- "Man Boobs" Gynecomastia
"Man Boobs" Gynecomastia
“Man Boobs” Gynecomastia by Dealing with the Cause
“Man Boobs” or gynecomastia can be helped if you are willing to change the products that you put on the skin. Men with gynecomastia typically have normal hormone tests. The reason why they have gynecomastia is the chemicals and herbs that they are putting on the skin mimic estrogen. Even though the chemicals and herbs are not labeled as hormones, the body recognizes them as estrogen. These herbs and chemicals are collectively known as hormone disruptors or xenoestrogens.
These chemicals and herbs do NOT appear on the hormone test. I wish there was a hormone test for them, but there is no hormone test for them that can be ordered routinely in practice as a Medical Doctor. This is why when I treat men for gynecomastia, I typically do not order a hormone test for the patient. The hormone test that measures the patient’s own hormones is usually normal. When the hormone test is abnormal, the hormone test is abnormal due to chemicals or herbs that make them abnormal. The patient’s hormones become abnormal because of the chemicals and herbs that affect the levels of the patient’s own hormones.
Usually, chemicals or herbs put on the skin is responsible for the “Man Boobs”. Anything on the skin is 10 times the potency of what is eaten. Just as estrogen patches or nicotine patches rely on skin absorption for them to work, anything put on the skin goes directly into the body. In contrast, anything eaten orally is 1st pass 90% inactivated by the liver. This is counter intuitive. You would expect anything to be eaten would be worse than anything put on the skin. But this is not true. Instead, you must be 10 times more careful about what you put on the skin compared to what you eat. Anything put on the skin is 10 times more critical than what is eaten.
Here is the smoking gun. In 2006, Clifford Bloch, MD, pediatric endocrinologist, had 3 young boys with gynecomastia. He measured their own endogenous (own - native) hormones. He found their own hormones to be normal. Where was the hormonal stimulation that caused the boys’ “Man Boobs”? He questioned the parents. The parents were giving them tea tree oil and lavender oil topically. On a hunch, Bloch, MD, told the parents to stop giving them the tea tree oil and lavender oil. In 3-6 months, the “Man Boobs” disappeared. Bloch, MD then decided to test the lavender and tea tree oil for estrogen hormone activity. He put lavender and tea tree oil separately in test tubes with breast cancer cells sensitive to estrogen. He found that tea tree oil and lavender oil made the breast cancer cells sensitive to estrogen replicate and proliferate. This meant that the lavender and tea tree oil separately looked like estrogen to the human breast cancer cells. However, the lavender and tea tree oil did NOT show up on the blood hormone test.
In another test, he took tea tree oil and lavender oil and put them in breast cancer cells sensitive to testosterone. He found that both the lavender and the tea tree oil blocked the expression of testosterone in the cells. Thus, the boys were getting a 1-2 punch. Not only were their estrogen receptors being stimulated by tea tree oil and lavender oil, but also the expression of testosterone was being blocked by the lavender and tea tree oil. The lavender and tea tree oil were turning them into girls.
Bloch, MD’s discovery was so shocking that the National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a memo to all doctors warning them of the perils of giving lavender and tea tree oil to young boys and the risk of gynecomastia or “Man Boobs”. Here is a link to the NIH memo.
The implications of this finding are incredible. Could lavender and tea tree oil stimulate breast cancer to grow? Endometriosis and adenomyosis are stimulated by estrogen to grow. Could lavender and tea tree oil make endometriosis and adenomyosis grow? Are there other chemicals and herbs that could mimic estrogen?
Recently, in March 2018, a new study confirmed chemicals in lavender and tea tree oil mimic estrogen. Here is a link to that study. Researchers at NIEHS, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, found that lavender and tea tree oil contained several different chemicals that had estrogenic properties as well as anti-androgenic properties. Korach, PhD and Ramsey selected 8 different chemicals from the hundreds of different chemicals in lavender and tea tree oil. Four oils appear in both herbs : eucalyptol, 4-terpineol, dipentene/limonene and alpha-terpineol. Four other oils appeared in either oils: linalyl acetate, linalool, alpha-terpinene and gamma-terpinene. The researchers applied these oils to test tube human cancer cells to measure estrogen receptor- and androgen receptor-target genes and transcriptional activity.
