Estrodex was originally developed by SAN Nutrition to assist in post-cycle recovery, or post-cycle therapy (PCT) as it’s commonly known.
Now that prohormones and “designer steroids” are off the market, Estrodex is being sold as a standalone product for estrogen control.
Estrodex “…allows the user to get the anabolic benefits of heightened testosterone levels without the negative side-effects of estrogen (a by-product of heightened testosterone), water retention and body-fat accumulation” by:
- blocking the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
- transforming “active” estrogen into “inactive” metabolites.
- blocking estrogen receptors in breast tissue.
- reducing sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels.
Is Estrodex a viable replacement for anti-estrogenic drugs like Nolvadex and Clomid, which are typically used for PCT? A look at the ingredients will tell us more..
Serving Size: 3 Capsules
Calcium D-Glucarate (Root) 300 mg
Urtica Dioica (Aqueous Ext., Aerial Parts) 120mg
Diindolylmethane (DIM)(Root) 100 mg
3,5,4′ TriHydroxy-Trans stilbene (Root)(20% Resveratrol, 10% Emodin) 50 mg
Recommended Use: Take 3 Capsules preferably 2-3 times daily with meals. We also suggest to implement Estrodex 3-4 weeks before cycle end to decrease estrogen accumulation.
The ingredients in Estrodex are plant-based compounds and extracts known to have some effects on estrogen activity or metabolism. One by one, these are:
Calcium D-glucarate: This is the calcium salt of D-glucaric acid, which is a naturally occurring metabolite in the human body. D-glucaric acid is also found in a number of fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, etc.).
It’s shown great potential as an anti-cancer nutrient, due to its ability to facilitate the detoxification and excretion of carcinogenic compounds – a category that includes steroid hormones like estrogen. These compounds are normally conjugated to glucuronic acid prior to elimination; however an enzyme, beta-glucuronidase, can deconjugate them, and allow them to re-enter the circulation. D-glucaric acid, however can inhibit beta-glucuronidase. This inhibition increases the efficiency of the conjugation/elimination process.
Although calcium d-glucarate has been tested in cell cultures and rodents, research in humans is limited.
It appears to be both non-toxic and well-tolerated at doses up to 9 g/day, however.
Although it has been popularized as a breast cancer preventive, there have been no human clinical trials to test its effects on estrogen metabolism in women, let alone men.
There’s another issue too…while D-glucaric acid might increase the efficiency of estrogen conjugation and elimination, it might also do the same for testosterone, which is also disposed of by this pathway.
Urtica dioica: Otherwise known as Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica has been used as a folk medicine for centuries. Stinging nettle extracts are also used as an alternative therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate).
Cell culture experiments have shown that Urtica extracts can inhibit the binding activity of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). SHBG binds to testosterone, and high levels limit the amount of free testosterone able to interact with the appropriate receptors. This explains why Urtica dioica, and its most active compound, 3,4-divanillyltetrahydrofuran, are showing up in a lot of bodybuilding supplements these days.
Is SHBG similarly suppressed in humans taking Urtica dioica? This is unclear, as the mechanism underlying its effects on BPH has not been determined and changes in free testosterone have not been measured. It’s a tantalizing hypothesis, but there is no real proof at this point.
Diinodolylmethane: Diindolylmethane, or DIM, is a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables. Both I3C and DIM have been investigated as anti-cancer agents as well. Among other functions, DIM affects the way in which estrogens are broken down in the body.
An important step in estrogen breakdown is known as hydroxylation. Hydroxylation can occur on one of two positions: on the second (C-2) or sixteenth carbon (C-16). C-16 hydroxylation produces estrogen metabolites that are highly active, and are thought to increase breast cancer risk. Conversely, C-2 metabolites have minimal activity. Supplementing with DIM increases the inactive, C-2 metabolites and decreases the active, C-16 ones. Ultimately, this could help reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.
Men, however, may also benefit from DIM. In addition to its activity against prostate cancer cells, DIM is recommended in bodybuilding circles to prevent gynecomastia (gyno, or “bitch tits”), as well as reduce the water retention and puffiness that are signs of excess estrogen. Nonetheless, there are only anecdotal reports supporting its effectiveness for this purpose, and relatively few men rely on it alone.
3,5,4′ TriHydroxy-Trans stilbene: This antioxidant has been in the health news a lot in recent years, albeit by another name: resveratrol. Red grapes and wine are the best-known sources of resveratrol, although supplemental sources are mostly derived from Japanese knotweed. Resveratrol is an aromatase inhibitor and has been shown to increase sperm production and testosterone levels in rats.
Does resveratrol have similar effects on humans? This is unknown: there are no human studies looking at the effects of resveratrol supplementation—only studies in cell cultures and rodents. Resveratrol certainly looks like a promising supplement on a number of levels, but far more research needs to be done.
So what have we got? The four compounds in Estrodex are obviously non-toxic and almost certainly healthful—but their impacts on estrogen metabolism in adult human males have not been adequately tested. Of the four, only diindolylmethane has some demonstrated activity on estrogen in human beings. This makes it difficult to recommend a supplement like Estrodex as a stand alone PCT agent.
Anyone considering a cycle of anabolic steroids or other hormonal supplements would be wise to stick with standard PCT compounds of known effectiveness. Supplement ads are the last place to look for advice on post-cycle therapy. Nonetheless, Estrodex may be worth a shot, however, as an adjunct to a more conventional PCT protocol. In addition, it could be of value as a supplement for basic health and disease prevention.
|Summary of SAN Estrodex|