another phyto-estrogen with great potential is black cohosh. According to a recent study (sorry, can't qote the references) women were divided into three groups and given either estrogen, black cohosh or placebo. The black cohosh group got better results on all symptoms including hot flashes, fatigue and mood swings. Researchers also found that black cohosh actually reversed menopausal changes in the vagina. There was a proliferation of vaginal tissue plus improved vaginal muscle tone and a decrease in vaginal dryness. ---- And if anyone takes the "it's in your head" bs from their doctor needs to find another. A simple blood test will show otherwise. Unfortunately, it not that easy. An endocrinologist refused to allow me an estradiol test for the reason... and I quote... "Your tits aren't big enough." Cute, eh? Wanna know how many times I tried to coerce doctors into giving me a simple testosterone test at 46 years old? Would you care to know how many doctors I had to go through to locate one who actually had a clue on solving a rather basic endocrine problem? It's like running a gauntlet of idiots. Entire days with the travel time and $160 consultation fees just to have the privilege of telling these over-rated mechanics with god complexes to go stuffit gets old in a hurry. Yeah, a premature andropause can happen at any age. All that's required is the row of dominos stacked in the proper order and some major catalytic events. In my case, it had nothing to do with natural attrition and consequently was quickly and easily cured but the test is in finding some competent help. The degree of difficulty increases exponentially when you realize that the vast majotity of doctors are totally clueless and wouldn't help anyway because they really don't give a hoot. There's very little money in it for them but a whole lot of risk if they aren't expert in playing in this very touchy field. ---- I am there. I don't think it's a girl thing though. I remember the guys mentioning that the lower abs are hard to see. Abdominal fat is the most proficient synthesizer of aromatase enzyme. In males, this enzyme aromatizes testosterone to estradiol. Estradiol encourages the accumulation of more fat because estrogen loves fat. More fat produces more aromatase enzyme to aromatize more testosterone to make more estradiol which loves to pile on ever more fat, ad naseum. The lower the testosterone goes, the better the estradiol likes it because the body gets fatter. This makes abdominal fat quite persistent and hard to get rid of. The mysteries of female hormonal systems are very deep and intimidating to me but the SWAG method, (Scientific-Wild-A$$ed-Guess) tells me that aromatase enzyme in females converts your more beneficial hormones to estradiol with similar effect. Really, isn't aromatase enzyme and estradiol the causative factor behind breast cancer, which is purely a homonal disease? I know a major treatment protocol for BC is very simply, inhibition of aromatase to facilitate reduction of estradiol. If you guys on your "bulking" programs ever wonder why that abdominal fat (which includes the "love handles") is so hard to deal with and why it seems to accumulate so quickly, look into aromatase enzyme and estradiol. You may find your answers. Maintaining a lean body has a lot more advantages than merely looking good naked. ---- With all the recent discussion on sterones, sterols and endocrinology, I'd like to recommend some reading for all those over 40 as well as those under 40. This is the LEF protocol for male hormone modulation.and if you ask me, a very important compilation for any man who gives a hoot about his health and well-being. If this information was wide-spread and well-known, a huge loss would be suffered by the makers of sometimes dangerous and often unnecessary pharmaceuticals such as statins, blood pressure and diabetes medications....to say nothing of the huge market for viagra which is nothing but a bomb thrown at a basic symptom of simple hormone imbalance. This protocol is not easy reading and is best read over numerous times for optimum benefit. Save it to your disk. It's a long and tedious read but well worth your time. A little information is good ammunition for someone who is (or who eventually will be) experiencing problems. Don't look to doctors and specialists for help. In my tour of local internists and endocrinologists, I found them to be clueless at best and indifferent at worst. Most seem to have the attitude that they know what they know and they know it's right (because they may have learned it and remembered it from medical school) and they don't want to be confused with facts or any new information. http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcls-txt/t-prtcl-130.html Premature andropause is not a pretty thing. I know, it happened to me in my late 40s. I experienced a stress induced andropause thanks to a