Last modified on September 7th, 2023
Supplements for estrogen dominance can be life-changing. They have been for me.
If you’re struggling with fatigue, headaches, lack of motivation, and other symptoms or just feeling generally off and you’re a woman, there’s a high likelihood you’re dealing with a hormonal issue like estrogen dominance.
I spend a lot of time figuring out the best estrogen-dominant supplements.
I tend to have higher estrogen levels than I should, creating symptoms including a lack of motivation, anxiety and depression, and headaches.
In the past few months, I’ve made it somewhat of a mission to figure out which supplements help with estrogen dominance.
Many of the supplements for estrogen dominance focused on below can help both men and women lower their estrogen levels, and they tend to be well-studied options with a lot of evidence backing up their effectiveness.
What Is Estrogen?
Estrogens are actually a group of hormones. They play a role in women’s reproductive and sexual development and are sex hormones.
Ovaries make most estrogen hormones, but adrenal glands and fat cells also make small amounts.
Estrogen affects or does the following:
- The menstrual cycle
- Reproductive system
- Urinary tract
- Pelvic muscles
- Brain health
- Heart and blood vessels
- Skin and hair
- Circulation and blood flow
- Collagen production
- Blood sugar levels
- Stimulates cell growth
- Prepares the uterus for pregnancy
- Helps with the production of melatonin, our sleep hormone
- Supports heart health
- Keeps inflammation under control
During the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels naturally go up and down. During menopause, levels go down.
Estrogen is the female hormone, and testosterone is the male hormone. Everyone produces both, but women typically produce much higher estrogen levels, while males produce more testosterone.
Types of Estrogen
As mentioned, while we refer to them collectively as estrogen, this is a group of hormones.
- Estrone, or E1, which is the weakest form. Most of this is produced in the fat cells.
- Estradiol, or E2, is the strongest, dominant type of estrogen.
- Estriol or E3 is most relevant during pregnancy.
What About Progesterone?
Progesterone is often associated with women’s bodies, like estrogen, but it’s found in males too. This steroid hormone helps prepare the body for reproduction.
Progesterone levels affect menstruation, reproduction, libido, weight, and overall health.
Progesterone may play a role in regulating behavior, too.
One reason estrogen dominance can occur in some women is an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone.
Conditions related to hormone imbalance, like PCOS, often have patterns where estrogen is elevated and progesterone is too low.
Also, when women reach their 40s, there are hormonal shifts in the perimenopause phase. These changes can lead to fluctuations in estrogen levels and low progesterone.
If you’re in your 40s and your period gets very heavy suddenly, or your PMS seems worse, it could indicate a pattern of estrogen dominance.
Signs to Try Supplements for Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance is a hormonal imbalance.
The symptoms of excess estrogen or estrogen dominance in women can include:
- Weight gain
- Tender breasts
- Worsening PMS
- Fibrocystic breast lumps
- Light or heavy periods
- Decreased sex drive
- Uterine fibroids
- Memory problems
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Brain fog
- An inability to focus
- Signs of low progesterone, like PMS problems or difficulty sleeping
What Causes Estrogen Dominance in Women?
There are different underlying reasons a woman might be experiencing high estrogen levels.
These include making too much, getting too much from other sources, or it seems more commonly that it stems from your body having difficulty breaking it down and removing it from your body.
Specifically, contributing factors to estrogen dominance can include:
- Medications that affect estrogen, like the combined birth control pill.
- High body fat levels can lead to high estrogen because fat releases it.
- Stress affects estrogen levels because of cortisol. Your body produces cortisol as a response to stress. High cortisol makes it hard for your body to create enough progesterone to balance out your estrogen levels healthily.
- Synthetic chemicals that act like estrogen.
- Alcohol raises estrogen levels and stops it from being broken down and processed effectively through your liver.
- Poor gut health which slows the elimination of estrogens. When gut bacteria aren’t balanced, then you start reabsorbing estrogen.
- Low fiber diets because fiber is needed for regular bowel movements. These help to remove excess estrogen from your body after your liver metabolizes it.
Estrogen metabolism is important to talk about when discussing the best supplements for estrogen dominance.
Once estrogen is used, it moves to your liver. The liver is where it’s supposed to be processed, broken down, and then sent to your intestines to be excreted. Gut bacteria play a significant role in your ability to get rid of estrogens from the gut.