All eight chemicals showed different estrogenic and/or anti-androgenic properties, some showing high or little to no activity. Ramsey, PhD states that many of these chemicals are found in 65 different essential oils. He marvels that Medical Doctors believe that essential oils are safe, but he cautions that this is far from the truth.
Man Boobs or Gynecomastia are Caused by Hormones - Chemicals or Herbs that Mimic Estrogen
A hormone is just a chemical messenger. The genes are the blue prints of the house. But the hormones are the messengers that are created by the blueprints of the house. These messengers then tell the builders of the house what to do. By introducing “fake messengers” or hormones into the picture, the blue prints are now disregarded.
Typically, in a woman, estradiol levels are anywhere from 30 to 100 pg/gm. A sky high estradiol is 300 pg/gm. What is a picogram (pg)? 1000 picogram is one nanogram. A sky high estradiol of 300 pg/gm is 0.3 parts per billion. Just for visualization, if you spit 1/10th of an ounce of saliva into an Olympic sized swimming pool, the concentration of your spit in the swimming pool is 1 part per billion. The human body functions at infinitesimally small amounts of hormones.
“Man Boobs” are the New Normal
Gynecomastia or “Man Boobs” in men is not normal. 50 years ago, this problem, was a rarity. Now, I went into a local restaurant’s bathroom in Austin, TX and there was a framed advertisement for plastic surgery above the urinal to fix “Man Boobs”.
Why are “Man Boobs” the new norm?
The chemicals and herbs that act like estrogen are ubiquitous and are found commonly in lotions, shampoos, deodorant, laundry detergent, tooth paste, and cosmetics.
Small Amounts of Chemicals and Herbs Can Mimic Estrogen and NOT Show Up on the Hormone Test
As of 2017, over the past 17 years of practice and 30,000 patients, I have made a list of chemicals and herbs that act like estrogen. I also have a list of safe products. I looked through 500 shampoos and only found 3 that were safe. Buy some iodine from us (95% of Americans are deficient in iodine), and you will get a list safe products to use. It is important only to use the safe products on the purple sheet. Just following the purple sheet 90% won’t cut it. If you happen to slip up and use only one product, the whole protocol won’t work. Why? It is because the human body operates at extremely small amounts of hormones and xenoestrogens are everywhere.
You need to be extremely strict about what you put on the skin. Again, anything put on the skin is 10 times the oral dose in potency. So, you should pay 10 times as much attention to what is being applied to the skin. This includes lotions, cosmetics, colognes, laundry detergent, spermicide and tooth paste. Anything fragrant natural or synthetic tends to be hormone disruptive. This is because ring shaped compounds like benzene rings and phenyl groups tend to fit into the estrogen receptor. Anything that contains a benzene ring or phenyl group is typically fragrant. This is why some plants are fragrant. Their fragrance is a defense against animals eating them. Did you ever notice that deer do not eat rosemary, sage, and thyme? Some plants have thorns to defend themselves. Other plants are poisonous to defend themselves. Herbs defend themselves by being fragrant. Fragrance usually contains a benzene ring or phenol group. Phenol groups and benzene rings usually fit into the estrogen receptor and mimic estrogen. Herbs that are fragrant usually, but not always tend to mimic estrogen. Take a look at Tulane University’s discussion of phytoestrogens (plant estrogens).
The classic case of phytoestrogens used by the plant to defend itself is “Sheep Clover Disease”. After WWII, Australia imported Mediterranean Clover to be planted in Australia for the high protein level. After several years, there were still births. Finally, after three or four years, there were no births at all. A deep scientific investigation was launched and the scientists found not poison, but a hormone produced by the plant that caused miscarriage in the sheep. This hormone was dubbed formononetin. Here is a google search of “Sheep Clover Disease”.