series of traumatic events in 1998 and years of high carb preparation. By way of simple balancing of hormones, switching from the carb heavy, government recommended diet to a 40% max carb diet and taking up serious physical training, I corrected some very difficult conditions in my blood chemistry and body. In well under a year after I started lifting weights, I lost over 40 pounds of fat (accumulated in two years while losing muscle) added over 25 pounds of muscle, reduced triglycerides from 931 to 103 and beat onset type 2 diabetes...among other serious problems. The blood chemistry corrected much sooner than the body mass problem. After 3 months of lifting, I was still over 30% bodyfat because I had so much systemic damage to repair but after another 7 months, I was down to 7.5%. I was lucky I lived through it because I was a stroke victim looking for a place to drop with blood that was basically nothing but highly sugared crisco. The only medical treatment necessary was hormone balancing and thankfully, I never fell for any of the common pharmaceutical treatments that the doctors were throwing at me (except for a short jag on prozac that almost killed me).. Since the onset of my problems were so rapid and dramatic, I recovered quite rapidly. I attribute weightlifting to be the primary vehicle used in my recovery, followed closely by estrogen control. I saved my butt by eventually figuring out what the true problem was and didn't go for attacking the symptoms with the requisite pharmaceutical hammer. The link I provide you was instrumental in my gaining the knowledge necessary to save my life and restore my health. And here's one for you girls. Not as comprehensive or interesting (to me) but hopefully you may find it of value. http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcls-txt/t-prtcl-133.html ---- Thank you for providing access to this study. At 63, I am presently taking Norvasc and Triamterene for blood pressure which was 150/90 prior to beginning treatment. I was also placed on Lipitor to reduce my cholesterol (240) and triglycerides (350). My BP is now 112/72 to 120/80 and my cholesterol and triglycerides are below 200. My PSA is normal. I didn't mention, I also had very high blood pressure after I got sick. Before I hit the wall in '98, I always had BP of 100/60 to 120/80. By the summer of 2000, it occasionally exceeded 170/110. It returned to normal with the resolution of my hormone imbalance and repair of my blood chemistry. It looks to me like everything you're being pharmaceutically treated for is greatly influenced by a proper hormone balance. Proper balance is crucial for lipid metabolism and a healthy circulatory system. The real difficulty here, is to find a doctor who understands exercise and medicine. The real problem is finding a doctor who gives a hoot, who is competent and up to date and accepts the premise that male hormones get out of balance and realizes the consequences of imbalance. Awareness of these problems is dim at best. Most men have little knowledge of their hormonal status and the true consequences of imbalance. We are certainly not prepared to deal with physicians on the issue. If men don't know/don't care, why should they expect doctors to care when the best business is treating symptoms and not curing problems? There's little profit in correcting hormone imbalance and it's in their best interest to simply treat the continually escalating symptoms of this imbalance. It's certainly not in the best interest of the pharmaceuticals to encourage this to happen. There's too much money involved in pushing high-dollar drugs that only attack the symptoms and create additional symptoms/side-effects that will require a steadily increasing array of drugs to maintain an illusion of health, all of which only compound the original problem This was my main reason for sending my initial post to the list. An attempt to increase this awareness. But I'll bet you that out of maybe 900 male subscribers to this list, less than 20 actually downloaded the information to study. I'm no better. Before I went down, I had little interest and not the foggiest idea. After I hit the wall, all I knew is I was dying young and nobody could tell me why. Another difficulty comes with the widely held misconception of what causes prostate cancer. Doctors are spooked by the thought of male hormone balance because that "means" testosterone supplementation and they all "know" that it's testosterone that causes the disease. They also "know" that declining testosterone levels are the body's natural protection against PCa. This has been "proven" over and over by giving supplemental testosterone to male patients with low T without regard for overall hormone balance. The prostate burns down in record time. Well, soon they're all going to figure out that it's increasing estrogen that sets up the pathology leading to PCa and it's increasing