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Can Your Diet Prevent Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia or ‘Man-Boobs’ is an issue that has caused me embarrassment and pain since my teen years. The shame of my man-boobs visibly showing through my shirt or feeling them jiggle as I walked made me feel pitiful, and as my man-boobs developed throughout puberty, in order to cope with the problem and hide them, I developed a poor posture (2) and even poorer self-esteem.

Tackling Gynecomastia.

From personal experience I can attest to the hard truth of the permanence of gynecomastia. Surgery (3) is the only definitive way of getting rid of gynecomastia. Were it not for the fact that surgery is so expensive, has risks, variable results (4) and horror stories (5), I might have considered going under the knife.

Instead of surgery, I opted for two inexpensive, yet effective ways of tackling my gynecomastia problem; to reduce the size and appearance of my breasts as much as possible with a two-pronged approach. The results were radical!

My life changing results.

Within 4 months, after implementing the two-pronged approach to tackle gynecomastia, the results were a significant reduction in the size and appearance of my man-boobs. This in turn boosted my confidence and made me walk tall… all without surgery!

So what was the two-pronged approach? Diet and my "bullet-proof gynecomastia vest"

First prong: tackling gynecomastia with dietary choices.

Being overweight/obese means that fat can deposit in the chest area, i.e. pseudogynecomastia (6).

This accumulation of stubborn pectoral fat, in turn stimulates the body's production of oestrogen (6), thus spurring the growth of breast tissue, leading to permanent true gynecomastia.

I therefore set about losing weight, i.e. via a calorie deficit diet and hitting the gym. While this reduced the size of my breasts, unfortunately however, it did little to tackle my true gynecomastia, i.e. the actual breast glands and breast tissue. I therefore began experimenting with the content of my food and here is what I found:

The science that underpins gynecomastia.

I found that the balance of oestrogen and testosterone in the body plays a vital role in the development of gynecomastia [7]; the more oestrogen relative to testosterone, the more breast tissue.

By optimising what one eats, one may tip the oestrogen-testosterone balance in the body to favour a reduction of oestrogen and therefore prevent the development of man-boobs.

Hence knowing which pro-oestrogen foods to avoid and which anti-oestrogen foods to consume may well be a smart approach to tip the balance towards testosterone dominance.

Pro-oestrogen foods.

Soy, milk, chicken and hoppy ale are among the list of “feminising foods” [8] – foods that may either increase oestrogen, decrease testosterone or both.

Soy and soy-containing foods: the “feminising food” reputation of soy is probably based on case-reports and an unusual cases [9],  in which subjects reported a soy “feminising effect” after consuming between 14-20 servings [10] of soybean foods per day… an abnormal amount by any standards. In contrast, a 2010 study [11] found that a normal amount of soy did not reduce testosterone levels. Thus from the evidence, we may surmise that eating large amounts of soy is not a good idea for your gynecomastia alleviation goals.  

Milk and chicken: Several studies have also demonstrated certain foods, such as store-bought milk [12] and chicken [13] contain exogenous oestrogens and oestrogen like chemicals. These have been theorised to have a “feminising effect” by increasing oestrogen and lowering testosterone levels in a man’s blood, which would increase gynecomastia. So should one avoid milk and chicken? One cannot say with “scientific confidence” because there is yet to be a well conducted, randomised control trial testing for the “feminising effect” of store-bought milk and chicken.

India pale ales: A link between hoppy ale and gynecomastia (as well as “brewer’s droop, i.e. erectile dysfunction) was reported by multiple mainstream media outlets, such as the “The Independent” in 2017[14]. Phytoestrogens – a compound that naturally occurs in certain plants – is found in hoppy ale and is reported to possibly promote gynecomastia.

Bottom-line: The aforementioned pro-oestrogen “feminising foods” may increase the level of breast tissue growth depending on the amount consumed. However, in terms of levels of evidence, can they really be said to cause gynecomastia? The reporting seems to rely on mainly on “low level of evidence” studies, such as case reports.

Anti-oestrogen foods.

Cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, some fruits, whole grains, seeds and green tea are potential foods that block oestrogen and thus prevent GYM.  

Bottom-line: Anti-oestrogen foods may well prevent gynecomastia. However, like so-called pro-oestrogen foods, the body of evidence establishing a causal link between so-called anti-oestrogen foods and prevention of gynecomastia is low.

Second prong: tackling gynecomastia with my “bullet-proof gynecomastia vest”

Having lost weight, my man-boobs problem remained. Unwilling to do any form of surgery, with all the expense, risks, uncertain outcomes and horror stories, I invested in several different types of gynecomastia vests.

After sampling a few, I found a gynecomastia vest [1] that suited my needs entirely. Suddenly, I was able to wear my slim fitting shirts, t-shirts and sweaters. More than that, it gave me bags of confidence over night!

The vest also helped me straighten my posture… an action which itself creates a truly empowering, confidence boosting-cycle.

But be warned, not all gynecomastia vests are created equal…the first few I tried made me feel uncomfortable – like wearing a corset.

The gynecomastia vest I eventually chose was well fitted, lightweight and discreet, corrects my posture and makes me feel… bullet-proof. That is why I call it my “bullet-proof gynecomastia vest”!

Conclusion

  • Dieting that leads to weight loss can help reduce breast size by reducing pseudogynecomastia. It cannot however reduce true gynecomastia.
  • Certain foods like soy, hormones containing milk, chicken and hoppy ale may have an oestrogen-promoting effect, which increase gynecomastia, but better-quality studies need to confirm this hypothesis.
  • Certain foods like cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, fruits, whole grains, seeds and green tea may have an anti-ostrogen effect, which prevent gynecomastia, but better-quality studies need to confirm this hypothesis.
  • I found a certain type of gynecomastia vest [1] to be an inexpensive yet effective way to reduce the appearance of gynecomastia.

 

References

  1. Site: https://gynecomastiasolutions.co.uk/blogs/news/the-impact-of-gynecomastia
  2. Site: https://medium.com/@alluremedspaindonesia/gynecomastia-can-affect-your-body-posture-5ae4c0010cf7
  3. Site: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/breast-reduction-male/
  4. Site: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17199-male-breast-reduction
  5. Site: https://www.realself.com/question/mumbai-happy-results-after-gynecomastia-surgery
  6. Site: https://www.amaris-b.com/blog/pseudogynecomastia-vs-gynecomastia
  7. Site: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/mens-health/what-is-gynaecomastia/
  8. Site: https://feminizationsecrets.com/male-to-female-feminine-foods/
  9. Site: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18558591
  10. Youtuber/Health Food Influencer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCLA-WmxPgI&t=59s
  11. Site: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19524224
  12. Site: https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/consumption-of-natural-estrogens-in-cows-milk-does-not-affect-blood-levels-or-reproductive-health#targetText=Estrogen%20occurs%20naturally%20in%20cow's%20milk.&targetText=A%20new%20study%20published%20in,no%20effect%20on%20the%20mice.
  13. Site: https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/09/13/estrogen-animal-products/#targetText=Estrogen%20levels%20in%20poultry%20litter,it%20may%20trigger%20premature%20development.&targetText=Endogenous%20steroid%20hormones%20in%20food,occur%20naturally%20in%20these%20products.
  14. Site: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/ipa-man-boobs-beer-hops-weight-gain-hormones-phytoestrogens-moobs-brewers-droop-a7934306.html
  15. Site: https://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/anti-estrogen-diet-men

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