If you have an imbalance of gut bacteria or you’re not having a bowel movement once or more a day, you could be reabsorbing estrogen into your bloodstream.
Hormonal health is very much intertwined with gut health.
Complications of Estrogen Dominance
If you have estrogen levels that are too high and they go unchecked for an extended time, complications and long-term problems can arise, including:
- Endometrial hyperplasia
- Cancers, including breast, ovarian and endometrial
- Blood clotting problems
- Heart disease
Supplements for Estrogen Dominance and Other Lifestyle Changes
If you’re estrogen-dominant, there are things you can do to feel better and get your hormones back into balance.
As well as supplements for estrogen dominance, things you can do to get rid of excess estrogen include:
- Eat fewer processed foods.
- Eat more fiber.
- Get regular exercise.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight.
- Limit alcohol intake.
What Are the Best Supplements for Estrogen Dominance?
When you’re struggling with estrogen dominance, it diminishes your quality of life.
In my experience, estrogen dominance has made me feel awful mentally and physically, so I understand the desire to want to balance your hormones.
With that in mind, the following are my picks for the best supplements for estrogen dominance.
DIM Supplements for Estrogen Dominance
A DIM supplement for estrogen dominance is, in my opinion and experience, the best supplement you can take.
DIM stands for diindolymethane.
It’s a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol, and the compound is made from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.
We can get DIM from food, but you’d have to eat an enormous amount of vegetables to get the same amount you can get from a supplement.
When you use a DIM supplement for estrogen dominance, you bypass the process required for conversion from the active form, so you’re getting delivery of the specific nutrient.
DIM can improve how your body metabolizes estrogen, and it’s promising for breast health, PMS symptoms, and acne. There’s also data to show that it can have anti-cancer benefits.
Taking a DIM supplement can change the production of estrogen metabolites away from harmful 16-hydroxy in favor of the more beneficial 2-hydroxy metabolite.
16-hydroxy is an unregulated type of estrogen that leads to estrogen dominance.
High levels of 16-hydroxy estrogens can lead to mutations, abnormal growths like cervical dysplasia, and a higher risk of breast cancer. High levels of 16-hydroxy estrogen are seen in high-fat diets, exposure to environmental chemicals with estrogenic properties, and obesity.
Essentially, DIM helps encourage healthy metabolism levels of estrogen and balances the negative types of estrogen with the positive form.
Probiotic Supplements for Estrogen Dominance
Your gut health greatly impacts your hormonal balance or lack thereof.
The beneficial bacteria in your gut play a role in not only hormone balance but vaginal and digestive health and even mental health.
If your flora is out of balance, it can contribute to estrogen dominance and other hormonal imbalances.
In your gut is a set of specialized bacteria called the estrobolome. The role of the estrobolome is to metabolize estrogen and ensure it stays regulated and balanced.
Your gut bacteria directly metabolizes estrogen and produces compounds that can increase or decrease levels.
Probiotics have positive effects on the estrobolome, helping with hormone balance.
You might consider two specific probiotic strains dealing with excess estrogen: Lactobacillus gasseri and Lactobacillus acidophilus.
I always take milk thistle when taking DIM to support my liver’s health and detox pathways.
Milk thistle, which supports the liver, can help your body metabolize and excrete excess estrogen.
The herb helps stimulate the liver to cleanse and renew its cells.
It also stimulates your body’s bile production, which helps promote healthier digestion.
Understanding the role of your liver is critical if your goal is hormone balancing.
The liver removes hormones from the blood and changes their structure or inactivates them.
They’re then passed through the kidneys so they can be excreted.
When there are too many hormones that overwhelm your liver, they might get stored there and in other parts of the body.
Having a clean liver is necessary for hormonal balance.
Vitamin B6 Supplements for Estrogen Dominance
If you’re searching for the best supplements for estrogen dominance, vitamin B6 should be on your list.
For women, this B vitamin has many benefits, including hormonal balance.
The benefits of vitamin B6 also include reduced inflammation, better mood and sleep, reduced inflammation, and fewer PMS symptoms.
B6 is often described as something all women need to experience optimal health.
Vitamin B6 and other B vitamins help your liver clear estrogen out of your body.