However, some men also need to look at the nutritional supplements that they are using. For instance, rosemary is extremely estrogenic and is commonly used as a natural antioxidant. Spices that are eaten may also have to be eliminated at least temporarily if the spices are used routinely. Usually, since topical herbs and chemicals put on the skin are ten times more potent, I start by eliminating those products. If you buy any product from us, you will receive a list of safe recommended products and a list of chemicals and herbs that are not to be used on the skin.
Hops in Beer is a Phytoestrogen Decreasing your Manliness
In the book, The Natural Testosterone Plan by Stephen Harrod Buhner, Buhner states that beers were originally made with herbs designed with herbs to support testosterone function. Hops were known to decrease sexual desire in men and increase sexual desire in women. Buhner claims that Protestant reformers pressured brewers to remove the male sexually stimulating herbs and replace them with Hops. Hops is a sedative making the male sleepy. Hops reduces the male sex drive. Men that handle hops when brewing the beer develop impotence in middle age only from handling the hops. Estrogens in the hops will go through the skin into the body of the man.
Excerpt from "The Natural Testosterone Plan" by Buhner
“Hops is best know for its use in beer. The majority of physicians and men overlook its potent chemicals and do not realize that beer itself can significantly alter male androgen levels (testosterone). German beer makers noticed long ago that young women who picked hops in the fields commonly experienced menstrual problems. Eventually, researchers discovered the reason – hops is perhaps one of the most powerfully estrogenic plants on Earth. Just 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) contains anywhere from thirty thousand to three hundred thousand IUs of estrogens, depending on the type of hops. … [The endocrine disruptors in hops] has been found to directly interfere with the ability of the testes Leydig cells to produce testosterone. The presence of this highly estrogenic substance in beer is not an accident.
Prior to the German Purity Act of 1516, beer almost never contained hops. In fact, more than one hundred different plants were used in the brewing of beer for at least ten thousand years prior to the introduction of hops in the middle ages. For the last thousand years of that period, the most dominant form of “beer” was called gruit, which contained a mixture of yarrow, bog myrtle, and marsh rosemary. These herbs, especially in beer are sexually and mentally stimulating. (It is rare to become sleepy when drinking unhopped beers.) The Catholic Church had a monopoly on the production of gruit, but competing merchants and the Protestants worked together to break that monopoly and for the removal of all sexually stimulating herbs from beer. They replaced then with an herb that puts the drinker to sleep and dulls sexual drive in the male. The legislative arguments of the day all hinged on the issue of the stimulating effects of other herbs that were used in beer. A pilsner, for example, was originally a henbane beer (pilsen means “henbane”), which is an incredibly strong, psychoactive beer, used earlier in history by German berserkers before battle. The German Beer Purity Act was, in effect, the first drug control law ever enacted.
Beer, so highly touted as sexy in television commercials, in actuality can powerfully inhibit sexual strength in men. There is a well-known condition in England – Brewer’s Droop – that occurs from middle-aged brewers’ extensive handing of hops plants. The plant chemistries readily transmit through the men’s skin just as they did in the young women in the fields. Very few physicians have looked at any correlation between beer drinking and androgen (testosterone) levels or erectile dysfunction problems in their patients. (How many men on Viagra are heavy beer drinkers?) However, the physician Eugene Shippen in The Testosterone Syndrome comments that one of his patients, undergoing pharmaceutical testosterone replacement therapy, showed no response to the testosterone until he reduced his beer intake to one or two beers a night from six or seven.  Hops is extremely potent and its consumption should be limited if not completely excluded during all androgen replacement therapy. These effects can be exacerbated if the beers you buy also contain licorice (see Licorice section at the beginning of chapter), a fact that will not be noted on the beer label.
It is possible to buy beer that does not interfere with androgen levels, although it can be somewhat hard to find. Some microbreweries and brew pubs are not making traditional gruits. Check the brew pubs in your town. However, the best source is Bruce Williams, a Scottish brewer who is bringing the traditional ales of Europe and especially Scotland (i.e. pre-hopped European beers). He has five in production, and they can often be found in larger American cities at any store that carries a wide selection of unusual beers. The heather ale is an excellent but perhaps more useful would be the traditional pine ale made from the Scotch pine, Pinus Sylvestris, whose pollen contains testosterone.”