estrogen that causes the decline in testosterone that gets the ball rolling to begin with. Administering exogenous T without regard for estrogen control does several things. First, it destroys the natural ability to manufacture endogenous T (which is already horribly crippled by aromatization and estrogen overload). Next, all the exogenous T is rapidly aromatized to ever more estrogen which continues to load the prostate and make matters worse. Additionally, it does nothing to restore the natural feedback loop which requires excess T to be reduced to the prostate protective DHT by 5-AR. Instead, it feeds the perverted cycle that aromatizes the excess T to more E2. At the point the hormone balance becomes a critical issue in a man's life, blindly throwing exogenous T at the problem is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. So you see, there's many factors working against us here. The only solution is we learn what the facts are and demand the medical community get off their collective butts and start doing something about it. HRT and female hormone modulation has been acceptable and usual for a great many years with no regard for the safety of the practice. Indeed, the usual practice is administering the most widely prescribed drug on earth, premarin, which is a dangerous conjugated estrogen and never designed to be safely handled by the human body. Nothing will change unless and until we make it change. Doctors are almost comical in their ignorance and indifference. I went to see a department head at a university teaching hospital in March of 2000 who ran tests that were so comprehensive that the results required 9 pages to report. At the time, my requests for hormone tests were refused, as they had been by previous doctors. My request for copies of all test results was also refused. As I eventually learned, in all of these nine pages of tests, many indicators showed up that indicated that I was in serious trouble but these were overlooked by this doctor in his haste. This is when the trigly\cerides approaching 1000 initially showed. This problem was cross referenced and validated by the fact that another test failed due to a "severely lipemic specimen" (crisco blood). Another test showed that I was going diabetic. He missed all of this and his diagnosis was I should go get some help for my depression. At this point, the diagnosis and treatment should have been immediate hospitalization before I stroked out. Fortunately for me, after continually getting sicker, I began seeing a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and it was her treatments that actually pulled my ass out of the fire. It was at her request that I finally was able to get copies of my labs from the university hospital. Next, I immediately go to an internist for follow-up testing. His knee jerk reaction was to start throwing BP, diabetes and cholesterol meds at me. I refused because at the time, my condition was actually improving thanks to two months of very aggressive treatment by the chinese doc. I coerced this doctor into testing my testosterone level. The result came back and showed, at 49 years old, the T level of a normal 75 year old man and well below the threshold of being hypogonal. This doctor, upon seeing the result was very pleased because at 267, I was within the range. Never mind the fact that most dead men have higher T. When queried about this and upon my insistance that we address the hormone problem, he got that "deer in the headlights" look and immediately referred me to his buddy, an endocrinologist. I went to see this endocrinologist and among other hings, I requested an estrogen test. He refused to allow me an estrogen test because "your breasts aren't big enough, you don't have an estrogen problem". Bozos, one and all. At this point, I took matter into my own hands and wrote/altered laborders I needed to get the tests I thought were necessary. I began making the rounds and doing everything within my power to find a doctor who had a clue on male hormone balance. All I accomplished was getting the labs I needed to monitor my condition. I found one doctor who offered me any kind of testosterone I wanted but I declined because he had no knowledge of estrogen management and my condition was rapidly improving thanks to my lifestyle changes, weightlifting and chinese doc. In December, I finally located a doctor competent to help me with thehoirmone balance and the difficult estrogen problem and had my first appointment in late January. He began treating me in February. By this time, my cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting insulin, hemoglobin A1C tests and blood pressure were all back to normal. I never had to use supplemental testosterone and I never had to use any of the dangerous pharmaceuticals pushed by the incompetents. So, how does one go about finding a medical doctor who understands the