B6 can also increase your progesterone levels while reducing estrogen, which is optimal for hormonal balance in most women.
This B vitamin is also critical for adrenal gland function.
If you’re struggling with adrenal fatigue, you might have symptoms like fatigue, irritability, problems with your memory, and low libido.
In these situations, you could find that if you supplement with B vitamins, your adrenals start again functioning as they should.
Chasteberry has a history going back thousands of years when it comes to medicinal uses, primarily related to hormonal issues.
Chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree, and the technical name is Vitex angus-castus.
It’s prescribed in Germany for irregularities in the menstrual cycle, PMS, and breast pain related to the period. It’s available as a supplement over the counter in the U.S.
Along with helping to balance hormones, chasteberry also reduces inflammation. It helps when estrogen and progesterone levels are prone to ups and downs.
In studies, 20 mg of chasteberry daily for three months increased progesterone levels and normalized estrogen levels.
Chasteberry is also used for fertility and to help with symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes and night sweats.
As a bonus, many women find chasteberry taken as a supplement helps improve their mood.
Calcium D-glucarate is a combination of calcium and d-glucaric acid.
Glucaric acid is produced in small amounts by our bodies naturally.
It helps detoxify our bodies from environmental toxins, hormones like estrogen, metabolic waste, and things that cause cancer.
Along with the glucaric acid you make naturally, you will likely consume it from the foods you eat, like broccoli, apples, and oranges.
When the calcium and glucaric acid are combined in a supplement, it helps stabilize the glucaric acid. After D-glucarate enters the stomach, it’s metabolized to glucaric acid and calcium.
Taking a calcium D-glucarate supplement can prevent your body from reabsorbing and recycling estrogen and other hormones and toxins from the environment.
It does this by supporting the second phase of liver detoxification, and it blocks beta-glucuronidase, which helps possibly harmful compounds and hormones be secreted.
Taking a calcium D-glucarate supplement can support liver detox, reduce estrogen, help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and potentially inhibit some forms of cancer.
Among the best supplements for estrogen dominance and hormone balance in general is maca root.
Maca is a cruciferous vegetable, and it’s also called Peruvian ginseng.
Maca has been used for thousands of years and has adaptogenic properties.
It has a long history of use in women’s health, including supporting fertility by helping the body produce luteinizing hormone (LH).
For hormonal balance, maca may promote the normal secretion of hormones and nourish the endocrine gland.
Maca can also help reduce physical and emotional stress and protect the adrenals from the effects of excess cortisol.
Maca may help improve female libido, increase energy levels, and help make you more comfortable during menstruation.
Maca also works well for menopause support, so in terms of women’s health, it’s a powerhouse beyond helping reduce excess estrogen.
Dandelion helps support the liver’s health so that it can detox properly. When you consume bitter greens like dandelion, it helps produce bile. That bile can then flush out the estrogens you’ve metabolized.
As a natural diuretic, dandelion can stimulate the kidneys’ detoxification pathways.
I drink dandelion root tea for liver support and the detox benefits it produces.
My final pick for the best supplements for estrogen dominance is glutathione. I’ve added it to my morning routine in liposomal form for absorption.
Our glutathione levels drop as we age or have stress, exposure to toxins, or poor nutrition.
The primary role of glutathione is to protect us from chemicals and inflammation, and it helps combat aging, cancer, disease, and autoimmune problems.
There are indirect ways to support your body’s natural glutathione product, such as taking selenium and alpha-lipoic acid.
As I mentioned, if you opt for a liposomal glutathione supplement, it can help with absorption because other forms of the supplement can’t make it past your digestive system very well.
When you take glutathione, it can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which can cause imbalances in hormones.
It can also help improve insulin sensitivity and support your liver’s health so that it can work effectively to eliminate excess estrogen.
The Best Supplements For Estrogen Dominance—Wrapping Up
Estrogen dominance can feel debilitating because it affects how you feel physically and mentally. There are steps you can take and supplements for estrogen dominance that can give you a new outlook, though.
Primarily, the best supplements for estrogen dominance will help support your body’s detox pathways and liver health because this is where estrogen is metabolized. There are also great supplements for estrogen dominance that are adaptogens and can support you in times of stress.
Remember, this isn’t a substitute for your doctor’s advice—ask a healthcare professional anytime you have questions.