It Takes 1-3 months for Hormone Disruptors or Xenoestrogens to Wash Out of the Body
It usually takes 1-3 months for the chemicals and herbs to wash out of the body and for you to start seeing some improvement in the disappearance of gynecomastia. Full improvement may be seen in 6-9 months. However, treatment failure is common because the patient has NOT been careful enough to eliminate all xenoestrogens. Typically, when the protocol to avoid xenoestrogens does NOT work, the patient has not followed the SAFE recommended products religiously. These failed patients typically improvise on safe products and then complain that the protocol does not work.
I just received a call from a woman that had been following our safe list for the last 6 years. So I called her and talked to her for an hour. It turned out that she had changed from the solid bar of soap that I had recommended to a liquid version of the same brand. I told her that her liquid version contained water unlike the bar of soap. Since the liquid soap contained water, the manufacturers had to add a preservative. These preservatives typically have phenol groups and mimic estrogen. Her particular liquid soap choice contained phenoxyethanol, a known estrogen mimic (xenoestrogen). Yes, phenoxyethanol looks like estrogen to the body but does NOT show up on the hormone test. She vowed to go over all the things that she put on the skin and get back to basics.
But if you Lose Weight, the Fat Releases Xenoestrogens
Xenoestrogens or hormone disruptors are typically fat soluble and are stored in the fat. So, if you begin to lose fat for some reason, the xenoestrogens will be released into the body and affect your body. I had one adenomyosis patient that demonstrated this principle. Adenomyosis is a painful disease of the uterus. The inner lining of the uterus that bleeds every month grows in the muscular wall of the uterus. The inner lining that has infiltrated the uterine wall begins to bleed there. And the patient has pain, big time. She had followed our safe list and only used products from the safe list and for 1 1/2 years, she had been pain-free! The adenomyosis was in remission. She told all her friends. Then, she went on an all fruit diet to lose weight. She lost fat. The fat had stored xenoestrogens. The fat released the stored xenoestrogens. And the adenomyosis recurred with pain. She did not consult me and she eventually had a hysterectomy.
So if you begin to lose fat and you usually do when you go on the safe list. The xenoestrogens stored in the fat may create man boobs or gynecomastia until those store xenoestrogens are washed out of the body.
This isn’t rocket science. Synthetic estrogen pellets are injected subcutaneously behind the cattle’s ear to induce weight gain, fast growth, fat marbling, increasing appetite, water retention and bloating. In the same way, American women are taking large loads of xenoestrogens and getting fat, bloating, and weight gain. Men are getting large loads of xenoestrogens and getting fat and having increased appetite and “man boobs” or gynecomastia. If you go to any elementary school, the girls tower over the boys because of xenoestrogens. The 1997 Herman Giddens study showed 5% of girls aged 5 are sprouting breast buds and pubic hair and 15% of girls aged 8 are sprouting breast buds and pubic hair. The 2010 Biro study showed girls aged 7, 10.4% of whites, 23.4% of blacks, and 14.9% of Hispanics showed Tanner breast stage 2 out of 5 development.
Some Iodine Will Help
Iodine helps to convert strong estradiol to weak estriol. 95% of Americans are deficient in iodine. Iodine will lower your estradiol. Xenoestrogens are mostly causing your gynecomastia. However, it is the synergistic action of estradiol and xenoestrogens that are causing your gynecomastia or “man boobs”.
Buy some iodine from us and get the avoidance list of chemicals and herbs as well as the recommended product sheet of cosmetics and toiletries to use. Use these recommended products that are free of xenoestrogens. In 3 to 6 months, you should see some improvement and perhaps the complete disappearance of gynecomastia. If you are not improving and losing weight more than likely you have some xenoestrogen still in your environment.
1. Eugene Shippen and William Fryer, The Testosterone Syndrome (New York: Evans, 1998).
2. Stephen Harrod Buhner, The Natural Testosterone Plan (Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2007) p 87-89.