relationship between exercising, hormone replacement therapy, etc.? I am suspicious for various reasons, that my testerone levels are not correct. I suggest that you begin by demanding your doctor give you an entire array of hormonal baselines and require him to give you copies of all your labs. Past, present and future. Figure out where you're at and take it from there. ---- Don (or anyone else who can provide enlightment on testorone levels in "older" men(I'm 53) -- latest results came back with an estradiol level of 3 (normal lab reference value, 10-50) and a prolactin of 6 (normal lab reference value, 2-18.) Doesn't look like an aromatization problem or a pituitary tumor, although the pituitary was enlarged on the MRI. On 5 gms androgel a day, total testosterone was 616, free 111.4, free % 1.81. The 616 was the highest I've ever measured. Interesting labs. There seems to be an estrogen problem. You don't have any. An ideal male E2 level is toward the bottom of the middle third of the scale using Chiron ACS:180 with a range of 0-54 pg/mL. Say around 20. Even though Chiron won't compare to whatever methodology yours was tested with, it looks like a problem to me. Even us boys need to have a certain amount of the devil estrogen. The prolactin is fine. ---- Yeah....I'd like to learn more about the pros and cons of taking hormone replacements too. As I said, you women confuse the stuffing out of me with all your hormonal phases and shifts but I know a little bit. I can definitely tell you to beware of tiny little pills. One of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world is Premarin, a hormone replacement. It's also one of the most dangerous because it's a conjugated estrogen made from female horse pee and never designed to function safely within the human body. I gained a little fluency in this field a year ago when my wife was looking the big total "H" squarely in the eye but, fortunately, she dodged the bullet and hormone replacement didn't become an immediate factor in our lives. One of the things I did learn is the best way to supplement is with natural hormones. Estrogens, progesterone, testosterone, etc with transdermal creams being the hot way to go. I understand that an ideal form is a custom compounded transdermal consisting of 10% estradiol, 10% estrone and 80% estriol (with trace amounts of the other necessary hormones).because this is very close to the estrogen ratio of a young woman in her prime. The idea, of course, is to restore the ideal hormonal milleau of youth. I'll try to remember some of this stuff and send on some more info later. Until then, beware of the doctors who will generally follow the path of least resistance which usually means it won't be in *your* best interest. ---- My doc, (a female who I thought might be more receptive) all she could do is say Huh? and her eyes kind of glazed over. I'm very familiar with this "deer in the headlights" look. I've seen it over and over again. She did order a Testosterone test (total levels and not free test)and it was found a low normal. Nothing to worry right. WRONG. Low test is normal for men my age, right. YES often, but not necessary. Correct. Not necessary or good. She wouldn't order a Estradiol test for a male my age (72) What would be the point. If its abnormal (huh, whats and abnormal for Estrogen in men? level) what would we do about it, she says to me. Simple, institute estrogen control in the form of low dose arimidex which is often the only corrective measure necessary to effectively increase serum and free testosterone to much healthier levels. Unfortunately, arimidex isn't in the VA formulary. Not sure about tamoxifen, clomid, etc. but these are far less than ideal for a male. AND giving Testosterone replacement therapy is not necessarily or usually the answer. This somewhat common practice is very dangerous without the proper estrogen control. It can burn down the prostate in record time. So the medical community failing to one accept, recogonize, diagnosis and treat we are often on our own. What is our alternative. DIET, and Exercise. The best course is to find a doctor with the skill and interest to safely modulate the hormones. take DHEA (I'm up to 75 mg per day) Careful here. What's your level? DHEA or DHEA-S? Most skilled docs won't recommend more than 25 mg per day. --- I just found this in an old dusty pile on my hard drive. It's interesting... Estriol (E-3) is one of the three active estrogens found in the body. Although a small amount may be secreted by the ovary, it is a converted estrogen. It is mainly converted in the liver from estrone (E-1) and also by a more circuitous route from estradiol (E-2). In the nonpregnancy state estriol is only a scant by product of estrone metabolism. During pregnancy, however, the placenta is the major source of estrogens; Estriol is produced in milligram quantities, while the other two estrogens and