Postmenopausal Estrogen Comes From Your Own Fat

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Before you go through menopause, which usually happens in your early to mid-’50s, your ovaries produce the majority of your estrogen. But after menopause, it’s as though your ovaries go into retirement, and your estrogen will have to come from elsewhere.

For your health’s sake, I want you to understand the sources of your postmenopausal estrogen.

In this article, I’ll explain:

Let’s dive in.

 

How Estrogen Is Converted From Your Body Fat

Postmenopause, the primary source of estrogen is your own fat. And if you’re overweight, you could easily wind up with an excess of estrogen, a condition called estrogen dominance.

Your body will also convert some of your adrenal hormones to estrogen, but it’s less than the estrogen which comes from your own fat. Thus, it stands to reason that if you don’t have much fat after menopause, you’ll be in far better shape as far as estrogen levels (and other things such as better cardiovascular health and lower cancer risk).

How do your estrogen levels get so out of balance after menopause?

In large part because of an enzyme called aromatase that prompts the estrogen conversion from your body fat. More fat means more opportunity for aromatase to synthesize estrogen and spike your levels.

a photo of a person measuring someone’s body fat with calipers


This is a primary reason why women end up with estrogen dominance after menopause.

 

Why Estrogen Dominance Is A Health Problem

Estrogen dominance can put you at a higher risk of several kinds of cancer: breast, ovarian, and endometrial. As well, high levels of estrogen may put you at a greater risk of blood clots and stroke. Estrogen dominance may also increase your chances of thyroid dysfunction, causing symptoms such as fatigue and weight changes.

Then there are the symptoms most of us know about, and which you may have already experienced: hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness, along with depression and irritability.

Estrogen’s Vicious Circle

But the conversion of estrogen from body fat isn’t the only reason your estrogen levels may get too high. If you have a fatty liver like many women do, you can’t clear out estrogen properly because your liver function is impaired. This too contributes to an increased buildup of estrogen

And because having too much estrogen also leads to weight gain, putting even more fat on your body which converts even more estrogen, you get trapped in a vicious circle.

There are three types of estrogen: estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Because estriol occurs during pregnancy, I’m not going to focus on it.

These Two Types Of Estrogen Are Key

Estrone and estradiol are the two biologically active forms of estrogen. (The third occurs in pregnancy, so I won’t focus on it.)

Estrone is produced by your two adrenal glands, one of which is located on top of each kidney. They produce hormones that you can't live without, including sex hormones - estrogen among them - and the stress hormone cortisol. The adrenals also use aromatase to convert estrogen.

Estradiol, the second type of estrogen, is produced by your ovaries, your body fat, and also by your adrenals, although primarily from your body fat. As I mentioned, after menopause your ovaries go into retirement.

 

How To Normalize Your Estrogen Levels

Since estrogen dominance is a clear health risk, it’s important that you know the step you can take to help normalize your estrogen levels.

Of course, it’s a given that I’m going to recommend the Healthy KetoTM eating plan as well as intermittent fasting. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ve heard me say this a million times! No surprise here.

the word keto spelled out of ketogenic foods


The keto way of eating combined with intermittent fasting is particularly important if you’re going through menopause. Between these two lifestyle changes, you’ll be set up for balanced hormones after menopause.

Additionally, I recommend you take natural aromatase inhibitors. If you consume some of them, you’ll inhibit the aromatase, as the name implies, and thus decrease the conversion of estrogen in your body.

I recommend eight specific natural aromatase inhibitors. Let’s take a look at them.

Eight Natural Aromatase Inhibitors To Lower Estrogen Levels

I highly recommend these nine natural aromatase inhibitors. Try several of them to bring down your estrogen levels and get them back in balance, in addition to losing weight with the keto diet combined with intermittent fasting.

  1. White button mushrooms; yes, the ones you see in the produce section of your grocery store.
  2. Stinging nettle root. I love this herb, because it will also help reduce inflammation and it’s very good for your liver
  3. Grape seed extract, which you can find in supplement form.
  4. Maca; a medicinal plant that’s been used for centuries. You can find it in supplement form.
  5. Maca; a medicinal plant that’s been used for centuries. You can find it in supplement form.
  6. Licorice root will also help support healthy estrogen levels
  7. Genistein, a soy extract. I usually never recommend soy, but if you can find an organic source then genistein will help stop your body from making so much estrogen.
  8. DIM, a concentrated cruciferous vegetable blend.
     

a picture of DIM cruciferous vegetable blend capsules


Time To Get Your Estrogen Levels In Balance

Now that you understand the health risks of estrogen dominance, I encourage you to take these actions to get your estrogen back in balance.

The two lifestyle changes of the keto diet combined with intermittent fasting are your top priority. Once you get those underway, add in the natural aromatase inhibitors.

The health benefits of balanced estrogen are waiting for you, so be sure to get started right away.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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