In part I of this series, I outlined the importance of controlling blood sugar and insulin response. These are the first most important steps when trying to lose body fat, whether it be in the legs, or anywhere in the body. For the sake of clarity, I will repeat it again: losing leg fat – or any fat – requires that you learn to manage your insulin levels FIRST.
After insulin management, and specific to losing fat on the legs, there are other factors. Primary amongst these is healthy estrogen metabolism. This article addresses the importance of healthy estrogen metabolism in both men and women.
For males, proper estrogen metabolism is important because of concerns regarding aromatization. Aromatization is the deleterious chemical conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
Today, the aromatization of testosterone is a leading cause of emasculation in males, and is a major risk factor for the development of testicular, prostate, and breast cancer. Yes; breast cancer. Men can get breast cancer, and though the numbers on this particular type of cancer are low, there has been an approximate 25% increase in male breast cancer between the years of 1973 and 1998.
In women, the metabolism of estrogen itself tends to be a much more significant problem than does aromatization. However, in men and women, estrogen, whether converted from testosterone or existing free in the body, needs to be detoxified.
There are two major pathways for estrogen metabolism: 2-hydroestrogen, and 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone. The 2-hydroestrogen pathway is associated with lower risk factors for breast, cervical, endometrial, testicular, and prostate cancer. It is also the preferred method of estrogen metabolism from a training standpoint, as a higher ratio of 2-hydroestrogens is associated with lower fat storage in the legs.
The 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone pathway is associated with greater risks for the abovementioned cancers. Unfortunately, it is often the preferred method of estrogen metabolism in the human body, mainly due to an increase in xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens are most often substances from environmental pollution that mimic estrogen in the human body and disrupt the natural hormonal balance. The most typical offender is currently plastics.
The next page explains ways to detoxify estrogens.
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