produced in microgram amounts. Estriol made by the placenta is made from the hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) supplied from either the mother or the adrenal cortex of the fetus. Because of fetal participation in estriol formation, estriol measurements can be a sensitive indicator of placenta and / or fetal well-being. Estriol is considered the "forgotten" estrogen. Is has been labeled historically in the US as a weak or ineffective estrogen, while in Europe estriol has been recognized for its benefits and has been used for years. With articles and studies such as the one published in the New England Journal of Medicine stating that women using traditional estrogen therapy for five or more years have a 30 to 40% increased risk of cancer, the need to use a safer form of estrogen seems crucial. Estriol might be the estrogen of choice, considering it has not been associated with cancer activity in the female body. POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF ESTRIOL Estriol has a much less stimulating effect on the breast and uterine lining than estradiol and estrone. Estradiol is 1000 times more stimulating to the breast tissue than is estriol. One of the most exciting things about estriol is the fact that not only does it not promote breast cancer, but considerable evidence exists to show that it protects against this disease. In 1978, A. H. Follingstad, M.D. of Albuquerque, NM, wrote as article for the Journal of the American Medical Association, calling for the use of estriol instead of estrone and estradiol. In support of his position, he cited a group of post menopausal women with metastatic breast cancer. When given small doses of estriol, 37% of the women experienced either a remission or a complete arrest of the metastasized lesions. In 1966, H. M. Lemon, M.D. demonstrated that women with breast cancer have lower estriol levels. Later he showed that women without breast cancer had naturally higher estriol levels (compared to estrone and estradiol) than those with breast cancer. Doses of 2-4 mg. estriol is considered to be the equivalent of .625 and 1.25mg conjugated estrogen respectively. Dr. Julian Whitaker, Publisher of the "Health and Healing " newsletter, says that estriol's anti-cancer effect is thought to be due to its anti-estrone characteristics. It apparently blocks the stimulatory effect of estrone on the breast. Estriol as an estrogen supplement does not lose its unique identity when given orally as does estradiol. It remains estriol. Estriol is thought to help prevent or stabilize the conversion of estradiol to estrone. Estrone being labeled by many researchers as the "villain" estrogen in the female body. Estriol seems to be well tolerated when given orally. It is also remarkable that estriol, different from estradiol, does not provoke endometrial proliferation and shedding when given in one dose a day. Thus, estriol is characteristically suitable for postmenopausal women who no longer want to have uterine bleeding and who have comparatively higher risk of endometrial hyperplasia. A Taiwan study concluded that estriol was very effective in the improvement of major subjective climacteric complaints in 86% of patients, especially hot flush and insomnia within 3 months. The atrophic genital changes caused by estrogen deficiency were also improved satisfactorily. This study was not able to show that estriol will prevent bone loss. Receptor binding studies have indicated that estriol has only low relative binding affinity to endometrial estrogen receptors (about 10% of Estradiol). whereas it has a relatively strong binding affinity to vaginal estrogen receptors (equal to Estradiol). This means that after a single dose of estriol, the binding to the endometrial estrogen receptor is too short to induce true proliferation, while its binding to the vaginal estrogen receptor is sufficient to exert a full vaginotropic effect. Because of estriol's strong vaginotropic effect it is though to be the estrogen most beneficial to the vagina, cervix, and vulva. In cases of postmenopausal vaginal drynes and atrophy, which predisposes a woman to vaginitis and cystitis, estriol supplementation would theoretically be the most effective (and safest) estrogen to use. Of all the estrogens, estriol has the shortest receptor occupancy. Therefore providing a short duration of action in certain estrogen receptor tissue. A consequence of the short duration of action of estriol at the receptor level is that there are hardly any systemic effects. Studies indicate absence of effects on: blood pressure, body weight, liver function, hemostasis, lipid metabolism, and bone metabolism. Current studies do not show estriol to have any cardioprotective effects through changes in lipid metabolism. Literature searches produced only one study which showed that estriol had a postive effect on Bone Mineral Density. A Japanese study. Seventy -five natural postmenopausal women with a BMD of more that 10% below the peak bone density were treated for 50 weeks with 2mg/ day estriol cyclically (4 weeks on / 1 week off) and .8gm / day calcium lactate continuously. The BMD increased by 1.79% (p<0.01 vs. pretreatment) after 50 weeks. The Japanese study also concluded that the parameters of lipid metabolism in their study showed no significant changes after 50 weeks. The intravaginal administration of estriol prevents recurrent urinary tract infections in postmenopausal women, probably by modifying the vaginal flora. It is suggested that Vitamin E administered daily with estriol therapy will improve Estriols activity in the body. Oral doses of up to 16mg per day have been documented. The most common oral dosage range is 1-4mg per day. Hybrid combinations using estriol as their main component have become very popular in estrogen replacement therapy. Such as Triestrogens (using all 3 natural estrogens) in a specific ratio and proportion. This ratio is generally 80% estriol, 10% estradiol and 10% estrone. And also Biestrogens (using 2 estrogens, generally Estriol and Estradiol). Again estriol usually being the major component. The thought here is to use an estrogen complex which has the protective effects of estriol on the breast and uterus while recognizing the benefits of estradiol and estrone for bones and cardiac protection. Also it is generally recognized that 2 or more drugs with the same pharmacologic action in the body when used together can elicit a greater response by acting synergistically, This synergism therefore allows a reduction of each single component while producing the same therapeutic effect. This generally results in fewer side effects and a better overall therapeutic response. --- Do you have a internet URL reference source you could point me to for Testosterone levels in age range? Appreciate it if you do if you would point me to it? No, I don't but ideally, everyone should stay toward the top of the upper third of the range in serum T and around the very bottom of the middle third of the range for E2. In other words: On a LabCorp total testosterone range of 241 - 827 ng/dL, the closer to 800 or above, the better. On the Chiron ACS:180 estradiol range of 0 - 54 pg/mL, an ideal number would be around 18-20. --- Precursor to Estrogen. It can interfere with usage of testosterone, from what I understand. It's one of three types of estrogen. Estrone, estriol and estradiol. It is the most dangerous of the three in the male body. It attaches to the testosterone receptors which prompts our silly and easily fooled little brains to signal the testes that since the receptors are occupied, there is no further need to produce testosterone and production slows. It also attaches to the receptors in the prostate and causes abnormal growth which leads to BPH and PCa. Estrogen loves fat, especially abdominal fat, which is the most potent synthesizer of aromatase enzyme. This enzyme aromatizes testosterone into more estrogen. This causes the body to store more fat to make more aromatase to aromatize more testosterone into more estrogen to store more fat to make more aromatase, ad nauseum. This continually kills off testosterone production Eventually, we can wind up as fat, depressed little bitches who are owned by Phizer and the other pharmos for viagra as well as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, arthritis and numerous other medications. All this is the normal feedback loop that prevents the production of too much testosterone. Once this loop becomes corrupted and out of control, a man is in deep doodoo. --- The low E2 makes sense (or not). Your low E2 would have been very understandable by the fact you had close to zero T for some time. No T, no E2. Why you don't have any now is debatable. With the exo T you should be aromatizing aplenty. Choice of two things: the 6oxo is too good at the job or there is some other problem that I can't put my finger on. Throw in that AG wild card and quite honestly, I don't have a clue. You need to call in Tom I for this part on the 6oxo. A T level of 616 ng/dL is in the ballpark, especially if the scale is something like a LabCorp of 241 - 827 ng/dL. Your free T doesn't make sense. Did you misplace a decimal? The numbers you list give you a ratio of 18.1%. Is the free T direct by dialysis (pg/mL) or RIA (ng/dL)? Either way, something's fishy because that ratio just can't be right. If it is, there's a problem. Normal range is usually something like 1% to 3% no matter which test is done. Perhaps the 111.4 is a goofy scale and what it really means is 11.14 ng/dL. That would be a slightly low but the % would work out properly. You may want to consult with an expert that is beyond the garden variety endocrinologist and get straightened out to a stable baseline before you start throwing all these ingredients in the pot.